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Ecological Footprint Analysis

'Diamonds' Ecological Footprint Reduction:
Preparation of Guidance Material for Footprint Reduction
at Local and Sub-regional Level.

Ecological footprint (or EF) analysis provides a broad measure of the land and sea area required to sustainably support a particular lifestyle or community. It is measured in world average productive hectares, referred to as ‘global hectares’ (gha). The use of area as an environmental measurement unit makes it a powerful and resonant means of communicating environmental impact and assessing progress towards sustainability. It also allows for benchmarking across cities, regions and nations, highlighting where consumption of energy and materials is exceeding environmental limits and provides a measure for “one planet living” – currently 1.8 gha per person.

The UK has an EF of 5.3 gha/person (based on 2004 figures), meaning that if everyone in the world lived like the average UK citizen, we would require almost 3 planets to sustain us all. Lifestyles in the south east of England are even less sustainable, with an average EF of 5.63 gha.

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Page last updated October 2, 2013