The global footprint of Wales

What is the Indicator?

Our global footprint is the total environmental burden that society places on the planet. Globally, we are consuming more natural resources than the world is able to replace.

One way of measuring our global footprint and this ecological deficit is to calculate what is known as an Ecological Footprint, which represents the area of land needed to provide raw materials, energy and food as well as absorb pollution and waste created. It is measured in global hectares.

Our global footprint is influenced by the food people eat, the way they travel and the energy they use at home. It also accounts for the purchase of products and services from insurance to televisions to items of clothing. It also includes impacts from construction activity and investment in infrastructure.





What is the milestone?

Wales will use only its fair share of the world’s resources by 2050.



Global (or ecological) footprint of Wales in 2018 (Mgha): 12.3


What does the data say?

A global footprint for Wales has recently been calculated by JNCC using the Ecological Footprint methodology. This is part of a wider project to improve understanding of the global environmental footprint and impacts of commodities that are consumed within Wales, but that may be produced anywhere in the world.

Using the Ecological Footprint methodology, Wales’s global footprint has generally decreased from around 17.0 million global hectares (gha) in 2004 to 12.3 million gha in 2018. The global footprint per person has reduced by nearly a third over the time period, and stood at 3.9 gha per person in 2018. However, this remains over twice the estimated biocapacity of Wales. In other words, if the entire world population lived like the citizens of Wales, humanity would require 2.08 Earths.




Figure 1: Global footprint (gha) per person, 2004 to 2018


Graph description: Global footprint (gha) per person increased slightly from 2004 to a peak in 2007 and decreased between 2007 to 2018.

Source: Understanding the Global Environmental Footprint and Impacts of Welsh Consumption, JNCC



Related information

An Ecological Footprint was produced using two slightly different methodologies – one making use of Wales specific data (only available for 2019), and the other using different and slightly simpler input data (apportioning UK data to Wales) to enable the production of a time series. Due to its ability to monitor change over time, the latter is being used to report progress against the national indicator and milestone.

In addition to the Ecological Footprint, JNCC in collaboration with the Global Footprint Network and the Stockholm Environment Institute have also produced further analysis in the following areas to help to better understand the pressures and impacts at play and importantly help to inform appropriate policy and societal responses:

- The waste component of the Welsh Ecological Footprint which assesses the proportion of the overall footprint associated with waste – measuring the resources that enter the economy and are ultimately turned into waste in order to help quantify resource efficiency.

- A Welsh Material Footprint which is an estimate of the total tonnes of material extracted or produced to support consumption. This includes material discarded at previous stages in the supply chain.

- A Welsh Version of the Global Environmental Impacts of Consumption indicator which is a set of estimates of the biodiversity loss, deforestation and water impacts associated with consumption. It breaks down each impact by commodity type and location.




- ウェールズのエコロジカルフットプリントの廃棄物成分:経済に入って最終的に廃棄物になる資源の割合を評価し、資源効率を定量化するのに役立てます。

- ウェールズの物質フットプリント:消費を支えるために抽出または生産された総トン数の推定値です。これには、サプライチェーンの以前の段階で廃棄された材料が含まれます。

- ウェールズ版のグローバル環境消費指標:消費に関連する生物多様性の損失、森林伐採および水影響の推定値のセットです。各影響を商品タイプおよび場所ごとに分解します。

Contact email:  stats.environment@gov.wales

Last update: September 2023  

Designation:The source of this indicator is not published as an official statistic

External links:

- Link to data and report: Understanding the Global Environmental Footprint and Impacts of Welsh Consumption | JNCC Resource Hub

連絡先メール: stats.environment@gov.wales

最終更新日:  2023年9月

出典: この指標の出典は公式統計として公開されていません


データおよびレポートへのリンク:ウェールズの消費に関するグローバル環境フットプリントと影響の理解 | JNCCリソースハブ


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