Pooran Desai OBE
Pooran is an environmentalist, working in sustainability for over three decades. In 1994, he co-founded one of the World’s first sustainability organisations, Bioregional which is responsible for setting-up enterprises in sustainable forestry, organic farming, recycling and real estate development.
Pooran assembled a wealth of environmental and sustainable talent to create the UK’s first large-scale, mixed-use sustainable community, BedZED, which was completed in 2002.
The development won numerous awards including Royal Institute of British Architects Housing Design Award for sustainability, Evening Standard New Homes Awards, World Habitat Awards finalist and Energy Globe Award as the foremost example of sustainable energy in building and housing.
I was helping companies and governments create sustainability strategies and the key was resolving conflicts between different departments and stakeholders. I realised sustainability was about helping people see the connections and focus on the goals they shared. I wanted to harness digital technology to make this exponentially easier. That’s why I founded OnePlanet.
A vision for sustainability
Pooran led Bioregional’s One Planet Living® for 18 years, leading teams that have created sustainability strategies in 30 countries for over $30BN of real estate development. OnePlanet Living® principles have served as inspiration for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). As a result, both the OnePlanet Living® principles and the UN’s SDG’s now lie at the heart of our products and services.
Pooran is also a commissioned author (2009) of OnePlanet Communities: A Real-Life Guide for Sustainable Living, John Wiley & Sons, UK, and is a trustee of the Design Council, the UK government’s strategic advisor on design.