New Footprint Standards Released

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06/01/2010 04:19 PM

Global Footprint Network is pleased to announce the release of the Ecological Footprint Standards 2009. This document builds on the first set of internationally recognized Ecological Footprint Standards, released in 2006, and includes key updates – such as, for the first time, providing guidelines and standards for product and organizational Footprint assessments.

The Standards have been designed to ensure that Footprint analyses are produced consistently and according to community-proposed best practices. They aim to certify that assessments are conducted and communicated in a way that is accurate and transparent, by providing Standards and Guidelines on such issues as use of source data, derivation of conversion factors, establishment of study boundaries, and communication of findings. The Standards are applicable to all Footprint studies, including sub-national populations, products, and organizations. Global Footprint Network asks that all Partners comply with the most recent Ecological Footprint Standards, in order to promote the quality and integrity of Ecological Footprint Accounting.

The Standards have been developed through a consensus, committee-based process by a Standards Committee drawn from representatives of academia, government, NGOs, and consulting firms. As an Associate Member of ISEAL Alliance, Global Footprint Network and the Standards Committee process is committed to the ISEAL Code of Ethics and Good Practice.

Among the key updates adopted in the Ecological Footprint Standards 2009:

• Standards and guidelines have been added for product and organizational Footprint assessments.
• The sub-national population Standards have been updated to more explicitly discuss the Standards-compliant use of input-output analysis.
• The document provides more detailed standards and guidelines on topics such as boundary setting and general communication principles.
• A Standard has been explicitly added to address the appropriate use of units in product Footprint analysis.
• The Standards have been expanded to allow for the use of non-conventional elements in Footprint analysis. A list of allowable non-conventional elements can be found in Appendix B.

Ensuring that Footprint assessments are both transparent and consistent will encourage adoption of the Ecological Footprint, increasing its effectiveness as a catalyst for a sustainable future.

Download the Ecological Footprint Standards 2009.

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