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Ecological Footprint

About the Global Footprint Network
Our mission is to promote a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a measurement tool that makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers.

Advisory Council
E.O. Wilson
Manfred Max-Neef
Rhodri Morgan
Wangari Maathai
David Suzuki
Emil Salim
Julia Marton-Lefèvre
William E. Rees
Lester Brown
Jorgen Randers
M S Swaminathan
Daniel Pauly
Eric Garcetti
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Michael Meacher
Karl-Henrik Robèrt
Will Steffen
Dominique Voynet
Fabio Feldman
Oscar Arias
Herman E. Daly
Peter Raven
Mick Bourke
Norman Myers
Gus Speth

"In a world of shrinking resources, those who first recognize the need for sustainability and adopt appropriate strategies will succeed best in future global competition."

-Yves Manfrini, Union Bancaire Privée, Switzerland

Meet the Bookkeeper

Mathis Wackernagel talks about humanity's collective future in a recent interview on Treehugger.com. LISTEN or Read the transcript.

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait
Credit: Chris Jordan

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Artist Chris Jorgan's photos speak volumes. In Jordan's own words, the photographs portray "contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics."

Many of the images portray a specific quantity of something Americans consume: 8 million toothpicks, representing the number of trees harvested in the US every month to make the paper for mail order catalogs; 106,000 aluminum cans, reflecting "thirty seconds of can consumption," according to Jordan. The image above, for example, is a portion of Jordan's image of 426,000 cell phones, which he says is "equal to the number of cell phones retired in the US every day."

This series will be exhibited at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, opening Sep 8. More info at www.paulkopeikingallery.com.

BioRegional joins Global Footprint Network

  Sumeet Manchanda, BioRegional's International Programme Manager for One Planet Living Communities, and Carol DiBenedetto of Global Footprint Network
Global Footprint Network is thrilled to have BioRegional Development Group join us as one of our newest sponsoring partners. Bioregional develops innovative low-Footprint, locally-based commercial products such as hemp textiles and builds communities that are designed to help residents move toward a "one planet lifestyle." These One Planet Living Communities, such as the UK's BedZed eco-village, are paving the way for a transformation in how housing is developed around the world.

To kick off our partnership, Global Footprint Network provided BioRegional staff with an intensive 2-day technical training that will help them use the Ecological Footprint to analyze the performance of their One Planet Living Communities.

Learn More:
One Planet Living Newsletter
Becoming a Global Footprint Network partner
Our Partners

Best Foot Forward's Footprinter(TM) featured on BBC

Global Footprint Network partner Best Foot Forward was recently featured on the BBC's Working Lunch business program. The film features BFF Managing Director Nicky Chambers using Footprinter(TM), the consultancy's web-based Footprint calculator, to calculate the carbon 'footprint' of Dutchy Originals bakery.

View the program on-line
Download a free trial version of Footprinter(TM)

Utah: The First U.S. State to Measure Footprint

The Utah Population and Environment Coalition (UPEC) spearheaded the first effort to calculate the Ecological Footprint of a US state. The report, Utah Vital Signs 2007: the Ecological Footprint of Utah finds that Utah's Footprint is greater than its biocapacity. Between 1990 and 2003, Utah went from an ecological surplus of 10.8 million global hectares (gha) to an ecological deficit of 2.4 million gha; Utahns are now using 11% more regenerative capacity than is available in their state. Despite this evidence of local ecological overshoot, public response to the study has been mostly positive, says Sandra McIntyre, the project director. "As we take the results of the study into the community, we are pleased to see how many people in Utah are making changes in their lifestyles to become more sustainable."

Footprint Research and Applications Highlighted at First Academic Ecological Footprint Conference

This past May, leading Footprint practitioners, researchers, policy makers and end-users gathered in Wales for the first international academic Ecological Footprint conference. Hosted by the BRASS Centre at Cardiff University, the conference drew participants from around the world to learn about the latest research in Ecological Footprinting science as well as best-practices and innovative applications. Global Footprint Network presented two methodology papers: "A Research Agenda for Improving National Ecological Footprint Accounts" and "A 'Constant Global Hectare' Method for Representing Ecological Footprint Time Trends." The conference website is a great resource for Footprint researchers and other interested in reading the conference papers and summaries of the workshops and presentations. A full conference summary will be released in the fall of 2007.

National Accounts Public Comment Period Approaching

Our National Accounts, the database that calculates the Ecological Footprint data for 152 countries, and its underlying Ecological Footprint methodology are under continuous scientific review and improvement. The National Accounts Committee, comprised of members of Global Footprint Network partner organizations, has now completed proposed revisions to the methodology and will be opening a public comment period on September 1. Please watch our home page for more details. If you are interested in commenting on the proposed methodological changes, please write us at data@footprintnetwork.org.

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