A4.15 Ecological Footprint


“The amount of land required to sustain a particular person or society.”

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Ecological Footprint was developed in 1990 by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia. It is now widely used as a tool to monitor ecological resource use.

Using tools like the Ecological Footprint to manage our ecological assets is essential for humanity’s survival and success. Knowing how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what is the first step, and will allow us to track our progress as we work toward our goal of sustainable, one-planet living. The image below shows an estimate of the number of earth’s required to provide the resources we require to continue as we are:

Source: Global Footprint Network

© 2003-2009 Global Footprint Network

To measure an ecological footprint, values are calculated for different categories:

  • Carbon.
  • Food.
  • Housing.
  • Goods and Services.