Case Study

Biosphere Foundation

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The South West Business Council (SWBC) recently supported the Biosphere Foundation to launch their online trading platform for nature-based solutions, by facilitating key introductions with local authorities, corporate clients, and regional education providers.

The Biosphere Foundation is the non-profit trading arm of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere, which works to generate natural capital economics opportunities for the South West, nationally and internationally. Natural capital economics refers to the blending of public and private finance, to implement solutions that positively impact on the environment and climate. These projects are designed to create a tradable ecosystem service, orientated around community prosperity and generating local jobs.

Through a new online trading platform, produced in partnership with Siemens, the Biosphere Foundation has created a means for farmers to connect with project funding and platform customers, to collect carbon credits as part of a natural capital marketplace.

The SWBC introduced the Biosphere Foundation to unitary authorities in Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset to aid the roll out of the platform and, in turn, benefit landowners in the larger South West region.

The SWBC also arranged partnerships with leading education providers including Petroc College, the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth, to generate knowledge transformation opportunities and stimulate innovation pathways.

As a result of the key business introductions enabled through SWBC, the Biosphere Foundation has been able to generate a pipeline of customers for carbon offsets and biodiversity net gain credits. These business relationships have led to measurable growth, with projected further scaling, and expansion into other geographies, opening up the Biosphere Foundation’s market by 400%. The project has also led to a three year strategic sponsorship deal with Siemens, valuing at half a million pounds.

As well as connecting the Biosphere Foundation with corporate business opportunities, SWBC has also provided valuable intel on local landowners and suppliers, to contribute towards the organisation’s vision of supporting a circular economy and localised supply chains.

Robert Passmore, Commercial Lead at the Biosphere Foundation said: “Our partnership with the South West Business Council has set an entirely new standard. Paul and the team are engaged and proactive in supporting us.

“Whilst the Biosphere Foundation has ambitions on an international scale, a lot of the important work we do is based in the South West. The South West Business Council’s extensive network of contacts at a senior level have enabled us to enhance the reach of our work. This has had a profound impact on our development journey in terms of bringing strategic partners together and providing access to our customers.” 

Paul Coles, CEO of the South West Business Council, said: “Our relationship with the Biosphere Foundation is incredibly valuable to us, as the SWBC are passionate advocates for protecting the environment and generating economic growth in the South West. 

“We aim to support our partners and members by creating valuable business connections across the region, to exploit our natural capital and provide innovative and sustainable contributions towards Net Zero goals. 

“The Biosphere Foundation’s trading platform project nurtures prosperity and connects the South West as part of a larger international natural marketplace.”

To find out more about South West Business Council membership, please visit:

To find out more about the Biosphere Foundation, please visit:

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