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Pooran Desai  

Co-Founder, BioRegional.

POORAN DESAI Pooran is a founding director of BioRegional Quintain Ltd. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. In 1994, he co-founded the environmental organization BioRegional Development Group. He has worked on projects in sustainable farming, forestry, recycling & eco-housing. Work on local woodland management led Pooran to establishing the BioRegional Charcoal Company, which supplies national retailers such as B&Q with local charcoal and firewood. The company has won a number of awards including a Securicor Small Business Award, Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Award and a Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food award for Science into Practice. In 1998, he drew together the partnership to construct Beddington Zero (fossil) Energy Development (BedZED), the UK’s largest eco-village development. The project was developed by housing association The Peabody Trust in partnership with BioRegional Development Group. BedZED won the 2002 International Energy Globe Award, 2003 Evening Standard Lifestyles Award and was shortlisted for the 2003 Stirling Prize. Pooran chaired the Homes and Environment group of ACCPE (the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment), has sat on the steering group of Buildings Research Establishment’s EcoHomes group and WWF’s One Million Sustainable Homes taskforce. He has been a consultant to central government, local authorities and developers, including a 6,000 home zero carbon development in Portugal and concepts for a 2000 home zero carbon and zero waste community for the Thames Gateway. He is a director of the BioRegional and WWF joint “One Planet Living®” initiative. In 2002 he was commissioned with Sue Riddlestone to write “BioRegional Solutions for Living on One Planet”, a briefing for the Schumacher Society. The book uses examples of BioRegional projects to show the scope for local economic development to deliver environmental benefits. In 2007, with Paul King Campaigns Director for WWF, Pooran authored “One Planet Living® – A guide to enjoying life on our one planet”. In 2004, Pooran was awarded an OBE for services to sustainable development and in 2007 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

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