Guiding Principles

Graphic of the Blue Patch sustainable business network business model
Is it possible to run an ethical business that is also profitable?

We think so. After all, we at Blue Patch do just that.

Our Purpose
  • Guide consumers in their search for local businesses and encourage direct purchases to keep money in the local economy
  • Engage consumers in conversations around sustainability, low carbon lifestyles and ethical business
  • Promote and provide a network for sustainable SMEs in the UK and Ireland
  • Inform and reward circular and sustainable business development
  • Provide training through our LET’S DO NET ZER0 programme
Our Journey

We began researching our business model in 2009.

Our starting point was the dozens of conversations with potential consumers about the possibility of creating a space where finding local, sustainable and ethical businesses would be easy.

What we discovered was that everyone loved our idea of a local directory. A space that simplified connecting with and buying directly from sustainable, local brands was a new and intriguing idea.

We built our first directory in 2014. Six years later, in 2021, we launched a refreshed version of our original directory to reflect changing consumer and business needs.

Additionally, the directory and our mission go hand in hand with the needs of communities and the environment as well as stay true to our strong foundation and guiding principles.

What does success look like?
  • Consumers engaging with our members and our climate-positive outcomes
  • Members feeling proud of their achievements
  • To increase our renewable energy outcomes
  • A significant contribution to the low carbon, local economy
What does our Blue Patch model do?
  • We are a social enterprise and a company limited by guarantee with an asset lock
  • Membership subscriptions, patrons and sponsors fund our ongoing work
  • Wages are fair and competitive
  • 100% of our income is used to increase the visibility of our members, provide training, inform and engage consumers and invest into community-owned renewable energy
  • We generate positive outcomes with every revenue cycle
  • Blue Patch is non-partisan
  • Our mission is to support community and environment through our business
Our plan: 10 years to Net Zero

Trading is a fundamental part of human behaviour, but at present, much of trade prioritises profit over wellbeing, with a side effect of toxic waste streams and destruction of the natural world.

The collateral damage caused by business can no longer be written off.

There is an increasing awareness of dangerous practices: the decimation of rain forests in order to fill everyday products from soaps to margarine with palm oil, the use of fossil fuel fertilisers to maintain fertility of exhausted soil, mountains of waste caused by fast fashion and plastics, escalating carbon levels caused by transportation.

This can, and needs to change.

Done mindfully, trade binds our communities.

We at Blue Patch want to play a role in facilitating mindful trade by enriching consumers’ lives with beautiful and sustainable products and services. This requires looking at consumption through a different lens. Yes, sustainable products can cost more. However, the benefits far outweigh the cost.

We hope you enjoy browsing through our directory and engaging with us.

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