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Target group models: Footprint variants

Special footprint models for different target groups:

- Households. In the 90s, the focus of footprinting was almost exclusively on households. With simple models, individuals could determine a footprint for themselves or their household by entering data like size of their home, energy use, number of slices of cheese they do on a slice of bread, how many meat and vegetables they eat, how many miles they travel by each mode of transport, etc. The result was compared to a global average and often general instructions to reduce a footprint were added.

- Countries. Every two years, WWF publishes a 'Living Planet Report' with figures of average and total footprints per country and per continent. These figures are based on national statistics on production and consumption of those countries.

- Cities. Around 2000, footprints of eight municipalities were calculated, amongst them The Hague, Pijnacker and Wymbritseradiel. Only a limited amount of information came from the municipalities themselves, much of the required data came from National Statistics. The average footprints per capita of those municipalities were within a range of 10% around the national average for the Netherlands (4.7 ha).

- Companies. The first companies and institutions for which a footprint was calculated were only offices. The first company in the Netherlands was management firm Brighthouse in Helvoirt. In 2002 a footprint model was developed by TME in cooperation with 'De Kleine Aarde' to calculate a global footprint (GF) for Brighthouse. In 2007 TME extended this model in order to make it suitable for a production company and applied it to a manufacturer of coatings. A benchmark can be established by comparing similar companies by calculating a footprint per employee (fte), or per million sales or profits.

- Products. Basically this target group is a logical one, because the footprint of a household or business is a composite of footprints of individual products. However, for households there are general footprints per product type (peanut butter = peanut butter). For producers, product footprints are more interesting: a company that reduces its business footprint, reduces also the footprints of its products and by doing so it differentiates its products from similar products from other companies. In this way, a product-benchmark is created more or less automatically.

- Schools. For this target group, the focus is on the educational character of footprinting and not on calculating a footprint of a school. Students can calculate their own footprint and "learn" how they themselves can contribute to reduce their own footprint.

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