The Ecological Footprint is one of the world’s most ubiquitous and rigorous sustainability metrics. It provides a spatial measure of just how much nature is being appropriated to support lifestyles, production and consumption activities and assimilate our wastes. CSE helps governments, organizations, and businesses complete ecological footprint analysis to help evaluate the overall sustainability of their operations and identify measures that can reduce their impact on the planet.
Some recent examples of our ecological footprint work include:
Ecological Footprint Quiz
Redefining Progress and the Center for Sustainable Economy have teamed up to manage the world's most popular on-line ecological footprint calculator used by individuals, academic institutions, and businesses worldwide. The ecological footprint quiz reaches two million visitors each year. The Quiz breaks an individual's footprint into carbon, food, housing, and goods and services components, and indicates how many global acres of cropland, pastureland, marine fisheries, and forests are impacted. In 2008, we launched a new version of the footprint quiz that incorporates the latest footprint methodology. The quiz is available in five languages, and has footprint data for 147 countries. The footprint quiz won an Outstanding Achievement Award from Interactive Media Awards, a GU award, and was featured on Cool Home Pages. Visit:
Fishprint of Nations 2006: Trends and Recommendations for Our Oceans
CSE, in conjunction with Redefining Progress and The Ocean Project, has released The Fishprint of Nations 2006, a comprehensive analysis of humanity's current and projected impact on the Earth's marine ecosystems. The study, adapted from the popular Ecological Footprint analysis tool, found that present levels of seafood consumption are dangerously unsustainable. The global catch of seafood is roughly 157% over sustainable yield levels. The report details the need for protected marine areas and a reworking of our seafood consumption habits in order to avoid widespread fisheries collapse in the next half century. Read:
Refining the Ecological Footprint, Jason Venetoulis and John Talberth
Despite its popularity, the ecological footprint has been criticized for its failure to reflect the planet's biodiversity crisis or indicate that at a global level, our use of fisheries, crop land, pasture land, or forests is unsustainable. This paper proposes several refinements to ecological footprint analysis to respond to longstanding critiques in the literature and to improve the accuracy and relevance of the metric. The paper was published in the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability. Read: