Site icon The Carbon Crisis

16.6 Certification Systems: One Planet Living®

ABSTRACT: The One Planet Living® Framework includes 10 holistic principles aimed to drastically reduce carbon emissions and global overconsuming lifestyles, instead putting sustainable consumption and production principles into practice.

Image Credit:


The “One Planet Living®” framework was created in 2002 by charity and social enterprise, Bioregional, through its involvement in the creation of the internationally renowned BedZED ecovillage. The tangible framework looks to drive communication for transformational sustainability across the globe and includes ten principles of sustainable living that provide detailed guidance, tools, and goals that can be used by anyone, anywhere in order to globally reduce carbon emissions before the effects become irreversible. One Planet Living is unique in its holistic approach to sustainability, not only confronting carbon footprints and cultural overconsumption, but enhancing conservation efforts and ensuring the future wellbeing of communities and businesses, both commercially and residentially. According to Bioregional’s One Planet Living Manual, globally we consume around 50% more in natural resources than the planet can cope with, leading the charity to conclude overconsumption to be the root cause of unsustainable development; thus, sustainable consumption and production is embedded in the initiative’s framework.

Designed in 2002, the South-London BedZED eco-village helped inform the principles we see within One Planet Living. The village used ecological and carbon foot-printing to account for environmental impacts, proving One Planet Living can maintain happy and healthy communities through rapid change, allowing us to avoid catastrophic climate change if adapted effectively. The Frameworks ten points include: 1. Health and happiness, 2. Equity and local economy, 3. Culture and community, 4. Land and nature, 5. Sustainable water, 6. Local and sustainable food, 7. Travel and transport, 8. Materials and products, 9. Zero waste and, 10. Zero carbon energy. Each principle targets a major contributor of unsustainable lifestyles and individual carbon footprints that can be changed through mindful consumption. To embed these principles into global culture, the One Planet Living Manual outlines key components for successful implementation. Firstly, workshops must be held to entice senior management and important stakeholders in order to build a dialogue as to how a robust One Planet Living Plan can be implemented to help their organization. Following workshop dialogue, the organization’s One Planet Living Action Plan can begin to be created through extensive context assessment, geopolitically, culturally, and economically, as well as vision building through extensive participatory workshops including staff, clients, partners and stakeholders. Once effectively created, the plan can begin to be implemented throughout the organization’s community. Lastly, to improve accountability, transparency, and improve the One Planet Living Framework, performance and progress is monitored and reported for annual publishing. This continuous stream of reliable data allows for peer reviews and thus, stronger scholarly dialogue surrounding carbon emissions and meaningful sustainable cultural change.

One Planet Living is not a certification or accreditation system with a test to be passed or failed, it simply aims to create a culture of innovation and exploration, and strengthen communication between like-minded individuals who have a deep drive for sustainability and want to enable ecosystems to be protected and to regenerate for the protection of future generations. As of 2018, 4,536,336 people live in cities and city-regions that will be participating in the new One Planet Cities Project, funded by the KR Foundation. Bioregional now works closely with 21 One Planet Partners- organizations and communities that they have endorsed as demonstrating the ambition needed to drastically shift the overconsuming lifestyles that are leading us towards catastrophe. To save us from ourselves, fundamental change must be accepted by all, everywhere, with haste; One Planet Living is leading holistic change in this initiative.


Hawkins, J. (2018) One Planet Network. One Planet Living Framework. Retrieved from:

Bioregional. (2018). Implementing One Planet Living: A Manual. Retrieved from:

Riddlestone, S. (N/A). One Planet Living Webinar. Bioregional. Retrieved from:  

Bioregional. (2017). One Planet Principles. Retrieved from:


Isha is in her 3rd year of Interior Design at Ryerson University and lives in Toronto, ON. Canada. Her passion is to leave the world a better place through activism, discourse, and compassion. The teaching provided by the School of Interior Design in conjunction with sustainable and equitable design will allow her to help develop and work on projects that will change the world.

Exit mobile version