National Footprint Accounts 2015 Launch; Finance Data; Maryland Endorsement; EU Biodiversity; Australia Partner Work

Jay Owen Beyond GDP

Ecological Footprint Image LightGreen Footprint Network News

Issue 40, March 26, 2015



2015 National Footprint Accounts Launch

Earlier this month, Global Footprint Network released the 2015 Edition of the National Footprint Accounts with several methodological improvements; a new, more open licensing structure; and country risk data for the finance community.

Global Footprint is excited to offer the 2015 National Footprint Accounts for non-commercial use through a free, easily downloadable “Public Data Package,” which features the latest (2011) Footprint and biocapacity results per capita by land type for 182 countries in a highly sortable spreadsheet.

Based on calculations from the 2015 National Footprint Accounts, approximately 71 percent of the world’s population lives in nations with a double challenge: They earn below world-average income (based on Gross National Income) and are running a biocapacity deficit. This means that by 2011, they were using more resources and services from nature than the ecosystems within their respective borders regenerated.

Data for Finance Industry

The 2015 National Footprint Accounts provide unique country risk data for fixed-income, banking, insurance and other finance professionals.

“Notenstein’s methodology for rating sovereign bonds from a sustainability perspective makes heavy use of the National Footprint Accounts,” says Balazs Magyar, a sustainability analyst with Notenstein Private Bank Ltd. in Switzerland. “During turmoils in the bond markets, especially the European sovereign debt crisis, our analysis using the National Footprint Accounts proved to be a valuable tool for selecting sovereign bonds.”

To inquire about data licensing for country risk analysis, contact Robert Klijn at [email protected].

To lead our expanding work in the finance industry, Global Footprint Network is seeking a Finance for Change Director to be based in London, Zurich or New York. The director will shape our research agenda; promote the use of ecological metrics in investment decision making; develop partnerships in the industry; and spearhead the commercialization of our data, tools and services.


Ecological Footprint in Action


Maryland Governor and Presidential Contender Endorses NPV+ Framework

In the United States, Global Footprint Network recently made news when former Maryland Governor and potential presidential contender Martin O’Malley declared that more states should adopt our new capital investment measurement framework called Net Present Value Plus (NPV+). NPV+ Analysis: Vehicles, a report by Global Footprint Network policy officer and energy expert Chris Nelder, was discussed in a detailed and informative article in Governing magazine—a top U.S. media outlet covering politics, policy and management for state and local government leaders.

“For states, it is important we have a better understanding about what an investment returns over its lifecycle: The sum of the purchase price plus the benefits that come back to us as a people,” O’Malley told Governing. As noted in the article, the work by Global Footprint Network helped provide the basis for one of O’Malley’s last executive orders, which directed the state to buy more zero emissions vehicles.

European Union Taps Ecological Footprint for Biodiversity Strategy

In Europe, Global Footprint Network just delivered the updated Ecological Footprint of Europe, which is to be used for the Mid-Term Review of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy due later this year. The indicator, which shows Europe’s consumption and production in a global perspective, belongs to the approved set of Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators (SEBI) originally adopted for the 2010 biodiversity target. As such, it is directly relevant to the currently binding biodiversity targets for the year 2020, including EU Target 6: “By 2020, the EU has stepped up its contribution to averting global biodiversity loss.”

Biodiversity loss is an enormous challenge in the EU, with around one in four species currently threatened with extinction and 88% of fish stocks over-exploited or significantly depleted, according to the EU.


News From the Network


In Australia, our partner The Footprint Company was selected by Macquarie University in Sydney as the technology partner to support its vision to reduce its campus’s Ecological Footprint to one-planet equivalent by 2030 whilst doubling total built infrastructure. The Footprint Company will deploy the Campus Calculator, a Web-based, on-demand, life-cycle assessment platform, providing the university with a user-friendly interface for assessment and simulation.

“The question that Ecological Footprinting asks is, ‘how many planets would it take to support us, if everyone lived like this?’ Using the Ecological Footprint methodology and the Ecological Footprint calculator provided by the Footprint Company, we are able to rate our campus, our buildings, our activities and also run ‘what if’ scenarios, to improve our buildings and our activities,” states the university’s One Planet Ecological Footprint initiative webpage. The university notes four key benefits to the approach, including scalability and the ability to represent real quantifiable progress against a defined goal.

Macquarie University’s One Planet Ecological Footprint initiative, one of the four targets of its Environmentally Sustainable Development Strategy, sees the campus transformed through a significant building and regeneration plan that touches all aspects of the campus Footprint. Outcomes include high-performance, low-impact buildings; the retention and recycling of existing buildings; precinct and building-scale sustainable energy systems; enhancements to biodiversity; and green transport solutions.

“The completeness and depth of Macquarie University’s application of the Ecological Footprint and one-planet approach is world leading,” The Footprint Company’s founder Caroline Noller told us. “We are excited to be able to support the achievement of this vision and work actively with the Property team to deliver solutions which are responsible in their current and future environmental impact.”


From Our Blog


Did you know that China reversed its deforestation trend in 1989, increasing its forest land biocapacity by 33 percent since? Or that Costa Rica brought the destruction of its forests to a halt in the mid-1980s after a 47 percent drop in its forest land biocapacity since 1961, then climbing again by 9.2 percent since 2000?

These and other interesting facts are discussed in our blog post published in honor of the International Day of Forests, March 21. The overall picture is far from rosy, however. Tremendous work remains to be done, in parliamentary chambers and corporate boardrooms everywhere, as well as on the ground, where biodiversity and communities are directly impacted by the relentless degradation of forest ecosystems that compounds the effects of climate change worldwide. Read more here.


Upcoming Events


Mediterranean Footprints & Foodprints:
Who should go on a diet?

Dr. Alessandro Galli
Director of Med. & MENA Regions
Global Footprint Network
Expo Milano: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life

Register to attend: May 23, 24, and 25



About Global Footprint Network
Our mission is to promote a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a measurement tool that

makes the reality of planetary limits relevant to decision-makers.




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