PLATINUM2024

GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK INC

Advancing the Science of Sustainability

aka 73-1672982   |   Oakland, CA   |  www.footprintnetwork.org

Mission

Help end ecological overshoot by making ecological limits central to decision-making. By promoting data, tools, and analysis linking resource constraints to economics and well-being, Global Footprint Network influences major investments and policy shifts to support global sustainability.

Ruling year info

2004

Co-founder

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel

Chief Science Officer

David Lin

Main address

1528 Webster Street Suite 11

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

73-1672982

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

International Environment, Population & Sustainability (Q38)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since the 1970s, humans have been using more resources than the Earth can provide. Humanity is in global overshoot, now using the planet's ecological assets 70% faster than it can regenerate - "demanding 1.7 earths". Overshoot is risky and unsustainable, yet continues to grow due to multiple factors - growing populations, increasing yet unequal human demand, and insufficient increase in efficiency to compensate for this demand. While parts of overshoot are recognized (carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning, over-fishing, deforestation, groundwater depletion), resource security is not considered to be a parameter for economic success by governments and institutions. The blame for the overshoot falls upon all parties, but the need to incorporate environmental risks and factors into decision-making is often unrealized.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Organizational Overview

Our programs impact leaders and communities around the world:
• Nations: We provide insights into the total resources countries have and how they’re being used, to inform policies that improve national sustainability and well-being.
• Local governments: Our tools inform policies to improve local sustainability and guide decisions that reduce risk to communities while optimizing public project investments.
• Finance: Our environmental risk analysis provides data to support investment decisions, credit ratings, and country risk assessments.
• Citizens: We inspire and mobilize individuals through our education and advocacy campaigns, including our annual Overshoot Day, and personal Footprint calculators.
Join us in creating a future where people, planet, and economies thrive. Learn more at www.footprintnetwork.org.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Maintaining and improving our resource accounting tools and methods. Developing a robust academic network, hopefully sponsored by key countries, to host its signature National Footprint Accounts. The outcome is the publication of trusted, solid, continuously updated Ecological Footprint and biocapacity results. This is the needed foundation for any sustainability effort– the goal is to engineer common ground.

Population(s) Served
Academics
Adults

Making the insights widely available by communicating in ways that are accurate, relevant and empowering to audiences. This includes open data (goal: one million annual downloads), interactive, engaging calculators (goal: ten million annual calculator users), and far-reaching campaigns (goal: every Earth Overshoot Day reaches ten billion media-impressions). Additional communications campaigns throughout the year. Also, education (especially STEM education).

Population(s) Served
Adults
Students

Engaging with on-the ground projects such as city assessments, country studies or investment appraisals for clients who seek us out. These applications Global Footprint Network pursues to maintain relevance, generate examples, and produce content.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Blue Planet Prize 2012

Asahi Glass Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of data downloads

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Research

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

By launching the open data platform, more people are able to download NFA data on multiple platforms, increasing the availability and potential for applications and collaboration.

Online Ecological Footprint Calculator sessions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Communications

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The popular calculator, based on NFA data, is widely used by individuals, especially educators. It measures comprehensive human demand on nature that is scalable from an individual to global level.

Number of website sessions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Organizational Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of press articles published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Communications

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Earth Overshoot Day media articles - this is the global media campaign that marks the day humanity's annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

Publishable data points from National Footprint Accounts (NFA)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Research

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

NFA results are given quality scores based on the reliability of the final output data; high quality data is then shared publicly. More publishable data points equals higher quality results/data.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In working to address the challenges of developing their countries, government leaders are faced with the temptation of making decisions focused on short-term gains that deplete their ecological capital for the future, and they lack the information and tools to properly account for it. Similarly, the business community is focused on growing profits and it lacks the ability to account for future ecological consequences of its actions. What results is insufficient accountability towards the environment, leading to a constant depletion of the Earth's resources.

In the new equilibrium, major institutions (governments, investors, economic & public policy academics) consider resource scarcity in their decision-making and align their investments and policies to become a force for global sustainability. The Earth's resources are managed sustainably by each responsible actor, ensuring that all people thrive within the means of our one planet. Individuals, from all sectors of society, are key to creating this transformational change.

Global Footprint Network brings quantitative clarity into the sustainability debate: it measures to what extent humans live within the means of one planet. There is currently no other metric that compares how much humans use to what our planet's ecosystems can renew. It puts together competing demands in one equation – carbon emissions, food, land for cities, forest products, etc. We are working to shift the sustainability paradigm, away from marginal activities to a recognition that there is an absolute resource budget, and that living within that budget is desirable, possible and financially beneficial.

We are building a movement for one-planet prosperity by:
• Engaging larger and more diverse audiences to address the problems of resource security and ending overshoot.
• Making Ecological Footprint data widely available, useful and relevant - to inform risk assessments and decisions in favor of sustainability.
• Ensuring that comprehensive National Footprint Accounts, the foundational data set, are solid, and making resources challenges measurable and understandable.

We currently are focused on 3 initiatives:

1. Disseminating messages and insights

a) Since 2008, the key entry point for Global Footprint Network's communications efforts has been the online Ecological Footprint Calculator, which has had approximately 2.2 million annual users. In August 2017 a new mobile version of the Calculator was launched and received more than 500,000 users in less than three months. The number of new users keeps growing every day, and as the organization continues to scale, it is adapting how it engages with new followers to maximize impact. Additional enhancements are planned.

b) In 2016, Global Footprint Network created an Open Data Platform called Footprint Explorer, which contains annual data on Ecological Footprint and bio-capacity from nearly every country since 1961. The move to an open data platform is an important step in sharing resource for others to better understand and manage natural resources. Its intent is to inform risk analysis. The intention is to create a community of users to foster exchanges and to create new data applications. Ultimately, the number of data downloads show some extent of embeddedness in policy discourses since mostly people engaged in these conversations would be interested in the results, focusing Global Footprint Network on a very critical, specific audience of economic decision-makers.

c) Earth Overshoot Day is the date when humanity's annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year. In 2017 this date fell on August 2. Through this media campaign, followers promote global conversations about sustainability reaching over one billion media impressions annually. In 2017, Global Footprint Network invited people to “move the date" of Overshoot Day, by asking them to participate in civic and individual actions. If the date is shifted five days every year, humanity will be back to one-planet living before 2050. By expanding #MoveTheDate campaign throughout the year, expanding partnerships, and adding country-specific overshoot day campaigns, Global Footprint Network is amplifying the desire to create a sustainable future – and to show that such a shift is indeed possible.

2. Collaborating with on-the ground projects to highlight intriguing examples of how sustainability can be advanced. These applications include city Footprint assessments, country studies and investment appraisals. These examples are needed to show audiences how this information can be used and how it is appraisals making a difference. New projects underway include the government of Scotland, cities in Portugal and the Colombian Province of Nariño.

3. Ensuring credibility by building an international academic network that engenders growing scientific an international academic network robustness, government acceptance, persistence and reliability of the National Footprint Accounts. Broad use of this data is a prerequisite for decisions to be informed by resource limitations.

Our People: Our staff have advanced degrees and experience in ecology, economics, regional planning, data science, communications, research, fundraising, finance and organizational development. They speak multiple languages and have worked in 6 continents. We also have an international board of directors. Bios can be found at: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/about-us/people/
Global Footprint Network has worked with consultants in strategic planning and branding. We also have a range of advisors that include global corporate leaders, government officials, and academics (including a climate psychologist).
Track Record: Twenty-five years after we created the Ecological Footprint, the word footprint" has become a ubiquitous reference in the environmental field. We pioneered the concept of how many planets it takes to support humanity's current demand. This framework is referenced by businesses in their own corporate sustainability reports, including Google and Philips.
Global Footprint Network brings quantitative clarity into vague sustainability debates, by measuring the extent to which we live within the means of one planet. No other metric exists in the world that can compare how much we use to what our planet's ecosystems can renew. It puts together all our competing demands on our planet into one equation carbon emissions, food, land for cities, forest products, etc.

Our National Footprint accounts have over 15,000 data points per country and year (for 200 countries since 1961) and allow users to answer: how many planet Earths would it take if everybody lived like you? Since 2008, our Ecological Footprint Calculator has empowered more than 12 million people from around the globe to estimate the size of their personal Footprint.
Since 2003, we've engaged with more than 50 nations, 30 cities and 78 global partners to deliver scientific insights that have driven high-impact sustainability policy and investment decisions.
We have worked with 12 nations to test the Ecological Footprint in their sustainability strategies, including Japan, Switzerland, UAE and Montenegro. Our Ecological Footprint was adopted by WWF as a meta-goal and most visible indicator in beyond GDP" debates.

International recognition includes the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Zayed Prize, the Blue Planet Prize and the Binding Prize. Our CEO is regularly invited to speak at various international fora. In 2017, this included the Pontifical Academy of Sciences meeting at the Vatican and the Eco Forum Global Symposium in China.

Ecological Footprint Calculator- This popular tool draws more than two million users a year. http://www.footprintcalculator.org/ On August 2, 2017, a new mobile-enabled Calculator was launched that uses our acclaimed Ecological Footprint data and methodology. Within less than three months, there were approximately 500,000 users. In 2023, we had about 5 million users. Planned calculator enhancements include customizable features for cities, schools, companies and various communities and more languages (now 8).

Open Data Platform- We make our data available through Ecological Footprint Explorer (data.footprintnetwork.org). We are seeking support to further develop Global Footprint Network's new open data community and translate the platform into different languages.

Communications- The highlight is our annual Earth Overshoot Day campaign - the date by which humanity's demand on nature has exceeded what Earth can regenerate for the year. http://www.overshootday.org/ This campaign is accelerating national and global conversations about sustainability. In 2023, Earth Overshoot Day attracted media attention in over 100 countries, the greatest number yet, with approximately 6,000 media stories, and over 7 billion media impressions.

Cities and Governments- By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people, with 70-80% living in urban areas, leading to a doubling of cities. Cities, with their rapidly evolving infrastructure, large share of economic activities, and tremendous innovation potential are the solution space where human foresight and innovation can thrive. To succeed, cities need improved tools to explore, compare, and apply sustainability solutions. Footprint assessments can be used to positively reinforce collective public achievements thus far and can help design sustainability policies to reach more ambitious goals going forward. We have worked with cities in Canada, around the Mediterranean and in other parts of the world and expect to do more. Additionally, 12 countries have formally tested the Ecological Footprint results and method, and some of them have also used it in their sustainability strategies.

Partnerships
Academic: We are continually working to improve and maintain the quality of our data. Global Footprint Network is developing an academic partnership to boost transparency and legitimacy of the National Footprint Accounts. Nonprofits and NGOs: Our work supports other organizations in achieving their objectives. Organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund have been using our data and calculators provide scientific support their programmatic outcomes.

Corporate: We are beginning to partner with businesses, such as Schneider Electric or interzero, whose business model is aligned with our goal of ending overshoot.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

GLOBAL FOOTPRINT NETWORK INC

Board of directors
as of 04/27/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sandra Browne

Industrial Logic

Term: 2025 - 2024

Mathis Wackernagel

Global Footprint Network, Inc.

Sandra Browne

MBA

Lewis Akenji

Hot or Cool

Heiko Specking

Specking and Partners

Sarosh Kumana

Foundation for a Sustainable Future

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/19/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.