Keywords: ecological footprint, ecological overshoot, sustainability, measurement, sustainable development, ecological accounting, policy, ecological deficit, social marketing campaigns
Using Ecological Footprint accounts: from analysis to applications
It is argued in this paper that sustainability has specific, definable requirements, including the need to avoid ecological overshoot – that is, a level of resource demand that exceeds ecological carrying capacity. This paper demonstrates how ecological overshoot can be measured. Our evidence suggests that humanity is already in overshoot. Indeed, most industrialised countries run significant ecological deficits. To move out of ecological deficit, governments can develop ecological accounts to track overshoot. Social marketing campaigns can also be run to gather popular support for reducing human pressure on the biosphere.