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RECYCLAPOLIS National Sustainability Award

Recyclápolis Foundation honored Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, co-founder and president of Global Footprint Network, with its National Sustainability Award “for his outstanding career and contributions to innovation and environment.” The ceremony was held Monday night in the Chilean capital Santiago in the presence of Undersecretary of the Environment Marcelo Mena.

As the evening’s keynote speaker, Wackernagel introduced the latest data on Chile’s natural resource constraints. Chile posted an ecological deficit for the first time ever in 2011, the latest date data is available, as its growing Ecological Footprint exceeded its declining renewable natural resources. Chile’s Ecological Footprint has been steadily growing over the years to reach 3.9 global hectares per person in 2011, according to the most recent data available.

In simple terms, Chile now requires 1.1 times what its ecosystems can provide to sustain its current consumption. Put differently, it would take 2.3 Earths to sustain humanity if everyone on the planet lived like the average Chilean.

Now in its second year, the National Sustainability Award was presented by Recyclàpolis in partnership with Chile’s leading national newspaper, El Mercurio, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. El Mercurio featured an interview with Wackernagel in its Saturday issue.

Last year laureates included Swiss aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, president of the charitable foundation Winds of Hope, and John Elkington, founder of the think tank and consultancy SustainAbility and originator of the term “triple bottom line.”