Equity and local economy (part 1)

Next up in the One Planet Living principles is ‘Equity and Local Economy‘. Bioregional defines this as:

Creating bioregional economies that support equity and diverse local employment and international fair trade

Over its ~20 years, Bioregional has set up a range of local and closed-loop businesses from Bioregional Charcoal Company, The Laundry (office paper collection and recycling), One Planet Products. Some of these have morphed into different businesses, while  some have since closed (their job done).

Two great resources that support local economies are:

  • New Economics Foundation: NEF is the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Their aim is to transform the economy so that it works for people and the planet. Their strapline is ‘economics as if people and the planet mattered.’ NEF is behind the Local Multiplier tool (or LM3) which measures how effectively different parts of a local economy work.
  • Transition Network‘s REconomy Project: Transition Network is a global grassroots’ movement of communities seeking to strengthen their resilience to problems including climate change, rising energy prices, economic uncertainty and inequality.A number of Transition groups or initiatives (TIs) are creating new livelihoods and enterprises, and expanding their area of influence deep into their local economic system. The REconomy Project has resources and examples in three broad categories:
    • Inspiring enterprises: new Transition-oriented enterprises and livelihoods
    • Economic enablers: projects that provide support or infrastructure for new or existing businesses
    • Leadership projects: strategic, partnered activity that plans and co-ordinates a range of activities

Not everything can be produced locally. There are a range of labels that support fairer international trade, of which the Fairtrade Mark is probably the best known. Most of us are familiar with Fairtrade tea, coffee and chocolate, but did you know that you can get Fairtrade cotton, beauty products and even gold? When I got married, we got our wedding rings from CRED, one of the first ethical and Fairtrade jewellers. There are over 4,500 Fairtrade products: see the Fairtrade Foundation’s guide for more information.

For me, Equity is linked to Inclusion. I’ll come back to this in a future blog post.

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