Global Footprint Network
2018 Annual Report

Message from President Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D.

Mathis WackernagelWe are proud to say that 2018 was a year of profound transformation and record impact at Global Footprint Network. It is also a year during which we detected encouraging signals in the public debate about sustainability. Throughout Europe, and increasingly in Asia, Latin America and North America, Earth Overshoot Day is becoming a mainstream event. The demand for solutions through appropriate policy making and thoughtful business strategies is also gaining momentum. Led by Greta Thunberg, a youth movement began and put the spotlight on world leaders to act now on climate change.

Bearing all this in mind, Ecological Footprint accounting remains an essential metric to not only allow our economies to succeed but to ensure that all thrive within our one-planet context. You can learn more about our strategy here.

Some 2018 accomplishments include:

  • We launched a collaboration with York University, Toronto, to build an independent organization for the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts.
  • Our Footprint Calculator was used more than 3 million times to help individuals assess their personal Ecological Footprint and determine their very own Earth Overshoot Day.
  • We reached the largest audience ever with our campaign to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Daydrawing the contribution of France’s Minister of the Ecological Transition and earning enhanced visibility in the United States (see details below), while global coverage reached 3 billion media impressions on 2,800+ websites in 100+ countries.
  • We completed and shared Footprint and biocapacity assessments with the six municipalities in our Portugal City Footprint Project and look forward to the project’s next phases.
  • We continued to work with governments to use the Footprint to spark sustainability policy and shape public opinion, including in Australia, Croatia, France, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia, and Turkey.

All this would never be possible without the support of our generous donors. Thank you for helping us scale our impact and help build a world that works for all.

With warmest wishes,


Mathis Wackernagel
President & Co-Founder
Global Footprint Network


What happens when an infinite-growth economy runs into a finite planet?


Water shortages, overgrazing, desertification, and species extinction.


Deforestation, reduced cropland productivity and fishery collapse.


Each of these crises, is a symptom of a single, over-riding issue.


Humanity is simply demanding more
than the Earth can provide.


Though resource and population trends have tremendous inertia,
we believe they can be reversed.


Global Footprint Network has the tools to help individuals, cities, and countries thrive in a resource-constrained world.

OUR MISSION is to help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making.

OUR VISION is that all can thrive within the means of our one planet.

Founded in 2003, we began our work with governments across the globe.
Our accomplishments from 2018 include:


Global Footprint Network Senior Scientist Alessandro Galli and Slovenian sustainable development expert Jernej Stritih presented their preliminary report on Slovenia’s Ecological Footprint at a public event hosted by the Slovenian Environment Agency in Ljubljana. READ MORE


Ecological Footprint and biocapacity results for the six cities participating in this three-year initiative were unveiled at public events. The intention is to impact national policies with a view to rewarding those municipalities that strive to transform their economy by using the one-planet prosperity framework to guide their efforts. READ MORE


As part of the DestiMED project, the MEET (Mediterranean Experience of Ecotourism) Network was formally launched this year. A new tool using the Ecological Footprint framework is being developed and features an innovative approach to measuring and reducing the environmental impact of tourism on the natural resources that sustain protected area communities. READ MORE

2018 was an exceptional year for building momentum to #MoveTheDate.

The Footprint Calculator was used 3.2 million times in 2018.

With the help of our sponsor, Schneider Electric, we added multiple languages to the mobile-friendly Footprint Calculator in 2018. It is now available in English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish as we hope to reach an even larger audience worldwide.

Calculator Testimonial

"A year ago, my personal overshoot day was April 14 and now it’s August 22! I think it’s important to get my personal overshoot day down to needing the resources of only 1 Earth (or, ideally, less than 1) and am so excited by the strides I've made over just one year. I truly believe that, no matter where you live, it is possible for everyone to live happy and healthy lives without using up more resources than our planet can renew."

SHAUNA KOSORIS, Writer and Narrative Designer, Canada

Earth Overshoot Day is the date when we use more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. In 2018, it fell on Aug. 1.

Overshoot Day
By the Numbers

media articles and blog posts
countries that covered Overshoot Day
NGOs, corporations, and government agencies promoted Overshoot Day
steps to #MoveTheDate

Overshoot Day
In the News

Watch clips from our two Earth Overshoot Day live stream programs to meet more than 20 sustainability leaders and hear about their initiatives around the world to #MoveTheDate.

Our “ad” in New York’s Times Square for two weeks leading up to Earth Overshoot Day 2018 featured beautiful imagery by Louie Schwartzberg and his team (

Businesses are embracing the one-planet prosperity framework.

At our event during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, businesses advocated for one-planet prosperity. Those companies understand that their long-term success depends on their business model being aligned with the necessary goal of thriving within the means of our one planet. The leaders of tomorrow are already thinking along these lines, judging by the 20 Young Global Leaders from the World Economic Forum who visited our Oakland offices last October for a workshop on “Co-Creating a Sustainable Future.”

Kevin Self, Schneider Electric

Steve Howard, We Mean Business Coalition

Markus Laubscher, Philips

Sten de Wit, SolaRoad

Data lovers worldwide dived into our popular Ecological Footprint Explorer open data platform.

Global Footprint Network added new features to the Footprint Explorer such as interactive world maps, and trend graphs for all countries including the compositions of the Ecological Footprint. We also added dozens of new ways to sort country data in our free downloadable Public Data Package Excel file. The National Footprint Accounts 2018 Edition were launched with two events, a panel during the week of the Skoll World Forum at the University of Oxford, UK and a presentation of the Accounts’ key results at George Washington University, USA.

activists, academics, and analysts visited the Footprint Explorer open data platform

Data User Testimonials

"I think that every human being has to take it [Ecological Footprint data] very seriously because we don't have the time...I think the new generation has to use the tools that science provides to make it a better world, to improve the Footprint, to improve the statistics, but also the quality of life."

ROSALIA ARTEAGA, Former President and Vice President of Ecuador, Ex-Secretary of OTCA, President of FIDAL, Ecuador

"I’ve always wondered about consumption relative to the Earth’s capacity. Global Footprint Network has excellent data and fantastic graphics and maps that summarize the impact of lifestyle choices in various countries."

RON THOMPSON, Writer and Economist, Canada

We launched the Ecological Footprint Initiative with York University, Toronto.

Global Footprint Network and York University, Toronto, are working together on a new initiative that will independently own and produce the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. Supported by a global academic network, the Accounts will become an even more trusted and effective reference for decision making in support of sustainability. This new set-up enhances the independence and the robustness of the data while giving Global Footprint Network full latitude to focus on its engagement with governments and businesses, and to accelerate our engagement campaigns.  READ MORE

Thank you for your generous support!

Our Supporters

Our Team

Peter Seidel is an architect, teacher, author, environmentalist, and loyal Global Footprint Network friend and supporter. He shares why he’s been supporting our work for many years.

2018 Financials


global footprint network income 2018


global footprint network expenses 2018

Our family of websites — is Global Footprint Network’s main site and offers all the background on the Ecological Footprint and its applications — provides all key results for the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts on an open data platform — allows individuals to estimate their own Footprint and their personal Overshoot Date.  Is the entry point to the #MoveTheDate map — hosts Earth Overshoot Day and features solutions to #MoveTheDate — highlights the relevance of Ecological Footprint and re­lated results for the finance industry — applies the Ecological Footprint logic to Switzerland’s competitiveness and — provide information about the Ecologi­cal Footprint in English and Chinese