About Footprints

To see the results of the Stepping Forward ecological footprint analysis, you can read the report online or download it as a PDF document.

For a detailed discussion of the methodology used in the Stepping Forward project, see the Technical Report or download it.

What is Footprinting?

Every person, region, organisation or service has an impact on the earth. We all rely on the products and services of nature, to supply us with raw materials and to assimilate our wastes. The impact we have on our environment is related to the 'quantity' of nature that we use to sustain our consumption patterns.

The key question is whether this load exceeds what nature can sustainably support. There is only a finite amount of natural resources in the planet's bank account. If we continually deplete this capital then - eventually - we will have nothing left to draw upon.

Instead, we must learn to live within nature's interest, sharing the available resources with the other species which inhabit earth.

Using Ecological Footprint Analysis it is possible to estimate the area of land and sea that would be required to sustainably support a community. You can read more about footprints at and