Why does the Footprint need Standards?
A growing number of government agencies, organizations and communities are adopting the Ecological Footprint as a core indicator of sustainable resource use.
As the number of Ecological Footprint practitioners around the world increases, different approaches to conducting Footprint studies could lead to fragmentation and divergence of the methodology. This would reduce the ability of the Footprint to produce consistent and comparable assessments across applications and could generate confusion.
The value of the Footprint as a trusted sustainability metric therefore depends not only on the scientific integrity of the methodology, but also on consistent and transparent presentation of results across analyses. It also depends on communicating results of analyses in a manner that does not distort or misrepresent findings.
To meet these goals, Global Footprint Network initiated a consensus, committee-based process for the development of standards governing Footprint applications, and for an ongoing scientific review of the methodology. Ensuring that Footprint results are both credible and consistent will encourage even more widespread adoption of the Ecological Footprint, increasing its effectiveness as a catalyst for a sustainable future.