Integrated Sustainability Analysis
@ The University of Sydney

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+ Industrial Ecology Lab
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Input-Output Conference 2010

Ecological Footprint Analysis

At the University of Sydney, we calculate comprehensive Ecological Footprints for organisations such as companies, government agencies and NGOs, or for cities, states and nations. Our Ecological Footprint projects include:

  1. NSW 2006 State of Environment Report;
  2. Sydney Water Corporation;
  3. the population of Canberra (funded by the Australian Capital Territory's Office of the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment);
  4. the population of Victoria (in partnership with EPA Victoria and the Global Footprint Network);
  5. the population of Melbourne; published in The Melbourne Atlas (funded by the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority);
  6. the population of Victoria (funded by the Department of Sustainability and Environment);
  7. the population of Sydney and New South Wales (funded by the Environment Protection Authority NSW);
  8. City West Water, South East Water and Melbourne Water Corporation;
  9. the Wollongong population and Wollongong Council;
  10. Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island (in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast);
  11. CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems Department;
  12. Our own organisation, the School of Physics at the University of Sydney.

Our calculations feature several important issues:

  • We can calculate Ecological Footprints based on the original static method, or the new dynamic approach;
  • We can calculate complete Ecological Footprints in the sense that they include all impacts from the entire upstream supply chain of an entity: Ecological Footprints without system boundaries;
  • We are able to weight different types of land uses according to their real impact on actual Australian land;
  • We can decompose the Ecological Footprint into breakdowns of high detail, which are then used for regional and corporate sustainability planning, as published in The Melbourne Atlas
  • We can calculate energy land that includes different energy supply and greenhouse mitigation scenarios.
  • We can also calculate emissions land, which is due to non-energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, such as from enteric fermentation in livestock, or land clearing. These emissions are particularly important in Australia;

In 2005, ISA entered into a partnership with EcoNorfolk Foundation in order to explore the application of the Ecological Footprint to Norfolk Island.

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). This project is aimed at improving the Ecological Footprint methodology, using a Geographical Information System (GIS), regional input-output economics, and dispersion modelling for pollutants, in order to generate an Ecological Footprint framework with high spatial detail and increased number of incorporated processes and indicators.

For information on this project, contact Professor Manfred Lenzen, +61 (0)2 9351 5985, [email protected]

For further information:

  • Contact us for a copy of a journal article on Sydney Water's Ecological Footprint: Lenzen M, Lundie S, Bransgrove G, Charet L and Sack F, Assessing the ecological footprint of a large metropolitan water supplieris lessons for water management and planning towards sustainability, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 46 (1), 113-141, 2003.
  • Contact us for a copy of a journal article on the Ecological Footprint of our own institution - the School of Physics - and the CSIRO: Wood R and Lenzen M, An application of an improved ecological footprint method and structural path analysis in a comparative institutional study, Local Environment 8 (4), in press, 2003.
  • Download an article on recent trends and issues for Ecological Footprints,
  • Download a short article on a corporate ecological footprint for Sydney Water,
  • A short article on the ecological footprint of Canberra,
  • A short article on the ecological footprint of the School of Physics at the University of Sydney,
  • An interview on ABC Radio National with Bill Rees, Shauna Murray and Manfred Lenzen on Ecological Footprints,
  • A public lecture by Mathis Wackernagel at the Sydney Ideas forum, hosted by the EPA Vic and ISA.

For further information please contact

Dr Arne Geschke
ISA, School of Physics A28
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
+61 (0)2 9036-7505
[email protected]