Carbon footprinting is a way of measuring the total emissions for an entity in carbon dioxide equivalents. In Australia, this is mandatory for large emitters.
In contrast, an ecological footprint considers broader environmental indicators.
Measuring sustainability is even broader – encompassing social, environmental and financial factors in an integrated way. This requires a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
For a concise guide to the elements of business sustainability check out the Queensland Government’s Business Sustainability Roadmap, developed in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading sustainability experts.
Here is an online process for measuring the carbon emissions of your workplace (an educational website from the United Kingdom).
At the national level, most of Australia’s carbon emissions comes from burning fossil fuels but goods and services makes up almost 30 per cent of the footprint.
Many people will be surprised to learn that around half of Australia’s ecological footprint is associated with food production (45.9 per cent of our footprint). Source: Australian Conservation Foundation Consumption Atlas Main Findings, 2007
Here are some articles about Australia’s potential to become zero carbon.
‘Getting practical with push for zero carbon homes‘ by Stephen Barry in The Conversation, 14 February 2012
Queensland awaits the new Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan by not-for-profit think tank, Beyond Zero Emissions and the Melbourne University’s Energy Institute