Carbon and Ecological Footprint have become a widespread concept, especially for those working towards a circular economy. But do you know the difference? We often see people use these concepts as if they were the same thing. So, if you still have any doubts, here a quick post to help you out!
CARBON FOOTPRINT is the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by an individual, event, organisation, services or products through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance, production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation and other services.
ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT measures how much natural resources we have and how much we use. In short, how fast we consume these resources and generate waste and greenhouse gases (GHG) versus how quickly nature can absorb our waste, sequester GHG and produce new resources.
Nowadays, we find software and consultancy firms helping organisations measure, report and reduce their ecological footprint, including their carbon footprint. It is also possible to find tools to calculate our individual ecological footprint and tips on how to reduce it.
We see a rising number of brands and designers sharing their products ecological and carbon footprint information with consumers within the design field. During the Stockholm Design Week 2020, Norwegian brand Vestre, for example, won the best stand award for its sustainable booth, where all furniture products presented their carbon footprint.
Today, more than 80% of the world’s population live in countries running ecological deficits, using more resources than what their ecosystems can regenerate. Our global ecological footprint is in overshoot, and we would need 1.75 Earths to sustain our current population. If current trends continue, we will reach 3 Earths by the year 2050.*
Earth Overshoot Day by Global Footprint Network marks the day when humanity, have used more from nature than our planet can regenerate in the entire year. In 2020, it fell on August 22.
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*source: www.footprintnetwork.org / ph credits: courtesy of Vestre