Global Footprint Network Wins Skoll Award

For most of us, our experience with ecological footprint quizzes is limited to playful pages on the Internet that deliver mind-blowing results. (We'd need five planets to support life on Earth if everyone had my current lifestyle? Yikes!) But the science behind footprinting is painstaking and important stuff. And painstaking science needs lots of funding to achieve its goals. So it's good news that Global Footprint Network, the non-profit organization that developed the Ecological Footprint tool, recently received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a $1,015,000 award presented for three years.

Founded by Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network measures and compares human demands on Earth's resources and the planet's ability to meet these demands and uses this info to help individuals, communities, countries, businesses, and other organizations create sustainable economies. To date, GFN has 70 government, academic, and business partners, including the city of London, Wales, Switzerland, the European Commission, and Japan. Working with Sonoma County in California, GFN has helped the area commit to a 20 percent reduction in its CO2 emissions. GPT, a large real estate developer in Australia is working to reduce its footprint by 20—30 percent using the Ecological Footprint. The group says it will use the money to invest in core research and to add 15 new national and international government agencies to its group of partners.
Global Footprint Network research indicates that we're currently overshooting the planet's biocapacity by almost 30 percent. Put another way, it currently takes more than 15 months for the Earth to regenerate what we humans use in just one year. "We are living off the Earth's ecological credit card," as Wackernagel puts it. "We are ultimately heading toward liquidation of the planet's ecological assets, and the depletion of resources, such as the forests, oceans and agricultural land upon which our economy depends." Global Footprint is tackling a huge and complex problem with sustainable, scalable solution. Let's hope the Skoll Award helps them reach their goals. ::Global Footprint Network ::Skoll Foundation
Want to learn more? Stay tuned for a TH interview with Global Footprint Network, coming soon