Next Article in Journal
Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change on Distribution of Major Non-Timber Forest Plants in Chitwan Annapurna Landscape, Nepal
Previous Article in Journal
Environment and Big Data: Role in Smart Cities of India
Previous Article in Special Issue
Ecological Footprint Accounting for Countries: Updates and Results of the National Footprint Accounts, 2012–2018
Article Menu
Issue 4 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Resources 2018, 7(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7040065

The Ecological Footprint Accounting of Products: When Larger Is Not Worse

Ecodynamics Group, Dept. of Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Footprint Assessment for Resources Management)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2288 KB, uploaded 16 October 2018]   |  

Abstract

One of the main goals of any (sustainability) indicator should be the communication of a clear, unambiguous, and simplified message about the status of the analyzed system. The selected indicator is expected to declare explicitly how its numerical value depicts a situation, for example, positive or negative, sustainable or unsustainable, especially when a comparison among similar or competitive systems is performed. This aspect should be a primary and discriminating issue when the selection of a set of opportune indicators is operated. The Ecological Footprint (EF) has become one of the most popular and widely used sustainability indicators. It is a resource accounting method with an area based metric in which the units of measure are global hectares or hectares with world average bio-productivity. Its main goal is to underline the link between the (un)sustainability level of a product, a system, an activity or a population life style, with the land demand for providing goods, energy, and ecological services needed to sustain that product, system, activity, or population. Therefore, the traditional rationale behind the message of EF is: the larger EF value, the larger environmental impact in terms of resources use, the lower position in the sustainability rank. The aim of this paper was to investigate if this rationale is everywhere opportune and unambiguous, or if sometimes its use requires paying a special attention. Then, a three-dimensional modification of the classical EF framework for the sustainability evaluation of a product has been proposed following a previous work by Niccolucci and co-authors (2009). Finally, the potentialities of the model have been tested by using a case study from the agricultural context. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ecological Footprint; Product Ecological Footprint; three dimensional footprint; sustainability; size; depth Ecological Footprint; Product Ecological Footprint; three dimensional footprint; sustainability; size; depth
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Patrizi, N.; Niccolucci, V.; Pulselli, R.M.; Neri, E.; Bastianoni, S. The Ecological Footprint Accounting of Products: When Larger Is Not Worse. Resources 2018, 7, 65.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Resources EISSN 2079-9276 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top