Ecological footprint has received numerous criticisms largely by various researchers. The ecological footprint is a way of comparing the sustainability of the use of resources among varied populace. This is a method that on its original conception was used in determining the consumption of these populations by converting the populace into a particular index, which is the land area required in sustaining that particular population indefinitely. The notion of comparison is brought about when the area is then compared to the actual area of productive land that is inhabited by a given population, and the degree of sustainability is considered as the difference between the required land and the available land. “Unsustainable populations, therefore, are populations whose ecological footprint is higher than the land available.” In such cases of unsustainable populations, ecological footprint becomes one of the best tools of designing policies and ensuring proper planning of the available resources. “However, there are numerous consequences associated with companies that produce a type of product which has been around for a long time, and which continues to change through developmental processes.”
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Numerous companies believe that it is possible to continue to improve the products and create better performance reducing environmental impact through the extension of product’s life by reducing the need for maintenance. In fact, firms that effectively use their natural capital are likely to achieve corporate sustainability. The eco-efficiency is usually determined as the economic value added by any given firm in terms of its aggravated ecological impact. There are numerous socio-economic and demographic factors that influence ecological footprint. “For example, per capita ecological footprints of (a) ecological footprint intensity and (b) as a function of per capita household expenditure for numerous households in different countries vary significantly.” This is likely because expenditure increases as a result of an increased income. This is why wealthy families have relatively smaller ecological footprint per dollar of expenditure due to the difference in the consumer basket and vice versa. “Ecological footprints have been criticized largely regards to its oversimplification of the complex task of measuring sustainability of consumption, since many people believe that it has become meaningless.” However, sustainability of regional land is not easily determined by the ecological footprint since they are not related to sustainability. This is because ecosystems, farming methods, climate differ regionally.
In conclusion, it is evident from the above deliberation that decomposition of the ecological footprint into goods, production layers, and structural paths clearly shows the nature of the environmental impact. It is also clear that it helps in the identification of operational inputs which are crucial in facilitation of the targeted opportunities and in streamlining actions aimed at minimizing environmental pressure.
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