From educating villagers in India to helping shape sustainability policy for multinational corporations, Global Footprint Network has had far-reaching impact since its inception more than a decade ago.
Private sector leaders around the world have turned to our data to raise sustainability awareness with internal and external stakeholders.
Google Environmental Report
“Humanity is using natural resources at an astonishing rate,” Google notes in its first comprehensive Environmental Report, released at the end of 2016. In a section titled “Addressing a global challenge,” Google cites Global Footprint Network data from Earth Overshoot Day: “In 2015, global demand for resources was equivalent to 1.5 times what the earth can support in one year.” Kate Brandt, Google’s lead for sustainability, spoke about Earth Overshoot Day at SXSW Eco in 2016 (see 11:50 – 13:00).
A new five-year sustainability program launched in June 2016 by Royal Philips was inspired by Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Footprint-UN Human Development Index (HDI) framework, as included in WWF International’s Living Planet Report. As noted on Philips’ website, the company developed its sustainability program based on two dimensions: 1) social dimension (HDI) and 2) ecological dimension (Footprint).
Global Footprint Network participated in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Vision 2050 project by creating a scenario calculator that helped business leaders run the numbers on various ecological scenarios and solutions. Vision 2050 identified the scope of ecological challenges the corporate sector will face in the coming years and outlined a pathway for achieving a sustainable world by 2050. The project involved the participation of companies such as Boeing, Syngenta, Weyerhauser, Procter & Gamble, Alcoa, Duke Energy, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
“I continue to use Global Footprint Network’s numbers more than any other (except perhaps 2 degrees).”
STEVE HOWARD, Former Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA
Our Work with WWF
We have been working with World Wildlife Fund for more than a decade to support its mission: To stop the degradation of our planet's natural environment, and build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.
Footprint and Biodiversity
In order to achieve its mission, WWF broadly focuses its efforts on two broad areas: 1) Biodiversity – to ensure that the Earth web of life stays healthy and vibrant for generations to come; and 2) Footprint – reducing the negative impacts of human activity – our Ecological Footprint – and that the use of natural resources required for life are managed sustainably and equitably.
Every two years, Global Footprint Network, WWF, and the Zoological Society of London publish the Living Planet Report, the world’s leading science-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity. Global Footprint Network has collaborated with WWF on the biennial Living Planet Report since 2000. The 2016 report shows that humanity’s overexploitation of ecological resources is directly contributing to a 67 percent plunge in wild vertebrate populations forecast for the 50-year period ending in 2020.
“When I was working on the earliest environmental conventions to protect ecosystems, it was clear that to succeed we had to bring back nature into people’s minds and hearts. But in spite of our efforts, and impressive successes, we have not succeeded enough. Ecosystems are becoming ever more strained, yet we run our economies as if it doesn’t matter. This is why I am so taken by the simple yet powerful approach the Ecological Footprint offers any of us, from young people all the way to finance ministers. This is why I believe in Global Footprint Network’s work, and invite you to join it.”
Decision-makers turn to the Ecological Footprint to better understand resource needs, limits, and dependencies and guarantee citizens' well-being and economic prosperity.
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Education and Action
We inspire and mobilize individuals through education and advocacy campaigns, including Earth Overshoot Day and our Footprint Calculator.
More than 2 million people around the the world, including students and educators, use our calculator to measure their Ecological Footprint and learn more about what they can do to tread more lightly on the Earth. Global Footprint Network has built 17 versions of the calculator in nearly a dozen languages in order to serve as many people as possible worldwide. In August 2017, we launched a new mobile-friendly version of our calculator with updated data, methodology, and graphics.
Earth Overshoot Day is our annual campaign that marks the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the entire year. The campaign drew coverage from nearly 2,000 media outlets around the world in 2016, including major publications including USA Today, The Guardian, Le Monde, Les Echoes, The Hindu, and La Stampa.
“I’ve used the Footprint calculator in a mix of classes—undergrad and graduate and an ecology class for non-majors—to get students to think about how they impact the globe and its ecosystems. It’s very useful. Most people I know who teach ecology use it in some way.”
JOHN CALLAWAY, Professor and Graduate Program Director for MS in Environmental Management, University of San Francisco
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