Starting Point: Achieving sustainability requires measuring progress
Organizing Strategy: Create worldwide network focused on using accounting practices
Tools: Metrics, research
Outcomes: Reality-based assessment of ecological progress
Humans are the most successful species on the planet. But we are using more resources than the Earth can provide. We are in global ecological overshoot.
In 2003, Global Footprint Network, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization, was established to enable a sustainable future where all people have the opportunity to live satisfying lives within the means of one planet.
An essential step in creating a one-planet future is measuring human impact on the Earth so we can make more informed choices.
That is why our work aims to accelerate the use of the Ecological Footprint — a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what.
The Ecological Footprint is a data-driven metric that tells us how close we are to the goal of sustainable living. Footprint accounts work like bank statements, documenting whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming nature’s resources faster than the planet can renew them.
Our efforts are fueled by a future vision in which human demand on nature is monitored as closely as the stock market. A time when designers are shaping products, buildings, and cities that have one-planet Footprints. A world where all humans prosper and development succeeds because we are finally recognizing ecological constraints and using innovation to advance more than just the economic bottom line.
Making this vision a reality is our work. We provide the scientific data necessary to drive large-scale, social change.
Together with hundreds of individuals, 200 cities, 23 nations, leading business, scientists, NGO’s, academics and our more than 70 global Partners — spanning six continents — we are advancing the impact of the Footprint in the world, applying it to practical projects and sparking a global dialogue about a one-planet future and how we can facilitate change.
What We Do
Global Footprint Network provides tools and programs that can help countries thrive in a resource-constrained world. More than ever,decision-makers are employing Ecological Footprint accounting to manage their ecological capital, both now and for the future.
These programs help decision-makers recognize the impact ofecological overshoot on their own policies, investments and projects, and demonstrate that it is both in their interest and within their power to turn the tide. By proving to national governments, finance institutions, and international development agencies that they can be more successful if they operate within nature’s budget, Global Footprint Network aims to foster a more stable and prosperous future.
- Our stewardship of the National Footprint Accounts is bringing new levels of scientific quality and precision to the Ecological Footprint.
- Our Sustainable Human Development initiative is defining what it really means to meet human needs while maintaining natural capital.
- Our programs for cities, businesses and financial institutions are extending the Footprint into new domains, developing new methodologies and tools and building the market for Ecological Footprinting.
- Our work developing international Footprint Standards is advancing the integrity and comparability of Footprint applications worldwide.
- Our network of 80-plus Partners, located on six continents, is comprised of the world’s leading Footprint practitioners and users and plays a vital role in guiding our research agenda and making Footprinting relevant and practical.