Currently the best approach to understanding our ecological limits and our chance to live in a world, in which all living beings can continuously lead a fine life (by acting future-oriented).

The Basics

  • In a world that is reaching its limits through over-exploitation in an increasingly noticeable manner (with climate change, financial crises etc. being symptoms of this over-exploitation), the Ecological Footprint acts as a “bookkeeping tool” for nature, making our growth limits tangible.
  • It compares the resources (i.e. the sum of the biocapacity utilized by consumption of goods, energy and services within a year) we use to the resources (or biocapacity) we have at our disposal.
  • The concept was developed by the scientists William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel in the early 90s.
  • Currently (2015), the resources our earth provides us with every year are already consumed on August 13th ("Earth Overshoot Day") – hence, we build up debt (facilitated by “borrowed” non-renewable fossil energy) or use up the earth's substance itself instead of the resources it provides, in other words: Mankind is not living on theinterest payments but on nature's capital.
  • This over-exploitation is mainly caused by only ¼ of the world's population – if the entire world lived accordingly, the system might have tipped over already. We are thus living at the expense of the earth and the developing countries! However - caused by the high population growth - developing countries have been catching up quickly lately
  • In addition to its effects on the environment, over-exploitation also presents us with tremendous social and political challenges: Regarding the current over-exploitation of the world, global justice and fairness are not feasible!
  • The Ecological Footprint demonstrates how much we need. From this basis, we can take the necessary steps, as an individual, a company, a state or a community of states and create a world that is fair to all. Nonetheless, we must rethink.
  • Rethinking does not worsen our living conditions, it provides us with the joy of living a good life, easy and light-hearted.
    Earth overshoot Day 2015

The Ecological Footprint (picture: footprintnetwork)

Earth Overshoot Day 2015

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Footprint presentations and calculations

We are offering customized lectures and calculations for associations, companies, organizations, schools, universities, etc.

The presentation is a visionary plea for global ethics and a “globalization of rationality”, which are the prerequisites for living a good life on our “too small” planet. The Ecological Footprint can - like no other natural scientific concept - merge the social, ecological and economic necessities to a new “global intelligence” and thus establishes the idea of “good housekeeping”, which is the foundation of both “ecology” and “economy”, as the obvious and natural model of a truly sustainable society.

The presentation not only covers the necessary personal steps, but also describes the cornerstones of the economic, political and social changes on the way to a sustainable society - for the benefit of our fellow human beings, our environment and future generations alike.

Please click here for a list of our partners and clients.

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Keynote Mag. Nesslinger: Ecological Footprint 2014