Integrated Sustainability Analysis
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Development of a novel Ecological Footprint for environmental reporting of companies

In July 2003, Sydney Water Corporation, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales have started work on a 3-year Linkage Project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The goal of this project is to develop an Ecological Footprint method that

  1. incorporates all upstream environmental impacts of a company’s operations in terms of a wide range of sustainability indicators, and
  2. can be used by any Australian company for their environmental reporting.

In order to appropriately account for all the upstream effects of a corporation, we will construct a generalised Australian Regional Input-Output Model. This task includes:

  • generating Regional Input-Output tables for the Australian economy;
  • estimating regional land and water disturbances associated with human use as well as with greenhouse gas emissions;
  • defining new sustainability indicators to be incorporated into the ecological footprint;
  • formulating dispersion and fate models for local ecosystem processes.

The final product will be a comprehensive ecological footprint framework, which can be used to assist decision-making and planning within a corporation, as well as for the communication of environmental performance to industry stakeholders and the general public. This tool will allow:

  • identifying the type and location of environmental impacts across Australian regions;
  • analysing virtual scenarios to account for changes in technologies and/or business strategies;
  • mapping and spatially visualising ecological footprints using GIS data and software.

Industry Partner

This is an ARC-funded Linkage Project between Sydney Water Corporation, the University of Sydney, and the University of New South Wales.

For further information please contact:

Jodie Gonzalez Jennings
Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis
Sch. of Physics, A28
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
+61 (0)2 9036-9365
isa@physics.usyd.edu.au