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Sustainable Investing Glossary

Footprint

A country, company or person’s impact on the Earth’s resources and on other people.

The (ecological) footprint is a way of measuring how a company or an investment portfolio of companies impacts the planet. There are various ways to determine a footprint. It can be an indicator of, for example, how much productive land, freshwater or seawater a company uses, how much greenhouse gas it emits, or how many trees it needs to cut down to produce a certain item. It also shows the emissions generated from the oil, coal and gas we burn, or how much land is required to absorb our waste. 

A portfolio’s footprint can be reduced by excluding or underweighting sectors or companies with a large footprint, or by engaging with them to lower their footprint.

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