All go for Gaia! Five-fold increase in numbers for the UK's first sustainable membership card – DorsetBizNews – Dorset Biz News

A sixfold increase in the number of people holding the UK’s first sustainable membership card has been hailed as a “massive breakthrough” by its co-founders.
ResLifeBU is providing the Gaia card to 3,612 new Bournemouth University students in 11 halls of residence across Bournemouth and Poole.

The card, launched officially by Matt Cosier and Nick Cooper only 18 months ago, will be rolled out from later this week.
It will boost Gaia’s membership to 4,300 from just under 700 previously.
They’ll have access to 97 hand-picked partners ranging from coffee shops and restaurants to door-to-door delivery services and health and nutrition brands.
The membership scheme connects customers with sustainable businesses while supporting reforestation.

Matt, pictured left, Gaia’s CEO, said: “It’s a massive breakthrough for us.
“It means that every single student in the new intake at Bournemouth University will have a Gaia card.
“Things are really kicking off now and we’re blown away by this.”

Nick, 28, pictured right, Gaia’s Head of Partners, added: “I’m really excited that all new students coming to BU this year will have access to the Gaia platform.
“There’s a great variety of ethical brands they can start using from day one at university.”
ResLifeBU decided to adopt Gaia after sustainability roadshows were held at different halls to educate the students about sustainability and recycling.
Matt, 30, said: “They told us ‘we love what you’re doing and would love to come onboard.
“ResLifeBU said they were thinking about doing their own discount card but it made sense to combine with Gaia.”
Sam Glyn-Jones, ResLifeBU Officer at Bournemouth University, said: “Gaia is just what we’re looking for, and more.

“ResLifeBU, being a student experience department at Bournemouth University, regularly looks for opportunities to integrate students into the local community, and in a way that engages them with exciting, adventurous, environmentally-focused, and unique social opportunities.
“Gaia has it all and we are very excited about this partnership.”

Described as a new way to enjoy goods and services from eco-friendly independent and local businesses – and give back to the planet at the same time – Gaia is now responsible for planting 39,825 trees since its inception.
Card holders receive a membership login for the Gaia website and a sustainable birch, bamboo or cherry membership card or key fob.
The site – – features the latest partner discounts and special offers.
Members tap the Gaia card onto their mobile device.

They search for an offer and, once selected, can save money but also earn loyalty points and rewards.
In return Gaia will plant five trees a month for each member through a gold standard charity.
The Gaia Forest is being created in partnership with Eden Reforestation.
Gaia is run by a seven-strong team, including three full-timers, and plans to also launch in Brighton, Bristol and Southampton.
In March it received a £2,500 grant after winning a contest aimed at discovering a new generation of eco entrepreneurs.
Bournemouth University launched the Eco-Entrepreneurship Fund in partnership with Santander Universities UK to seek out and support fledgling businesses with an environmental benefit.
Eight businesses were awarded grants of between £500 and £2,500 with Gaia named as the overall winner.

Speaking at the time, Matt, who completed both his BSc in Business and Management and MSc in Marketing Management at BU, said: “It really is an honour to win the Eco-Entrepreneurs Award.
“The businesses we went up against were amazing.
“It really does give me hope about the future to learn of so many revolutionary ideas and impactful businesses.
“This is just the start for Gaia.”
The funding was provided by Santander and BU.
The winners also had the opportunity to get business support from the Bournemouth University Social Entrepreneurs Forum (BUSEF).
Card membership costs £40 annually or £3.49 monthly for students and £4.49 per month for standard membership.
Ten per cent of all Gaia’s profits are donated to community projects.
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