Brighton & Hove on track to becoming world's first One Planet City - it's official!

18.04.2013

Brighton & Hove is on track to becoming the world’s first designated One Planet City. On 18 April 2013,  the city’s Sustainability Action Plan officially received independent accreditation from BioRegional for its plans to enable residents to live well within a fairer share of the earth’s resources. BioRegional is an award winning charity with an international reputation for developing sustainable solutions.

The Action Plan sets out how the city can meet all the international targets under BioRegional’s recognised ‘One Planet Living’ principles, identifying achievable goals for the city to meet a more sustainable target – using just one planet’s worth of resources rather than the current three and a half.   BioRegional is working in partnership with One Planet communities across the world, as well as with businesses like B&Q and the Kingfisher Group.

BioRegional’s Chief Executive, Sue Riddlestone OBE, will meet members of the city’s Sustainability Partnership on the city's Bristol Estate where they will see  how the council is putting words into action with an insulation programme for council housing to cut energy costs and carbon emissions.  Tenants are already feeling the benefit of warmer homes, and are beginning to see significant reductions in their heating bills. A number of tenants are providing ‘before and after’ fuel bills to the council to evidence the improvement that the cladding and insulation has made. The council plans to roll out these sustainable improvements to council housing blocks across the city.   

Councillor Jason Kitcat, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council said: "It's a huge achievement for Brighton & Hove to be accredited as the world's first One Planet City. If everyone on the planet used the same amount of resources as we do in Brighton & Hove, we’d need three and a half Earths to keep going.

"It’s just not sustainable for us or anyone else on the planet to go on at this rate. It’s a challenging time for the public sector, but we’re not going it alone. BioRegional and our partners in the city are working with us to shape a ‘One Planet City’. Together we can boost the local economy, become more resistant to price hikes in energy, fuel and food, and foster a more equal and healthy city.”

Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive of BioRegional, said: “We are delighted that Brighton and Hove has committed to become the first One Planet City. We’ve been working in the city since 1999, the main project so far being the award winning ‘One Brighton’ Community in the New England Quarter.

"Brighton and Hove is a place where you can see the level of innovation and commitment to sustainability all around you, from the City Council to the many thriving enterprises and community activists. This Action Plan is the next step on the way to a happy and prosperous future.”

Vic Borrill, Director of the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership agrees that it is imperative for everyone to work together to achieve the One Planet Living Action Plan. “It is fantastic to see the city making a commitment to reducing our ecological footprint,” she said.

The Sustainability Action Plan is a practical three year plan that has been put together by the council, BioRegional, the city’s partnerships and other leading organisations in the city. It outlines both short term actions and longer term ambitions for the council and the city to improve local quality of life, reduce impacts on the environment, save money and make Brighton & Hove more resilient.

You can find the action plan here.

Notes for editors:

Brighton & Hove City Council has already introduced '10 One Planet Living principles' to help plan, deliver, develop and communicate sustainability messages. These principles have led to a wide range of achievements including:

• 1,400 loft insulations; 1,100 cavity wall insulations; 1,500 heating improvements; and 150 solar hot water heating systems installed in recent years

• Trialed communal recycling for 3,200 households with 70% increase in recycling by weight collected – now being rolled out to most of the city

• Introducing pool bikes for council business journeys totaling 1,300 miles in the first year

• A highly successful Food Partnership and a hundred local food projects in the city

• A re-established Fair Trade Steering Group in the city which organises regular Fair Trade events

• Becoming a Living Wage employer and supporting the city campaign to sign up other employers

The 10 principles to reduce our ecological footprint to One Planet level and create a strong, local economy and community are:

Zero carbon Making buildings more energy efficient and delivering all energy with renewable technologies.

Zero waste - Reducing waste, reusing where possible, and ultimately sending zero waste to landfill.

Sustainable transportEncouraging low carbon modes of transport to reduce emissions, reducing the need to travel.

Sustainable materialsUsing sustainable healthy products, with low embodied energy, sourced locally, made from renewable or waste resources.

Local and sustainable foodChoosing low impact, local, seasonal and organic diets and reducing food waste.

Sustainable waterUsing water more efficiently in buildings and in the products we buy; tackling local flooding and water course pollution.

Land use and wildlife Protecting and restoring biodiversity and natural habitats through appropriate land use and integration into the built environment.

Culture and communityReviving local identity and wisdom; supporting and participating in the arts.

Equity and local economyCreating bioregional economies that support fair employment, inclusive communities and international fair trade.

Health and happinessEncouraging active, sociable, meaningful lives to promote good health and well being.

 The 'One Brighton' One Planet Living Project with BioRegional

One Brighton’ is the first new development to embody the principles of ‘One Planet Living’, a joint initiative of BioRegional and the World Wildlife Fund, intended to enable the creation of sustainable communities, with Brighton & Hove City Council as the Planning Authority. One Brighton is a mixed development in the New England Quarter comprising 172 residential units. Locally it will serve as an exemplar of sustainability helping to raise the bar for future developments.  

The One Planet Living framework was developed by BioRegional from practical experience of implementation and is now used in fifty countries around the world. The framework has been backed by another respected organisation the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).