Global footprint and sustainability

The “three horses of sustainability” – the IPAT equation provides a simple but powerful model for understanding the roles of population, affluence and technology, particularly from the challenge posed by the Anthropocene – how to reduce one’s personal or societal impact.

It takes an actor’s perspective, liberating the question of reducing impact from a technical to a behavioural one; i.e. “how much do I need to change to achieve sustainability?” The model helps by offering multiple pathways, through stabilizing or reducing population, affluence and/or technology or material use, helping to build trust and confidence among actors to support collective action.

Read the paper and supplementary material below, or at the publisher’s site here – and contribute to comments and review of the concepts in this open online review process.




Note that this ‘preprint’ is a pre-review version of this paper. For information on what a preprint is, see the text below, from the publisher’s page here.

“A preprint is a piece of research that has not yet been peer reviewed and published in a journal. In most cases, they can be considered final drafts or working papers. Preprints is a multidisciplinary preprint platform that makes scientific manuscripts from all fields of research immediately available. It is a free, not-for-profit service supported by the open access publisher MDPI”