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Bicester celebrates B Corp month

28 March 2023
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Bicester has shone a light on its B Corp businesses as part of B Corp month.

Worldwide, 6,300 businesses are certified as B Corps, meaning they have met strict criteria to be recognised as making a positive difference.

re-universe is the green tech company behind a reuse and recycling platform which aims to keep everyday items in the circular economy for longer and influence more people to reuse and recycle through convenience and reward or deposit return incentives.

Using technology, re-universe captures any item at any return point using unique digital ID coding, enabling organisation to track and trace iterms they place in market, including food and drink containers, textiles, nappies and tyres, and incentivise the return of that item.

Tony McGurk, Chairman of re-universe, said: “Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet today. Circularity plays a huge part in tackling and reducing carbon emissions, and all research points to the need for reuse and recycling needing to be easy and convenient for people to engage and take part.”

The company has worked with big names such as evian, Wimbledon, and nearby Blenheim Palace where it trialled a returnable cup system to combat the reliance of venues on single-use plastic. Its pilot of the world’s first digital Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Dublin saw high engagement and a huge 94% return rate.

Tony said: “We are delighted by the positive response we’ve received so far when rolling out our technology at major events and so proud that thousands of people have already shown great enthusiasm for returning participating items for reuse or recycling. We believe that these kinds of schemes will play a huge role in reducing carbon emissions and engaging more people to do the right thing going forward.”

Read more - Bicester’s Perch Eco Business Centre named one of the UK’s most outstanding workspaces

Sustainability consultancy Bioregional aims to champion more sustainable ways of living and, to that end, works with businesses, housebuilders and local authorities to encourage greener practices.

Lewis Knight, Head of Sustainable Places at Bioregional, said: “We created the One Planet Living® sustainability framework in 2003. It asks people to imagine a world where people can live happy and healthy lives within our planet’s resources, with space for wildlife and nature to thrive. Part of what we do is provide the resources and guidance needed for people and organisations to get closer to it.”

With the One Planet Living message comes a free framework for creating an action plan to reduce the environmental impact of the way we live our lives, based on 10 aspects of sustainability. Using this methodology, Bioregional has supported green housing projects such as the UK’s first eco-town, North West Bicester, and net zero-carbon housing estate Springfield Meadows.

Lewis said: “Our ethos is positive and aspirational. We need to show that it is possible to respond to the climate and ecological emergency and to create a better and healthier planet. That’s what we’re here to support people with.”

Perch Eco-Business Centre is a coworking and business support hub with sustainability at its core. It’s the first non-domestic property in the UK to achieve the Passivhaus Plus standard for energy efficiency, meaning it is carbon neutral and self-sufficient.

Community Manager Lucy Wendon and the team are committed to supporting local businesses that are ethical and sustainable whilst providing a collaborative, supportive and eco-friendly workspace. The strong sense of community fosters opportunities for networking, working partnerships and growth.

Lucy said: “We are absolutely passionate about business that does good and it’s so important now that companies make a sincere effort to protect the areas they operate in. Within our coworking community, we always encourage one another to become better and be accountable for this - for instance, we’re keen to motivate members to use sustainable modes of transport when commuting to the hub and engage with locals within walking or cycling distance.”

Perch is operated by Town Square Spaces (TownSq), a growing network of like-minded hubs across England and Wales and certified B-Corp member. It’s an organisation with an aim to leave the world in a better state than it was when it was founded, using business as a force for good, and it’s also a proud member of the Better Business Act coalition.

Lucy said: “Being a B-Corp, for us, means making valuable contributions to local economies in areas in need of a boost, championing entrepreneurship and improving opportunities for local business people, and having the minimal possible impact on the environment when setting up and operating coworking spaces.”

Read more - Jennings becomes first first business park manager to become a B Corp


Sam is the Regional Editor of Biz News, responsible for both Hampshire and Dorset.

A new recruit to journalism, Sam started writing for the Business Magazine as a freelancer in May of 2022 after completing his degree in English at University College London. His passion for local businesses and ability to tell a story soon caught the attention of the publication’s management team and have led to his meteoric rise.

Sam, who lives in central Reading, takes a particular interest in technology, gaming and food and drink, having been a chef before starting his degree.

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