Canberrans' impact the global environment more than most on earth.

The ecological footprint, expressed in global hectares, measures the amount of land required to support a community’s demand for goods and services and absorb its waste including greenhouse gasses.

Ecological Footprint Reports have been produced every four years since 1999. The Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment has used these reports to inform the ACT State of the Environment Reports (SoERs) since 2003.

The most recent report on the ACT’s ecological footprint uses 2011-12 data and was published in conjunction with the ACT State of the Environment Report 2015.  The data show that in 2011-12, per person, our ecological footprint was 8.9 global hectares per person (gha/person) and was:

  • about three and a half times the global per person.average
  • above the average per person ecological footprint of other Australians (8.2 gha/person)
  • in total, about 14 times the land area of the ACT.

eco footprint

Image: Flickr

Although our footprint per person has moderated slightly (perhaps as a result of the global financial crisis in 2008), the messages in this report indicated a continuing trend of increasing impact on our ecological systems and their capacity to sustain us.

Individual actions, along with community support for government sustainability initiatives are critical if we are to reduce our impact on the planet.

Some positive steps Canberrans can take to ease the pressure on our earth include:

  • Repair, reuse or borrow where possible instead of buying new things.
  • Before tossing something in the bin, see if there is another use for it.
  • Buy quality goods that are efficient and will last a long time.
  • Invest in an activity as an alternative to purchasing goods e.g. concerts, movies, picnics.
  • Volunteer for the environment or the community instead of spending time and money on consumption.
  • Use renewable energy.
Ecological footprint summary fact sheets
Previous Ecological Footprint Reports

footprint magnet