One Planet Ecological Footprint

One Planet Ecological Footprint

Target - a One Planet Campus

Consumption = 1.4 planets

Ecological footprinting is a measure of sustainability. It involves measuring the number of Earths required to support global resource consumption. As we only have one earth, we MUST make sure we have an ecological footprint of one planet (ideally less).

The Macquarie University’s sustainable development Masterplan 2030 vision is to reduce our measured ecological footprint to one planet by 2030.

The challenge is to reduce Macquarie University's lifecycle footprint by 25%, whilst the University doubles its built infrastructure. Using the Footprint Company's tools, we are able to rate our Campus, our buildings, our activities, and also run "what if" scenarios to improve our future building and activities.

Key benefits:

  • Real quantifiable progress can be measured against a defined goal
  • Scalable - targets can be set at a square meter, a room, building or Campus level
  • Captures the key feature of sustainability that is often hard to capture with ratings. That is, using something for longer, or more efficiently and effectively so you don't have to create new materials. In other words, using less.
  • The tool can also be used in learning, teaching and research as part of the University's Living Laboratory concept

In recent annual assessments, the University's main campus footprint has tracked between 1.3 and 1.4 planets.

Our first large scale (whole of building) pilot of the target is the upgrade of Building E7A. The refurbished E7A will be a 0.7 planet building, owing to a number of strategies to adapt the existing features of one of the oldest buildings on Campus.

One Planet Ecological Footprinting Background Information

Definition: Ecological Footprinting

Ecological Footprinting (EF) is used to determine how much of the biological capacity (biocapacity) of the planet is consumed by a population or activity. To determine how much biocapacity is consumed, EF calculates the bioproductive land and water required by the population at hand.

Through the application of the theory of EF, the current state of consumption is considered to be "ecological overshoot" where the Earth's population requires a supply equal to more than 1 planet to support current consumption levels.

Definition: Biocapacity

Biocapacity is the capacity of an area to provide resources and absorb wastes. When the area's Ecological Footprint exceeds its biocapacity, this is considered an "unsustainable outcome".

Biological Capacity available per person (or per capita): There were 12 billion hectares of biologically productive land and water on this planet in 2008. Dividing by the number of people alive in that year, 6.7 billion, gives 1.8 global hectares per person. This assumes that no land is set aside for other species that consume the same biological material as humans.

Definition: Ecological Overshoot

When humanity's annual demand on the environment is greater than the earth's annual capacity to meet that demand.

Ecological Footprinting Reporting Scope

The aim of the University's Ecological Footprinting is to report on and measure progress against the University's One Planet strategy for the Marsfield Campus. The scope is to report for all assets and activities that occur on Campus which are within the University's operational control.

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