Ecological footprint benchmarking of 40 tertiary education campuses

Hilary Bekmann, Sara Rickards, Caroline Nollar

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    This paper discusses the use of Ecological Footprint (EF) in the reporting for both strategic planning and reporting and monitoring at university campuses. In addition, the paper presents preliminary EF results for 40 campuses calculated using an innovative software application. The EF is an evidenced based approach which quantifies human consumption, compares this to bio-productive supply and communicates this in terms of the hectares required to support that level of consumption. This approach provides an understanding of how much supply is available, how much is used and who uses what. The key strength of EF applied to campus facilities is its ability to address the life cycle of activities in and communicate the outcomes affectively. That is, “how many planets are required to support a campus?” By addressing the impact of built-form, stationary energy, water, operational consumption, transport and infrastructure in a common metric, EF provides an understanding of the comparative magnitude of these aspects and the overall impact of activities. This can be used to inform focus points for strategy, as well as support cost benefit comparisons of initiatives and outcomes. This engages stakeholders in the implications of their activities upon global sustainability. The results of the preliminary research indicate that the current average performance for Universities (2.5 Planets) demonstrates a substantial ecological sustainability challenge for campuses managers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference, Sydney, Australia
    Place of PublicationSydney
    PublisherAustralasian Campuses Towards Sustainability
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventInternational Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference (13th : 2013) - Sydney
    Duration: 25 Sep 201327 Sep 2013


    ConferenceInternational Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference (13th : 2013)


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