Oxford, United KingdomOxford, United Kingdom
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Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Sustainabus converts decommissioned city buses into renewably powered guest hoses operating on off-grid sites with on-site waste and water facilities.

The project will operate as a holiday destination for guest to learn about renewable technology and have fun!

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is currently little environmental or social initiative within the Hospitality and Tourism sector, furthermore there are few places where individuals can 'live in' and experience how renewably powered home can work and why it works. Additionally, there is a need for more community buildings to be powered by renewable energy sources to reduce carbon foot print and familiarise residents with the technology, and reduce community overheads.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Each Sustainabus site will be completely carbon neutral and environmentally positive. Guests will have the opportunity to engage and learn about the project; how it works and why it works. This is to promote understanding through experience, empowering guest to have the knowledge and confidence to make positive environmental changes in their lives. The project will run as a not-for-profit, where all profits go into the Sustainabus Trust, which will provide free renewable solutions for community buildings and centres, to increase the projects impact; to familiarising residents with renewable technology, and, importantly reducing the overheads on community spaces, facilitating space for individual and community growth and development.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The Sustainabus sites will be around 1.5 acres and house upto 6 buses, each independently powered to provide light, heat, 240v socket, toilets, showers and cooking facilities. Paying guests can stay on a bus and enjoy the site facilities including wood-burning hot tubs, lake lounging & swimming, and exploring the local countryside. Just by staying on the site they will have a positive environmental impact by not staying at a non-environmentally friendly destination. While on site guests can learn how the technology works, how the food is grown on site or locally sourced, and how they can make a difference in their everyday lives, ultimately how guest can make their lives more sustainable, empowering individuals to make positive change.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

At currently the project does not exist. We are currently searching for the finance to create the first prototype bus and then the first operating site. The project now only requires financial backing to start as all plans, designs and partnerships with local carbon-neutral groups and a renewables contractor (SunStore: providing the solar panels) are in place. Once operating the site will offer a green alternative for a holiday destination in the UK and a site for guest to learn how they can continue to have a positive environmental impact when they return home. The impact will also be through the Sustainabus Trust, where we can increase the impact of environmental impact making community centres greener and more financially accessible for the community. The impact will increase as the project expands onto more UK sites and into Europe.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Financial sustainability will come from the revenue generated by operating as a holiday destination. Once established the project will be fully financially sustainable, requiring no further grants. The finance forecast has been generated looking at the Glamping holiday industry and average occupancy percentages, the average market value of a nights stay in similar holiday accommodation and the operational and expansion costs of the project.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The environmental problem is being addressed by Low carbon initiatives around the UK who offer advice on the technology available and how to make lifestyle changes for a more sustainable lifestyle. Sustainabus aims to do all of this in a more 'hands on' approach which has been key to the success of past projects run by Ben. Furthermore, there are very few carbon-neutral hospitality sites in the UK, and by increasing the number of carbon-neutral holiday destinations in the UK and Europe it will mean more holidays can be environmentally positive. There is no existing solar charity in the UK.

Founding Story

The idea started as both team members we struct by the length of time it would take to save for a mortgage deposit in the UK. While on a bus Ben was struct by the amount of space available, after some investigation, computer design and costing, the team realised it was possible to create a fully functioning home form recycling a decommissioned bus which could be powered on solar panels to provide all the comforts of a 'normal' home! This idea progressed after attending the OxJam 2013 conference and discovering that there was a need for more social enterprise in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. So, from a practical housing solution, it turned into a guest house, where guests can have fun and enjoy carbon free fun and adventure!
About You
About You
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About Your Organization
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Organization Country

, OXF, Oxford

Country where this project is creating social impact

, OXF, Oxford

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Member of the EP hospitality magazine EP-IC, for entrepreneurs

Nutrients For All
Where do you ensure the availability of nutrients?

Healthy environments., Full nourishment foods, Human wellness and vitality.

If you had greater capacity, which additional sectors would you like your solution to target - either through expansion, partnership, or thought exchange?

Nutrient-rich farming.

How specifically would this added capacity help you improve the quality, efficiency, or sustainability of your existing product or service?

The project plans to operate by creating carbon-free destinations for guests to see how renewable technology works and how food is sourced on site on the market garden. The project doesn't plan to scale to include farming, instead promotes individuals becoming empowered to source their own renewable solutions to energy and independent sustainable source of food by growing their own (the focus of a previous project of Ben's: Student Vegetable Diaries (an on-line resource of simple videos demonstrating how to grow your own vegetables in small urban spaces and workshops in Oxford)