All of the natural resources that we consume in order to eat, live, travel, etc. require space on our planet to regenerate. And nature also needs resources in order to break down our waste (e.g. forests in order to absorb carbon dioxide).
The ecological footprint expresses this demand for space. Put simply, it’s about how much nature we consume – and what we can do to minimise this consumption.
Living beyond our means
Austria uses 4.6 global hectares per person, which means that it leaves behind a footprint that is much larger than could be supported by sustainable development. However, North America has the highest land consumption at 9.2 global hectares per person.
The footprint calculator
Everyone can calculate, compare and improve his or her land consumption using the ecological footprint. The calculator asks questions about various areas of life – e.g. diet or mobility – and gives tips about how you can reduce your footprint. It is designed so that you can calculate subcategories of your footprint (e.g. mobility) and your overall footprint.
Ecological footprint calculator
Even small steps make a difference: What you can do
The Austrian footprint calculator does more than just calculate your personal demand for land, it also provides valuable tips for improvement.
Simply test how your footprint changes when you decide to eat less meat or fly less often, for example, by doing a second or third calculation.
Global Footprint Network
The concept of the ecological footprint was created by the scientists Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees. In 2003 the Global Footprint Network was established under their patronage in order to introduce global measures aimed at reducing the ecological deficit.
The goal of the Global Footprint Network is to support a sustainable form of business activity by raising awareness of the ecological footprint.