Ecological footprinting is a methodology that developed out of the recognition that the planet is finite and that our demand for natural capital is greater than the regenerative capacity of the planet. Ecological Footprints measure the impact of human demand for resources and our contribution to the generation of waste. This indicator provides a lens through which to see how our collective decisions impact the local and global ecology. Using the common unit of land area required per capita, Ecological Footprints represent a partial measure of the extent to which individuals, communities, cities, individual countries and the planet as a whole are moving towards sustainability.

The Green House has experience in both top-down and bottom-up calculation of ecological footprints for different spatial scales. The Footprint Network’s South African ecological footprint calculator was developed with input from The Green House.