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The ecological footprint is a method promoted by the
Global Footprint Network Global Footprint Network, founded in 2003, is an independent think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Resear ...
to measure human demand on
natural capital on "natural capital" and "balancing the budget of our resources" File:Fires along the Rio Xingu, Brazil - NASA Earth Observatory.jpg, Fires along the Rio Xingu, Brazil - NASA Earth Observatory. Loss of natural capital assets may have significant ...
, i.e. the quantity of nature it takes to support people or an economy. It tracks this demand through an ecological accounting system. The accounts contrast the biologically productive area people use for their consumption to the biologically productive area available within a region or the world (
biocapacity The biocapacity or biological capacity of an ecosystem is an estimate of its production of certain biological materials such as natural resources, and its absorption and filtering of other materials such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. B ...
, the productive area that can regenerate what people demand from nature). In short, it is a measure of
human impact on the environment Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical environments A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism In biology, an organism (from An ...
. Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, regional, national or global scale. Both footprint and biocapacity change every year with number of people, per person consumption, efficiency of production, and productivity of ecosystems. At a global scale, footprint assessments show how big humanity's demand is compared to what Earth can renew. Global Footprint Network estimates that, as of 2014, humanity has been using
natural capital on "natural capital" and "balancing the budget of our resources" File:Fires along the Rio Xingu, Brazil - NASA Earth Observatory.jpg, Fires along the Rio Xingu, Brazil - NASA Earth Observatory. Loss of natural capital assets may have significant ...
1.7 times as fast as Earth can renew it, which they describe as meaning humanity's ecological footprint corresponds to 1.7 planet Earths.Lin, D; Hanscom, L; Murthy, A; Galli, A; Evans, M; Neill, E; Mancini, MS; Martindill, J; Medouar, F-Z; Huang, S; Wackernagel, M. (2018). "Ecological Footprint Accounting for Countries: Updates and Results of the National Footprint Accounts, 2012–2018". ''Resources''. 7(3): 58. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7030058 Ecological footprint analysis is widely used around the world in support of
sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. For many, sustainability is ...

sustainability
assessments. It enables people to measure and manage the use of resources throughout the economy and explore the sustainability of individual
lifestyle Lifestyle often refers to: * Lifestyle (sociology), the way a person lives * ''Otium'', ancient Roman concept of a lifestyle * Style of life (german: Lebensstil), dealing with the dynamics of personality Lifestyle may also refer to: Business and ...
s,
goods and services Goods are items that are usually (but not always) tangible According to the philosopher Piyush Mathur (2017), "''Tangibility is the property that a phenomenon exhibits if it has and/or transports mass and/or energy and/or momentum". Mathur, P ...
, organizations,
industry sector Industry classification or industry taxonomy is a type of economic taxonomy An economic taxonomy is a system of classification of economic activity, including products, companies and industries. Some economists believe that the study of economic po ...
s, neighborhoods, cities, regions and nations.


Overview

The first academic publication about ecological footprints was by William Rees in 1992. The ecological footprint concept and calculation method was developed as the PhD dissertation of
Mathis Wackernagel Mathis Wackernagel is a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss-system tournament, in various games an ...
, under Rees' supervision at the
University of British Columbia The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public university, public research university with campuses near Vancouver and in Kelowna, British Columbia. Established in 1908, UBC is British Columbia's oldest university. The university ranks a ...

University of British Columbia
in Vancouver, Canada, from 1990 to 1994. Originally, Wackernagel and Rees called the concept "appropriated carrying capacity". To make the idea more accessible, Rees came up with the term "ecological footprint", inspired by a computer technician who praised his new computer's "small footprint on the desk". In 1996, Wackernagel and Rees published the book ''Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth''.Wackernagel, M. and W. Rees. 1996. ''Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth''. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers. . The simplest way to define ecological footprint is the amount of the environment necessary to produce the goods and services necessary to support a particular lifestyle. The model is a means of comparing consumption and lifestyles, and checking this against
biocapacity The biocapacity or biological capacity of an ecosystem is an estimate of its production of certain biological materials such as natural resources, and its absorption and filtering of other materials such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. B ...
. The tool can inform policy by examining to what extent a nation uses more (or less) than is available within its territory, or to what extent the nation's lifestyle would be replicable worldwide. The footprint can also be a useful tool to educate people about
overconsumption Overconsumption describes a situation where the use of a natural resource has exceeded the Sustainable yield, sustainable capacity of a system. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to the eventual loss of resource bases. The term overconsu ...
, with the aim of altering personal behavior. Ecological footprints may be used to argue that many current lifestyles are not
sustainable Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered nam ...

sustainable
. Country-by-country comparisons show the inequalities of resource use on this planet. The GHG footprint or the more narrow
carbon footprint A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent Global warming potential (GWP) is the heat absorbed by any greenhou ...

carbon footprint
are a component of the ecological footprint. Often, when only the carbon footprint is reported, it is expressed in weight of

(or CO2e representing GHG warming potential (GGWP)), but it can also be expressed in land areas like ecological footprints. Both can be applied to products, people or whole societies.


Methodology

The focus of ecological footprint accounting is renewable resources. The total amount of such resources which the planet produces according to this model has been dubbed biocapacity. Ecological footprints can be calculated at any scale: for an activity, a person, a community, a city, a town, a region, a nation, or humanity as a whole. Footprint values are categorized for carbon, food, housing, goods and services. This approach can be applied to an activity such as the manufacturing of a product or driving of a car. This resource accounting is similar to
life-cycle analysis Life cycle assessment or LCA (also known as life cycle analysis) is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. For instance, in the case of ...
wherein the consumption of
energy In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regula ...

energy
,
biomass Biomass is plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position ...

biomass
(
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vi ...

food
,
fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including ...

fiber
),
building material Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-mad ...

building material
,
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
and other
resources Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified into renewable A renewable resource, also know ...
are converted into a normalized measure of land area called
global hectare The global hectare (gha) is a measurement unit for the ecological footprint of people or activities and the biocapacity of the earth or its regions. One global hectare is the world's annual amount of biological production for human use and human was ...
s (gha). Since 2003,
Global Footprint Network Global Footprint Network, founded in 2003, is an independent think tank A think tank, or policy institute, is a research institute A research institute, research centre, or research center is an establishment founded for doing research. Resear ...
has calculated the ecological footprint from UN data sources for the world as a whole and for over 200 nations (known as the National Footprint Accounts). The total footprint number of Earths needed to sustain the world's population at that level of consumption are also calculated. Every year the calculations are updated to the latest year with complete UN statistics. The time series are also recalculated with every update since UN statistics sometimes correct historical data sets. Results are available on an open data platform. Lin ''et al.'' (2018) finds that the trends for countries and the world have stayed consistent despite data updates. Also, a recent study by the Swiss Ministry of Environment independently recalculated the Swiss trends and reproduced them within 1–4% for the time period that they studied (1996–2015). Since 2006, a first set of ecological footprint standards exist that detail both communication and calculation procedures. The latest version are the updated standards from 2009. The ecological footprint accounting method at the national level is described on the website of Global Footprint Network or in greater detail in academic papers, including Borucke ''et al.'' The National Accounts Review Committee has published a research agenda on how to improve the accounts.


Footprint measurements

For 2017 Global Footprint Network estimated humanity's ecological footprint as 1.73 planet Earths. According to their calculations this means that humanity's demands were 1.73 times more than what the planet's ecosystems renewed. In 2007, the average biologically productive area per person worldwide was approximately 1.8
global hectare The global hectare (gha) is a measurement unit for the ecological footprint of people or activities and the biocapacity of the earth or its regions. One global hectare is the world's annual amount of biological production for human use and human was ...
s (gha) per capita. The
U.S. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all ...

U.S.
footprint per capita was 9.0 gha, and that of
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
was 5.6 gha, while
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
's was 1.8 gha.Chambers, N. et al. (2004) ''Scotland’s Footprint''. Best Foot Forward. . The WWF claims that the human footprint has exceeded the
biocapacity The biocapacity or biological capacity of an ecosystem is an estimate of its production of certain biological materials such as natural resources, and its absorption and filtering of other materials such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. B ...
(the available supply of natural resources) of the planet by 20%. Wackernagel and Rees originally estimated that the available biological capacity for the 6 billion people on Earth at that time was about 1.3 hectares per person, which is smaller than the 1.8 global hectares published for 2006, because the initial studies neither used global hectares nor included bioproductive marine areas. According to the 2018 edition of the ''National footprint accounts'', humanity's total ecological footprint has exhibited an increasing trend since 1961, growing an average of 2.1% per year (SD= 1.9). Humanity's ecological footprint was 7.0 billion gha in 1961 and increased to 20.6 billion gha in 2014. The world-average ecological footprint in 2014 was 2.8 global hectares per person. The carbon footprint is the fastest growing part of the ecological footprint and accounts currently for about 60% of humanity's total ecological footprint. The Earth's biocapacity has not increased at the same rate as the ecological footprint. The increase of biocapacity averaged at only 0.5% per year (SD = 0.7). Because of agricultural intensification, biocapacity was at 9.6 billion gha in 1961 and grew to 12.2 billion gha in 2016. According to Wackernagel and his organisation, the Earth has been in " overshoot", where humanity is using more resources and generating waste at a pace that the ecosystem cannot renew, since the 1970s. In 2018,
Earth Overshoot Day Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity's resource consumption Resource consumption is about the consumption (economics), consumption of non-renewable resource, non-renewable, or less often, renewab ...
, the date where humanity has used more from nature than the planet can renew in the entire year, was estimated to be August 1. In 2020, because of reduction in resource demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Earth Overshoot Day was delayed to August 22. Now more than 85% of humanity lives in countries that run an ecological deficit. According to Rees, "the average world citizen has an eco-footprint of about 2.7 global average hectares while there are only 2.1 global hectare of bioproductive land and water per capita on earth. This means that humanity has already overshot global biocapacity by 30% and now lives unsustainabily by depleting stocks of 'natural capital'."


Footprint by country

The world-average ecological footprint in 2013 was 2.8 global hectares per person. The average per country ranges from over 10 to under 1 global hectares per person. There is also a high variation within countries, based on individual lifestyle and economic possibilities. The
Western Australia Western Australia (abbreviated as WA) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Western Australia
n government State of the Environment Report included an Ecological Footprint measure for the average Western Australian seven times the average footprint per person on the planet in 2007, a total of about 15 hectares. The figure (right) examines sustainability at the scale of individual countries by contrasting their Ecological Footprint with their UN
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
(a measure of standard of living). The graph shows what is necessary for countries to maintain an acceptable standard of living for their citizens while, at the same time, maintaining sustainable resource use. The general trend is for higher standards of living to become less sustainable. As always,
population growth Population growth is the increase in the number of people in a population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size ...
has a marked influence on levels of consumption and the efficiency of resource use. The sustainability goal is to raise the global standard of living without increasing the use of resources beyond globally sustainable levels; that is, to not exceed "one planet" consumption. The information generated by reports at the national, regional and city scales confirm the global trend towards societies that are becoming less sustainable over time.


Studies in the United Kingdom

The UK's average ecological footprint is 5.45
global hectare The global hectare (gha) is a measurement unit for the ecological footprint of people or activities and the biocapacity of the earth or its regions. One global hectare is the world's annual amount of biological production for human use and human was ...
s per capita (gha) with variations between regions ranging from 4.80 gha (Wales) to 5.56 gha (East England).
BedZED Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED) is an environmentally friendly Environment friendly processes, or environmental-friendly processes (also referred to as eco-friendly, nature-friendly, and green), are sustainability Sustainab ...

BedZED
, a 96-home
mixed-income housing The definition of mixed-income housing is broad and encompasses many types of dwellings and neighborhoods. Following Brophy and Smith, the following will discuss “non-organic” examples of mixed-income housing, meaning “a deliberate effort to c ...
development in South
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
, was designed by Bill Dunster Architects and sustainability consultants BioRegional for the
Peabody Trust The Peabody Trust was founded in 1862 as the Peabody Donation Fund and now brands itself simply as Peabody.
. Despite being populated by relatively average people, BedZED was found to have a footprint of 3.20 gha (not including visitors), due to on-site renewable energy production, energy-efficient architecture, and an extensive green lifestyles program that included London's first
carsharing Carsharing or car sharing (AU, NZ, CA, TH, & US) or car clubs (UK) is a model of car rental A car rental, hire car, or car hire agency is a company that s for short periods of time, generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. It is o ...

carsharing
club.
Findhorn Ecovillage Findhorn Ecovillage is an experimental architectural community project based at The Park, in Moray, Scotland, near the village of Findhorn.Local relations between the Findhorn Foundation and the village of Findhorn have occasionally foundered ove ...
, a rural
intentional community An intentional community is a voluntary residential community A residential community is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a ...
in
Moray Moray ( ; sco, Moray; gd, Moireibh or ') is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland. It lies in the north-east of the country, with a coastline on the Moray Firth, and borders the council areas of Aberdeenshire and Highland ( ...

Moray
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, had a total footprint of 2.56 gha, including both the many guests and visitors who travel to the community. However, the residents alone had a footprint of 2.71 gha, a little over half the UK national average and one of the lowest ecological footprints of any community measured so far in the industrialized world. Keveral Farm, an organic farming community in Cornwall, was found to have a footprint of 2.4 gha, though with substantial differences in footprints among community members.


Ecological footprint at the individual level

In a 2012 study of consumers acting 'green' vs. 'brown' (where green people are "expected to have significantly lower ecological impact than 'brown' consumers"), the conclusion was "the research found no significant difference between the carbon footprints of green and brown consumers". A 2013 study concluded the same.


Reviews and critiques

Early criticism was published by van den Bergh and Verbruggen in 1999, which was updated in 2014. Their colleague Fiala published similar criticism in 2008. A comprehensive review commissioned by the
Directorate-General for the Environment (European Commission) The Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) is a Directorate-General Within the European Union, directorates-general are departments of the European Union government with specific zones of responsibility, the equivalent of Ministry (govern ...
was published in June 2008. The European Commission's review found the concept unique and useful for assessing progress on the EU’s Resource Strategy. They also recommended further improvements in data quality, methodologies and assumptions. Blomqvist ''et al''. published a critical paper in 2013. It led to a reply from Rees and Wackernagel (2013), and a rejoinder by Blomqvist ''et al.'' (2013). An additional strand of critique is from Giampietro and Saltelli (2014),Giampietro, M. Saltelli A. (2014a): Footprint to nowhere, Ecological Indicators 46: 610–621. with a reply from Goldfinger et al., 2014, and a rejoinder by Giampietro and Saltelli (2014). A joint paper authored by the critical researchers (Giampietro and Saltelli) and proponents (various Global Footprint Network researchers) summarised the terms of the controversy in a paper published by the journal Ecological indicators. Additional comments were offered by van den Bergh and Grazi (2015). A number of national government agencies have performed collaborative or independent research to test the reliability of the ecological footprint accounting method and its results. They have largely confirmed the accounts' results; those who reproduced the assessment generating near-identical results. Such reviews include those of Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and the European Commission. Global Footprint Network has summarized methodological limitations and criticism in a comprehensive report available on its website. Some researchers have misinterpreted ecological footprint accounting as a social theory or a policy guideline, while in reality it is merely a metric that adds up human demands that compete for the planet's regenerative capacity. Examples of such confusions include Grazi ''et al.'' (2007) who performed a systematic comparison of the ecological footprint method with spatial welfare analysis that includes environmental
externalities In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plan ...

externalities
, agglomeration effects and trade advantages. Not recognizing that the ecological footprint is merely a metric, they conclude that the footprint method does not lead to maximum social welfare. Similarly,
Newman Newman is a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical ...
(2006) has argued that the ecological footprint concept may have an anti-urban bias, as it does not consider the opportunities created by urban growth. He argues that calculating the ecological footprint for densely populated areas, such as a city or small country with a comparatively large population—e.g. New York and Singapore respectively—may lead to the perception of these populations as "parasitic". But in reality, ecological footprints just document the resource dependence of cities—like a fuel gauge documents a car's fuel availability. Newman questions the metric because these communities have little intrinsic biocapacity, and instead must rely upon large ''
hinterland Hinterland is a German word meaning "the land behind" (a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encycl ...

hinterland
s''. Critics argue that this is a dubious characterization since farmers in developed nations may easily consume more resources than urban inhabitants, due to transportation requirements and the unavailability of
economies of scale In microeconomics Microeconomics is a branch of mainstream economics Mainstream economics is the body of knowledge, theories, and models of economics, as taught by universities worldwide, that are generally accepted by economists as a basis ...

economies of scale
. Furthermore, such moral conclusions seem to be an argument for
autarky Autarky is the characteristic of self-sufficiency Self-sustainability and self-sufficiency are overlapping states of being in which a person or organization needs little or no help from, or interaction with, others. Self-sufficiency entails th ...
. This is similar to blaming a scale for the user's dietary choices. Some even take this train of thought a step further, claiming that the footprint denies the benefits of trade. Therefore such critics argue that the footprint can only be applied globally. Others have made the opposite argument showing that national assessments do provide helpful insights. Since this metric tracks biocapacity, the replacement of original ecosystems with high-productivity agricultural
monoculture In agriculture, monoculture is the practice of growing one crop species in a field at a time. Monoculture is widely used in intensive farming and in organic farming: both a 1,000-acre cornfield and a 10-hectare field of organic kale are monocult ...
s can lead to attributing a higher biocapacity to such regions. For example, replacing ancient woodlands or tropical forests with monoculture forests or plantations may therefore decrease the ecological footprint. Similarly if
organic farming Organic farming is an agricultural system that uses fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure Animal manure is often a mixture of animal feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable.">stable.html" ;"title="feces and ...
yields were lower than those of conventional methods, this could result in the former being "penalized" with a larger ecological footprint. Complementary
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
indicators attempt to address this. The WWF's
Living Planet Report The ''Living Planet Report'' is published every 2 years by the World Wide Fund for Nature The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization An international non-governmental organization (INGO) is an ...
combines the footprint calculations with the Living Planet Index of biodiversity. A modified ecological footprint that takes biodiversity into account has been created for use in Australia.


See also

*
Biocapacity The biocapacity or biological capacity of an ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through ...
*
Carbon footprint A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent Global warming potential (GWP) is the heat absorbed by any greenhou ...

Carbon footprint
*
Dependency theory Dependency theory is of the notion that resources flow from a "Periphery countries, periphery" of poor and Developing country, underdeveloped states to a "Core countries, core" of Developed country, wealthy states, enriching the latter at the ex ...

Dependency theory
*
Earth Overshoot Day Earth Overshoot Day (EOD) is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity's resource consumption Resource consumption is about the consumption (economics), consumption of non-renewable resource, non-renewable, or less often, renewab ...
formerly also called Ecological Debt Day *
Ecological economics Ecological economics, bioeconomics, ecolonomy, eco-economics, or ecol-econ is both a transdisciplinary Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic Holism (from Ancient Gre ...
*
Ecosystem valuation Ecosystem valuation is an economic process which assigns a value (either monetary, biophysical, or other) to an ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. ...
*
Environmental impact assessment Environmental assessment (EA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term "environmental impact asse ...
* Greenhouse debt *
Greenhouse gas emissions accounting Greenhouse gas inventories are emission inventory, emission inventories of greenhouse gas emissions that are developed for a variety of reasons. Scientists use inventories of natural and human impact on the environment, anthropogenic (human-caus ...
*
Happy Planet Index The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index Index may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Fictional entities * Index (''A Certain Magical Index''), a character in the light novel series ''A Certain Magical Index'' * The Index, an item on a ...
* Human Footprint *
Life cycle assessment Life cycle assessment or LCA (also known as life cycle analysis) is a methodology for assessing environmental impacts associated with all the stages of the life cycle of a commercial product, process, or service. For instance, in the case of ...
*
List of countries by ecological footprint This is a list of countries by ecological footprint. The table is based on data spanning from 1961 to 2013 from the Global Footprint Network's National Footprint Accounts published in 2016. Numbers are given in global hectares per capita. The wo ...
* Netherlands fallacy * ''
Our Common Future __NOTOC__ ''Our Common Future'', also known as the Brundtland Report, was published on October 1987 by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and internation ...
'' *
Overshoot (population) In environmental science, the concept of overshoot means demand in excess of regeneration. It can apply to animal populations and people. Environmental science studies to what extent human populations through their resource consumption have risen a ...
* Physical balance of trade *
Simon–Ehrlich wagerThe Simon–Ehrlich wager was a 1980 scientific wager between business professor Julian Lincoln Simon, Julian L. Simon and biologist Paul R. Ehrlich, Paul Ehrlich, betting on a mutually agreed-upon measure of Natural resource, resource scarcity over ...
*
Social metabolism Social metabolism or socioeconomic metabolism is the set of Stock and flow, flows of material flow, materials and energy flow (ecology), energy that occur between nature and society, between different societies, and within societies. These human-c ...
* ''
The Limits to Growth ''The Limits to Growth'' (''LTG'') is a 1972 report on the exponential Economic growth, economic and population growth with a finite supply of resources, studied by computer simulation. The study used the World3 computer model to simulate the c ...
'' *
Water footprint A water footprint shows the extent of water use in relation to consumption by people. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of fresh water Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occur ...


References


Further reading

* Rees, W. E. and M. Wackernagel (1994) Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: Measuring the natural capital requirements of the human economy, in Jansson, A. ''et al.'' ''Investing in Natural Capital: The Ecological Economics Approach to Sustainability''. Washington D.C.:Island Press. * * Lenzen, M. and Murray, S. A. 2003. ''The Ecological Footprint – Issues and Trends''
ISA Research Paper 01-03
* Chambers, N., Simmons, C. and Wackernagel, M. (2000), ''Sharing Nature's Interest: Ecological Footprints as an Indicator of Sustainability''. Earthscan, London (see also http://www.ecologicalfootprint.com) * *


External links


WWF "Living Planet Report"
a biannual calculation of national and global footprints

a quarterly calculation of city footprints in Canada *
US Environmental Footprint Factsheet
'
Interview with Bill Rees
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ecological Footprint Sustainability metrics and indices Economic indicators Waste minimisation Human impact on the environment Human ecology Ecological economics Environmental social science concepts Environmental terminology