An ecological footprint, or eco-footprint, is the spatial representation of how much land and water an individual, town, business or other group requires to produce the resources it consumes and absorb the waste it generates.
Oakville's eco-footprint was measured in 2015 and was found to be 9.1 global hectares (gha) per capita — 25 per cent larger than the Canadian average of 7.1 gha per capita, and significantly higher than the threshold for global sustainability of 1.8 gha per capita.
Oakville requires 1.5 million hectares of land to support its population — over 100 times the town's total land area, or twice the size of the entire GTA. We need to work together to start bringing this number down to become a more sustainable community.
In addition to a town-wide footprint, the town has initiated work on an innovative program that allows the footprint to be calculated down to a neighbourhood level. This tool can be valuable in developing things such as targeted conservation programs in areas of higher energy use and tracking the performance of new development hubs.
For more information about eco-footprints, visit the Global Footprint Network website.
To learn how to reduce your personal footprint, visit the World Wildlife Federationwebsite for ideas and more information.