Our directors have been using and developing the ecological footprinting methodology since 1997
Ecological footprinting shows how we are exceeding environmental limits by comparing human consumption with the planet’s capacity to regenerate resources. We are experts in the methodology, having used it since 1997.
The ecological footprint of an individual, organisation, product or region measures the bioproductive area (land and sea) required to sustainably maintain current consumption. It is measured in global hectares and expressed as the number of planet earths needed to support a certain activity, which makes it a good tool for communicating environmental impact.
Sometime in the mid-1970’s, humanity began using more than the planet could renewably produce, and our ecological overshoot means 1.5 planets would now be required to sustainably support our use of resources. We make up the ‘deficit’ by depleting fish stocks, forests and other resources, and by building up carbon dioxide and waste. The planet’s capacity to withstand increasing population, economic activity and pollution is limited – ecological footprinting is a way of demonstrating that. It includes carbon, but goes beyond it.
Best Foot Forward is a world leader in ecological footprinting; our directors Craig Simmons and Nicky Chambers co-wrote the core textbook 'Sharing Nature's Interest' with Mathis Wackernagel. The company is a founding and active member of the Global Footprint Network, and has worked with the European Commission to encourage states to adopt the ecological footprint indicator.
We believe ecological footprinting is a powerful approach for businesses, particularly for industries which rely on limited land resource because they are producing food, wood, biofuels or bioplastics. This approach enables you to evaluate resource availability and efficiency, and associated risk, and can be used alongside other metrics. We've calculated ecological footprints for organisations such as Defra, the NHS, Radiohead, Duchy Originals, Blake Lapthorn and Furman University. If you want your organisation to get ahead of the game by moving beyond carbon to wider resource use, contact us to talk things through.
How does ecological footprinting work?
We look at different types of land and assess how much of each would be required.
Example 1: A cooked meal of fish and rice would require bioproductive land for the rice, bioproductive sea for the fish, and forested 'energy' land to re-absorb the carbon emitted during the processing and cooking.
Example 2: Driving a car requires built land for roads, parking, and so on, as well as a large amount of forested 'energy' land to re-absorb the carbon emissions from petrol use. In addition, energy and materials are used for construction and maintenance.
Read more about ecological footprinting from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, which worked with Best Foot Forward, WWF and the New Economics Foundation to explain the concept in a recent forum.
© 2013 Best Foot Forward Limited.The Future Centre, 9
Newtec Place, Magdalen Road, Oxford OX4 1RE, United Kingdom. Best Foot Forward Limited is a company registered in
England and Wales with comp any number 3409491. VAT number 685888061.
RSS feed Subscribe to our newsletter Tel: +44 (0) 1865 250818 mail@ bestfootforward.com