Making Sense of Local Sustainability

  • Don Clifton
Part of the The International Society of Business, Economics, and Ethics Book Series book series (ISBEE, volume 4)


What does it mean to live sustainably at the local level? How can we assess whether our local behaviors to try and live sustainably make sense when looked at in the broader global setting? In this chapter, we use Ecological Footprint Analysis to help find answers to these questions. A series of tests are presented that assess local Footprint Analysis data in terms of a global sustainability goal. The South Australian setting is used as a case study. The discussion also explores how the standard Footprint Analysis data presents an overly optimistic picture of humanity’s use of the Earth’s renewable natural resources and argues for an alternate view of these data. The alternate data show that the extent to which humanity is exploiting the Earth’s renewable natural resources in excess of what it is safe to do is much greater than the standard data reveal. This has significant implications for how we assess local sustainability in the global context.


Sustainable world Footprint Analysis Ecological Footprint South Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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