Keywords: relative ecological footprint, per capita resource usage, macro-level segmentation, model-based cluster analysis, sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable economy, environmental policy making, green business planning, environmental efficiency, climate change, per capita energy consumption, per capita carbon emissions, CO2 emissions, carbon dioxide, per capita paper consumption, paper products, environmental impact, greenhouse gases, GHG emissions
Relative ecological footprints based on resource usage efficiency per capita: macro-level segmentation of 121 countries
This paper makes a vital contribution to the fields of sustainability studies, environmental policy-making and green business planning by presenting evidence that contradicts widely accepted conventional wisdom about the relative environmental efficiency of countries as determined by resource usage per capita. Using model-based cluster analysis, this study forms and compares groups of countries that are statistically similar in terms of their global ecological impact per person. The three measures of efficiency – energy consumption per capita, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) per capita, and per capita paper and paper products consumption – are all related to a country's comparative resource usage efficiency and contribution to climate change, a primary global concern. The authors offer theoretical and practical motivations for using model-based cluster analysis as well as provide interpretation and insight of the resulting clusters.