Environmental Footprint

Environmental Footprint

What is an Environmental Footprint?

Today the term “environmental footprint” is used both by the scientific and the corporate community alike. It is a multi-criteria measure to calculate the environmental performance of a product, service or organisation based on a life cycle approach.*

An environmental footprint (ecological footprint) takes into account the entirety of supply and demand of goods and services for the planet. In doing so, it is assumed that the entire population follows a certain lifestyle characterized by a known person or a group of people.

The estimation of the environmental footprint starts with the calculation of the land, water or sea required to supply the food, housing, mobility, and goods and services of a person in a certain region. The estimation is dependent on the area that the person resides. The reason is that ecosystems differ in their capacity to produce biological materials and to absorb CO2. This is known as “biocapacity”.

The results of the environmental footprint are given in the number of “planet Earths” it would take to support humanity if everyone follows the estimated lifestyle.

The carbon footprint is the fastest growing part of humanity’s overall environmental footprint - it accounts for 54% of the overall environmental footprint.

* For more details and the relevant large-scale initiative of the European Commission, click here.

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Environmental Footprint - We Can Support You

GaBi Software

GaBi Software is the leading life cycle assessment software. Life cycle assessments enable you to design products with less environmental impact and calculate your contribution to the overall environmental footprint.


Life Cycle Assessment Consulting

Our life cycle assessment (LCA) experts consult you in regards to environmental footprint and help you get an overview of the environmental impact of your products, processes or services.


LCA Databases

With relevant industrial processes and their environmental impacts, thinkstep’s LCA data is grounded in over 30 years of experience developing a coherent, high-quality and annually updated life cycle models database to help you measure your environmental footprint.


Understanding Sustainability Holistically

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