22 May 2020


Read Time 2 mins

Shortlist Spotlight: Making the Sustainability Connection

Sustainable development in London

Pooran Desai, founder of OnePlanet and Bioregional, was shortlisted for the 2019 COINS Grand Challenge, find out more about his idea and why he entered.

Tell us more about your idea.
The idea that I entered into the COINS Grand Challenge is a digital solution to make it easy for people to create, share and connect sustainability plans. At the moment, in the construction industry it's not always very joined up between different players in the industry, between real estate companies and cities. Our solution enables everyone in that ecosystem to see what they are really intending to create and to collaborate on those outcomes.

What makes your idea unique?
Our idea is unique because we've taken social media technology and are using it to underpin sustainability strategies.

What inspired you?
For me, sustainability really is about making the connections, for example making the connections between what we build, how dependant that makes us on driving cars, which then create air pollution, which affects our health and also damages the environment. When we're looking at a cost plan in an Excel spreadsheet we don't always see those connections – so we’ve created a technology which enables those connections to become abundantly obvious.

What’s your experience in this field?
I've been working in sustainability for a long time, particularly real estate for the last 20 years starting with putting together an eco-village project in South London, (main picture) which consists of one hundred homes, and is where I live and work.  Then leading on creation of a sustainability approach or framework called One Planet Living which has been applied in over 30 countries on about 30 billion dollars of real estate development so far.

How will your idea be implemented?
We are at a very interesting stage at the moment. We're just going through a seed round investment and we're looking for partners, COINS as a construction industry software technology partner would be absolutely perfect for us and we've already been discussing how we can integrate with a COINS solution and take it to market.

Why did you enter the COINS Grand Challenge?
I entered the COINS Grand Challenge because I was looking for a like-minded construction technology partner, a partner who is also interested in social and environmental benefits, so COINS was the perfect choice.

Who influenced you?
The idea we've created has been very strongly influenced by the Gaia hypothesis. Created by scientist James Lovelock who views the planet as one living organism which is all interconnected. I've been keen to try and show how those connections work to the real estate and construction industry, to help design better places for people to live in harmony with the natural environment.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my wife growing vegetables on my allotment, and I'm also training to be a karate instructor.

Find out more at https://oneplanet.com/

Could your idea be a winner?  Entries are now open for the 2020 COINS Grand Challenge - visit coins-grandchallenge.com

Organised by construction technology experts, Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (COINS), this is a global competition to drive innovation within the construction industry.


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