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BioRegional at UN Rio+20: One Planet Living & EcoConcierge

21 Jun Posted by in News | Comments Off
BioRegional at UN Rio+20: One Planet Living & EcoConcierge
 

Take Rio+20 into your community:  BioRegional North America’s EcoConcierge program applies the One Planet Living approach and framework at the local scale, in Multi-family Residential Buildings.

BioRegional have been actively engaged in the UN Rio+20 process for the last two years, bringing our vision of a better world – One Planet Living – along with our practical experience which shows how it can be delivered. 

In November 2011, BioRegional, with the Partners in our One Planet Initiative, submitted a Proposal for one planet living at Rio+20 to the UN.  Our proposal argues for the concepts and approaches of one planet living to be adopted or adapted as an effective way to achieve the objectives of Rio+20, which include renewing commitment to sustainability and a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Now that Rio+20 is underway, BioRegional is working hard to promote One Planet Living as a cross-cutting sustainable development approach and delivery framework. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to be the major outcome of Rio+20. The One Planet Living principles and approach offer useful transferable learning to assist in the design and implementation of the SDGs.

 

The EcoConcierge approach is framed by the 10 principles of One Planet Living and based on the successful social process developed at BedZED (where 42% of carbon savings were from behavior change assisted by an ecoConcierge), and improved over 8 years of implementation with clients such as the Discovery Channel and in One Planet Communities.

BedZED revealed powerful insights into the importance of behavioural and lifestyle change to achieve much larger carbon emissions than with technological changes alone.  It is the prototype on which the EcoConcierge program is based.

Completed in 2002, BedZED is one of the UK’s largest mixed use sustainable communities.  The community was outfitted with impressive energy efficient technologies and design, resulting in households which use 81% less energy than the average in Sutton and produce 72% fewer emissions from energy use compared to similar homes built at the time.  Lifestyle changes however, illuminated the potential for the most dramatic impact. When residents fully engaged in lifestyle changes, such as joining a car club,  carbon emissions for their whole lifestyle could reduce by 50%.

Beyond important emission reductions, quality of life drastically improved.  People were happier.  They knew their neighbors.  Overall, 84% of BedZED residents report an increased quality of life, and reported knowing 20 of their neighbours by name, compared to the average in the surrounding area of 8.

Insights gained from BedZED were applied to One Planet Community, One Brighton (UK).  Green lifestyle features of One Brighton include roof top allotments, communal sky gardens, organic vegetable box delivery points and a green caretaker to ensure smooth running of facilities including the composter and biomass boiler.

 

The EcoConcierge approach incorporates the latest techniques for practical behavior change from the social sciences and such pioneering books as Nudge and Social Change 2.0.

Building upon new findings from behavioral science, BioRegional and the ecoConcierge team provide a full range of concierge services, community based social marketing, household coaching, and clever choice architecture that help occupants radically reduce not just their energy and water consumption, but also their oversized transport, food, waste, and shopping impacts as well. The program’s goals are to measurably improve social capital and neighborliness, health and wellness, and household carbon footprint, with outcomes that include increased operational savings, tenant retention and marketplace reputation for building owners.