2024 KCP Application
Global Footprint Network
Customers & Partnerships
Primary Project Category:
Project Summary / Description:
The Ecological Footprint was conceived by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees in the 1990s as part of Wackernagel‚ PhD research at the University of British Columbia. It addresses the crucial question: how much does humanity demand from nature compared to what nature can renew? This is what Global Footprint Network measures. Since the 1970s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot, meaning we use more natural resources than what the Earth can produce. Today, we work to move humanity out of overshoot using educational tools (Footprint Calculator, school curriculums), media campaigns (Earth Overshoot Day), and engagement with governments, cities and businesses.
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Best Estimate of GHG Avoidance/Reduction of This Project (Tonnes CO2 Equivalent/Year):
Impact on Underrepresented Groups:
Sustainability at its core is about social justice. Economic equity and gender diversity are inextricably linked to that goal. Our work supports forward-looking decision-making to turn around natural resource consumption trends while improving the quality of life for all. While our planet is finite, human possibilities are not. The transformation to a sustainable, carbon-neutral world will succeed if we apply humanity‚ greatest strengths: foresight, innovation, and care for each other. This includes addressing population size, which has many social benefits when achieved through empowering and educating women and girls. The UN‚ Sustainable Development Goal 5, Gender Equality, calls for ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. Investing in smaller families through the empowerment of women is consistent with this goal, and often leads to healthier and better educated families. That‚ why Global Footprint Network supports organizations like the Campaign for Female Education (https://www.overshootday.org/girl-education-climate-change-camfed/) and the Center for Biological Diversity‚ Endangered Species Condoms project, and places population front and center as one of the most effective solutions for humanity to thrive within the means of our planet. Empowering women is essential for sustainability. When women are respected as equal partners in the household, at work, and in the community, better social outcomes for their families, including health, educational achievements, and choosing to have less children, invariably ensue. If every other family in the world had one fewer child, we would move Earth Overshoot Day 30 days by 2050.
Research or Economic Modeling
Measurement, Reporting & Validation
Global Footprint Network is small sustainability non-profit with a big vision: changing how the world manages its natural resources to create a future where we can all thrive within the means of our one planet. We enable our vision through our mission: to help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making. We offer, (1) metrics that are simple, meaningful, and scalable; (2) actionable insights about natural resource consumption and supply; and (3) tools and analysis to guide informed decisions. Our work is accomplished using the Ecological Footprint, the only sustainability metric that compares the resource demand of individuals, governments, and businesses against what Earth can renew.