BSEN20180 Intro to Env Footprinting

Academic Year 2023/2024

An environmental footprint is an estimate of the effect that a person, company or activity has, which causes a specific type of environmental impact, e.g., consumption of freshwater resources, emissions of trace gases or land use required. This module will introduce you to the concepts of water, emission, land, and ecological footprints and lead you through the calculation of your own environmental footprints using the best available guidelines, standards, and techniques.
Your water footprinting (WF) estimates your personal appropriation of fresh water, considering consumption and pollution potential. Your emission footprinting (EF) is an estimate of the consequences of the emission of trace gases you are responsible for. Your land footprint (LF) is an approximation of the area of cultivable land required to support your lifestyle. Your ecological footprinting (EcF) is a measure of how much natural resources you use to support your lifestyle. We will examine the theoretical basis for each footprint and then use web-based calculators to estimate your personal environmental footprints. Finally, we will consider strategies to reduce our personal environmental footprints.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Prepare a goal and scope statement for a personal environmental footprint calculation
2. Collect, organise and manipulate data to build a database for calculating individual environmental footprints
3. How to quantify your water, emission, land, and ecological footprints and compare them with national and global averages
4. Interpret the result of environmental footprint calculations to identify reduction strategies

Indicative Module Content:

Introduction to individual's environmental footprint; the impact of individual footprints on the collective footprint of a nation; the goal and scope for individual footprint calculation; strategies for data collation; calculation of individual's water, emission, land, and ecological footprints; the difference between individual and global footprints; identifications of the hotspot of the footprints; interpretation of results; and example applications and remedial strategies to be taken towards minimising individual environmental footprints.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
• Problem-based assignments that build to a completed individual's water, emission, land, and ecological footprints assessment project
• Directed reading
• Online lectures
• Online web-based tool for environmental footprints calculation 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Digital poster presentation on water and land footprinting Week 5 n/a Graded Yes


Assignment: Digital poster presentation on emission and ecological footprinting Week 10 n/a Graded Yes


Assignment: Report 3 on your personal environmental footprints (3 pages per footprint, 12 in total), excluding references Week 12 n/a Graded Yes



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.