Global Footprint Network
2023 Annual Report

Message from our Chief Sustainability Officer David Lin

Dear friends,

My professional highlights for 2023 year were expanding our relationship with Slovenia, through our joint launch of Earth Overshoot Day in Ljubljana, and the intriguing work we were able to complete for the Scottish Government. Seeing our work play out on the ground, together with partners, in this case governments, was rewarding. In the case of Slovenia…

2022 will be remembered not just for its severe climatic changes and unprecedented global challenges, but also for the indomitable spirit of humanity that sought to navigate through these adversities. In line with our unwavering commitment to ensure that every individual flourishes within the limits of our one planet, we have championed vital conversations and offered credible, actionable insights to guide global decision-making processes.

Though I had the privilege of joining Global Footprint Network only in the latter half of this year, my heart swells with pride reflecting upon the remarkable achievements of our dedicated team throughout the year. Allow me to highlight some pivotal resource-centered discussions from 2022.

The geopolitical upheaval marked by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine gravely affected global food and energy reserves. Our adept team of researchers meticulously analyzed the ramifications this conflict could present for resource stability worldwide, leveraging the invaluable insights from the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts, annually established through our partnership with York University in FoDaFo. In collaboration with our esteemed partners, Wageningen University and FiBL, we undertook a profound exploration of food security in a world grappling with overshoot. The imperative of resource, especially food security, cannot be emphasized enough as we work towards sustainable development.

In 2023, our team was also busy supporting the European Environment Agency (EEA) through its European Topic Centre on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (ETC BE) initiative. Guided by our lead partner, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, we explored together social and economic driver against biodiversity, a project that hopefully will soon be able to share its insights as the publications are completed.

In observance of Earth Overshoot Day, we took the opportunity to spotlight pioneering companies with a circular economy ethos that concurrently work towards reducing overshoot. Expanding such companies, means global overshoot goes down. The progressive endeavors of cities, companies, and countries that rise to this challenge will not only shape their resilience but will also pave the way for a foreseeable future marked by climate adaptation and sustainable resource management.

The European Union’s endorsement of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which mandates an expanded bracket of corporations to furnish reporting documentation, underscores the indispensable need for Global Footprint Network’s metrics. Drawing from my decade-long experience collaborating with EU legislators on non-financial corporate reporting, our objective is to enable institutions to drive significant change and continuously track their progress.

As we commemorated 50 years of the global environment agenda and a concurrent 50 years of overshoot, significant strides were made. Notably, at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP 15 held in December 2022, a commendable proposition was put forth: “halving the footprint of production and consumption by 2030.” Though this ambitious vision did not find its way into the final texts of the conference, it was heartening to witness the acknowledgment of the Ecological Footprint in multiple targets of the “monitoring framework” for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

The groundswell of enthusiasm for sustainability is palpable, and I am resolutely committed to ensuring that Global Footprint Network remains at the forefront, leading and shaping these vital global conversations and actions.

In conclusion, our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our magnanimous donors. Your faith and contributions are the pillars upon which we continue our quest to sculpt a world where everyone can prosper within our planet’s generous yet finite resources.

With with my warmest wishes and thanks for your ongoing support,


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 incite the desire to end overshoot by design, rather than let it be ended by disaster.

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

Founded in 2003 by Mathis Wackernagel and Susan Burns, we began our work with governments and organizations across the globe. Our accomplishments from 2022 include:

We assessed the impact that a company’s goods and services have on the global Ecological Footprint.

We calculated that waste-management company Interzero shrinks humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 28 global square meters for each dollar of value it adds to the economy. In comparison, the global economy adds, on average, 2.6 global square meters of Footprint for every dollar generated by the world economy per year.

We grew our involvement with government agencies.

The Ecological Footprint was included as an impact indicator for monitoring the 2030GreenerMED Agenda’s Thematic Axis 1, which “support[s] the transition to a green, circular and socially inclusive economy based on sustainable consumption and production practices and nature-based solutions”. The Agenda was designed to contribute to achieving the Environmental SDGs in the Mediterranean.

We launched a new tool to help the Mediterranean region explore paths to sustainability.

As part of the Foodnected project, the interactive Food Footprint Platform was launched at the Terra Madre event in Turin, Italy. Visitors to our educational exhibition on Food Systems Sustainability learned about how their food choices impact Earth’s regeneration.

2022 was an exceptional year for building momentum to #MoveTheDate.

5 million people used our Footprint Calculator in 2023.

Our mobile-friendly calculator (available in eight languages) continues to be a widely-used and efficient tool to help individuals measure their Ecological Footprint and determine their personal Earth Overshoot Day.

Calculator Testimonials

"The Footprint Calculator is a great way to help students learn about sustainability. It allows them to interact with Ecological Footprint data in a user friendly and engaging way. They begin to understand their own resource use and translate that to what is happening on a national and global level."

ALICE FREUND, Science Teacher, United States

"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 regenerate in the entire year. In 2022, it fell on July 28.

The Earth Overshoot Day launch was hosted by a country for the very first time. Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition Gustavo Manrique presided over the event while ministers around the world supported this first-of-its-kind event with video statements. Earth Overshoot Day was covered in top tier newspapers, radio, and TV appearances through more than 5,000 news items in 95 countries.

Earth Overshoot Day’s Power of Possibility platform shows many effective and economically beneficial solutions already exist today to reverse ecological overshoot and support biological regeneration. Opportunities stem from all sectors: commercially available technologies or services, local government’s development strategies, national public policies, or best practices supported by civil society initiatives and academia.

Earth Overshoot Day
By the Numbers

media impressions from 5,007 websites
countries covered Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day
In the News

We reached thousands of data lovers with our open data platform.

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 new Footprint Calculator for Universities to help them explore paths to sustainability.

The first ever online Footprint Calculator for Universities was launched as part of the EUSTEPs (Enhancing Universities’ Sustainability TEaching and Practices) project. The project aimed to introduce a broader and holistic approach involving University administrative staff together with students, educators, and management bodies to embrace a more sustainable university. The new Calculator is just one product of four European universities and Global Footprint Network working together to deliver tools designed to enhance sustainability teaching and practices in higher education. 108 universities from 22 countries have already used the Calculator this year to begin designing their sustainability strategy and policies.

We believe our work is more necessary and useful than ever, and we are
grateful that others agree.

We received recognition from noteworthy entities:

We couldn’t do our work without our generous supporters and dedicated team.

Thank you for your 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.

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 – Footprint Data Foundation is the newly established, independent organization to host the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. The intent is also to have this data organization be embraced by an alliance of international institutions, as explained at