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Founded1992 as 'Bioregional Development Group'
FounderSue Riddlestone, Pooran Desai
TypeLimited company and Charitable trust
FocusSustainability, Sustainable development, Environmentalism
Area served
MethodSocial enterprise, training
£1,380,000 Pound Sterling (2006-7)

Bioregional is an entrepreneurial charity, which aims to invent and deliver practical solutions for sustainability. It was founded in 1992 on the belief that overconsumption of resources was the driving force behind environmental degradation, and set out to find new ways to meet more of their needs from local resources.


Bioregional was founded in 1992 by Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE, and began life in the Sutton Ecology Centre. They first worked on local environmental projects, including the promotion of closed loop recycling in London and Surrey,[1] reviving lavender production in Mitcham and Carshalton,[2] setting up Croydon's TreeStation to turn waste municipal wood into biomass,[3] and establishing the Bioregional Charcoal Company Ltd who help a network of local charcoal producers sell to major retail stores.[4] These projects reflected Bioregional's aim of setting up social enterprises that could make the use of local and waste resources mainstream.

Bioregional began to expand in the late 1990s, and with the completion of BedZED they moved into their present offices in Hackbridge, London Borough of Sutton. From BedZED they developed with One Planet Living programme with WWF, which is the framework for all sustainable communities projects and has an equal influence over their vision as the original bioregionalism focus. Currently a One Planet Living communities is being built in Brighton.[5]

Bioregional currently have around 40 staff in London, as well as regional offices in China, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Greece, Mexico, and Australia.

Founded in 2005, Bioregional North America is an affiliated Canadian non-profit organisation that specializes in fostering sustainable behavior change and collaborative consumption amongst occupants in new and existing buildings across the United States and Canada.[6]

Major current projects[edit]

  • One Planet Living communities, planned to be built in every continent by 2012 to demonstrate Bioregional's vision[7]
  • B&Q One Planet Home, developing a Sustainability Action Plan for the retailer and a customer-focused campaign and product range
  • The Laundry, a closed loop recycling social enterprise for small businesses in central London
  • One Planet Products, a sustainable construction materials buying club
  • HomeGrown Charcoal, produced through a decentralised network of charcoal burners to reduce transport CO2 by 90%
  • Bioregional MiniMills, developing technology to make paper pulp from straw and recover energy from the effluents
  • The EcoConcierge Program by BioRegional North America makes healthier, low-carbon lifestyles convenient for building occupants through hands-on services, building social capital, sustainable design, collaborative consumption, and community-based social marketing

Past projects[edit]

  • BedZED, the UK's largest eco-village
  • The sustainability strategy for the 2012 Olympics in London[8]
  • Reviving local lavender production in Carshalton and Mitcham
  • Croydon TreeStation, a solution for sustainable management of urban forestry to produce biomass fuel
  • Local Paper for London, Local Paper for Surrey, promoting closed loop recycling to businesses in these regions


  • See also awards won for the BedZED project
  • 2011 - Bioregional's founders Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE were named Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Davos World Economic Forum by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[9]
  • 2009 - Bioregional's founders Sue Riddlestone OBE and Pooran Desai OBE won the Skoll Social Entrepreneur Award.[10]
  • June 2007 - Observer ethical awards for Bioregional MiniMills, Invention of the year.[11]
  • May 2006 - Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy for Croydon TreeStation[12]


  1. ^ TreeHugger, December 27, 2007, Local Paper for London: Get your Own (Recycled) Paper Back
  2. ^ A picture of change Archived October 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Carbon Trust, case study on London Borough of Croydon and BioRegional Development Group Archived December 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ The Guardian, June 13, 2008, Tread lightly: Buy British barbecue charcoal
  5. ^ The Times, February 15, 2008, Green apartments in Brighton
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Times, May 17, 2006, Games' clean agenda puts green before gold
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2012-02-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Observer ethical awards Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Ashden Awards case study on BioRegional's TreeStation project". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-07-15.

External links[edit]