For our Bioregional away-day 2017 we were delighted to visit Villages Nature® Paris, an innovative tourist destination that’s used One Planet Living in its development. Ben Gill shares what it was like seeing its sustainability vision brought to life
One Planet Living is becoming a One Planet reality: Bioregional Impact Review 2017/18
At Bioregional we aim to show, through inspiring real-life projects, that true sustainability, or One Planet Living as we call it, is possible.
Every year when we publish our annual review, I’m incredibly heartened to see the progress that’s being made. It reminds me that, while we face enormous challenges, there are so many people across the globe committed to achieving sustainable change.
And it’s these people we’re showcasing in our Bioregional Impact Review 2017/18. Alongside the carbon savings and waste reduction statistics, we wanted to hear the voices striving for this change and transforming One Planet Living into a One Planet reality.
A One Planet reality
Recognising the leadership of our One Planet Living partners as their projects become a reality is always a pleasure. But it was especially so for us this year. In September 2017 One Planet holiday resort Les Villages Nature Paris opened to the public. This joint venture from Group Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs and Euro Disney has used One Planet Living throughout a decade of planning, design and construction.
The story began 14 years ago, when Gerard Brémond, CEO of French holiday Group Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, visited us at our offices in BedZED. He returned to France determined to create a major tourism destination that would embody the principles of One Planet Living, while immersing its guests in nature.
More than a decade of partnership later, we saw Brémond’s vision brought to life as we visited Les Villages Nature Paris for our annual staff away day. It was everything we imagined, and more. In fact I returned in June with my family for our summer holiday!
One Planet Living is winning hearts as well as minds
Les Villages Nature Paris is just one of a wide-ranging, global family of One Planet Living projects. In fact, there are now 595,000 people living in, working at or visiting places with a deep commitment to One Planet Living.
We often hear that One Planet Living’s power lies in its ability to engage people with the complex subject of sustainability and empower them to act – both at their organisation and in their personal lives too.
By downloading our report, you can hear from some of these people - from Mia, a student at Credo High School in California to Nonkululeko, a skincare therapist at safari company Singita in South Africa.
But we cannot be complacent
While these stories give me hope, we all know how urgently we must act for sustainable change. Recent news in the UK such as the vote for the expansion of London Heathrow airport and the scrapping of Swansea’s tidal lagoon only confirms the fact that our leaders here do not appreciate the changes that we need to make, and how our lives could be all the better for it. It’s no different globally.
At Bioregional, we seek out and create partnerships and opportunities to scale up the solutions that are already out there.
Our priorities this coming year are to continue our work for zero-carbon housing and build truly affordable One Planet homes with and for local communities. We are also rolling out our new One Planet Living training programme through our One Planet Cities project in Denmark, Canada, South Africa and Oxford, UK.
Our work with retailers to drive the The circular economy: cracking the challenge remains front and centre for us. The Build a better future: the built environment and the Sustainable Development Goals are an important focus for this as we collaborate with others to drive their implementation.
Creating a truly sustainable world, where we can live well within the natural limits of the Earth, is a real team effort. This year we look forward to continuing to work with our amazing friends and partners, and welcoming new partners, to achieve One Planet Living.
Photo credit: Les Villages Nature® Paris