Enabling citizens and businesses to co-create solutions benchmarked against the metrics of the planet
Summary OPOS is an on-line system for learning, collaboration, valuation and trading system based on BioRegional's sustainability framework called One Planet Living. It builds on the success of One Planet Living to date and looks at massive expansion working with leading educational and training organisation world wide. Closed beta versions have already been launched. Among other benefits OPOS will help local government staff (such as City of Tacoma) to access critical informaton in real time which can help them made good procurement decisions and serve as a Sustainable Return on Investment tool.
New technologies and ways of working now open the opportunity for cities to harness the creativity of its citizens and businesses to realise a future of abundance and reverse the degradation of the planetary systems on which we all depend. However, to enable this, simple principles of sustainability need to be embedded like DNA into the operation of city services and trading structures so that holistic solutions providing social, health, financial and environmental benefits are created collaboratively, delivered effectively, measured automatically and communicated simply.
At the moment cities do not have easy access to information to assess products, services and solutions on their whole life cycle based on social, environmental and financial factors in order to assess the true benefit of procurement decisions which they make and to communicate these decisions to their stakeholders. Solving this problem however is not enough. For a city to be truly sustainable, the target must be for every economic act to be aligned to bring social and environment as well financial benefit. Every product and service needs to be given a value based not just just on financial value but the environmental and social benefits is brings. The information supporting this valuation needs to be available to citizens and businesses from a simple summary to detailed information using open data to create radical transparency and a platform for innovation and collaboration.
‘The One Planet framework is the only one I know which can bring order out of chaos in the field of sustainability.’ Gordon Falconer, Director, Urban Innovation, Cisco. One Planet Living and its 10 guiding principles of sustainability have been developed as DNA for sustainability and over 10 years have been proven to work effectively as a framework driving collaboration to create and deliver products and services which make it easy for people to lead happy and health lives within the environmental boundaries of the planet. The framework is unique in being
1. extremely easy to communicate
2. applicable across sectors (proven for individuals, neighbourhoods, SMEs, corporate and municipalities) and
3. benchmarked against absolute sustainability (total ecological footprint, total carbon footprint and the 9 planetary boundaries)
Working with partners around the world, BioRegional is now creating a comprehensive on-line One Planet Operating System (OPOS) with e-learning, collaboration, trading platform and city dashboard which will enable citizen and business participation in creating the products and services they need which also bring measurable social, health and environmental benefits. This will enable cities for example to assess products, services and solutions on their whole life cycle based on social, environmental and financial factors.
Impact on economy
Unlocking human creativity and collaboration to create and deliver sustainable solutions is the most powerful way to drive economic growth. Social and environmental factors need to be valued as well as financial ones in order to create a health economy. One Planet Living has already enabled solutions to be created and embedded in the following:
- $30 billion of constructed and planned real estate development globally with sales velocities 50%-300% higher than other comparable developments
- 10,000 products assessed against One Planet Principles as well as conventional life cycle methodologies
- over $1.5 biilion of turnover annual under a One Planet Product assessment
- first One Planet City economic development strategy with the UK city of Brighton and Hove
OPOS is now aims to massively expand assess to this information using on-line technologies to enable citizens and companies to share data on the social and environmental benefits of products and services, support each other to improve overall outcomes.
Impact on culture We need to create a new culture of sustainability as well as to respect traditional culture and the vernacular. In order to create this new culture of sustainability, a simple narrative and universal set of principles need to underpin the culture. This is provided by One Planet Living and the 10 One Planet Principles (namely Health and happiness, Equity and local economy, Zero carbon, Zero waste, Culture and community, Local and sustainable food, Land use and wildlife, Sustainable water, Sustainable materials and Sustainable transport). Already over 2000 people have been inducted or formally trained in One Planet Living. However, One Planet Living is so easy to communicate and so useful as a framework that it is spreading organically. The basics can be taught in 10 minutes, engaging hearts and minds, and people can retell it easily. For example is now taught in at least 20 universities on 5 continents. Companies in at least 54 countries are using the basic pdf toolkit currently provided by BioRegional changing perceptions within SME companies on what it means to address sustainability and where the opportunities lie.
Impact on ecology We are consuming naturally renewing resources at a rate 50% faster than the planet can replenish them. If everyone on earth had European patterns of consumption we would need three planets to support us. Already five out of nine planetary ecosystem boundaries have been exceeded. Extreme weather events around the world suggest we are reaching tipping points. Yet practical projects around the world are showing how people can lead happy and heathy lives within the planetary limits of the Earth. An aspirational lifestyle for 7 billion people can be achieved.
Impact on politics We beleive that cultural change, ease of communication and collaborative platforms for sharing and comparing valuations for products and services will harness greater participation from citizens. Open data organised using the simple One Planet Living framework will ensure greater participation in political debate.