The Ecological Footprint of an activity tries to measure its consumption of natural resources and the amount of biologically productive land and sea needed to regenerate those resources and to absorb and render harmless the waste that is produced.
While this measure is being increasingly used, it is not a scientific standard and is widely criticized. The translation of every impact into land and sea areas is neither self-evident nor is it easily established. Consequently, various methodologies are in use that sometimes give conflicting results. The calculations also largely depend on the prevailing technologies, meaning that their results are evolving with the state of technology. Nevertheless, being fully aware of its limitations, Ecological Footprint calculations can sometimes be used to establish a first rough approximation of the ecological impact of a product or a system.