What is sd?
Looking at sd
Sustainable PVC
Case studies
Quizzes and links
Looking at sd Natural Step Ecology Economy Social


Wind turbine


Measuring footprints

What do ecological footprints consider?


Ecological footprints of different countries


Ecological footprints are measured in hectares (Ha).
1 hectare is an area of 100m x 100m.

This is roughly two football pitches side-by-side.


The graph shows the ecological footprints of people in different countries. It shows the inequalities between wealthy countries and developing nations.

Current estimates are that the Earth can sustain a level of 2.3 hectares per person (green dotted line).

Ecological footprints of countries

Developed countries often have ecological footprints that are above 2.3 hectares per person. Currently, this level is not sustainable.

Developing countries, like India, Thailand and Brazil, have a sustainable ecological footprint at the moment but that comes at a price. Poor health and poverty is more common in these countries. These problems need to be tackled and this will probably increase their ecological footprint.

The challenge for the future is to meet all people's needs. Technology and economic sustainability will help to achieve this.


Your footprint

Click here to go to a web site that allows you to calculate your own Ecological Footprint.