Blogheading - Footprint

Your personal impact - Footprint 2.0

In this blog post, we explore the following question: How big is your social-ecological footprint really? And more importantly, how can you make a real change with your monthly fixed costs? We not only show you the impact you can make, but also provide you with concrete alternatives to set change in motion. Your decision today makes the difference for a future worth living for all.

Everything you need to know about your footprint

What is the personal footprint (and why is it so important)?

Let's start with the basics to get everyone on the same page.

The ecological footprint is a method initiated by the Global Footprint Network (and distorted by the oil company BP ↓ campaign) to measure human activities and the resulting impact on the natural resources of its ecosystems (measured as biocapacity):

In the same context is the Earth's biocapacity and the ability of ecosystems to naturally absorb these impacts:

It is a direct indicator of mankind's impact on the environment and whether its effects are in harmony with its dependent ecosystems. One way to illustrate our impact is the Earth Overshoot Day. It is the calendar date on which humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. The German average lifestyle currently requires 3 Earths for ecosystems to regenerate. Footprint and biocapacity trends show that Germany is currently not prepared to secure its own prosperity.

The average value of German emissions in 2023 is 4.7 global hectares of biocapacity, which corresponds to an area of just over 7 soccer pitches.

However, the personal footprint can be extended across ecological, but also social levels and has both a direct and indirect impact on our environment and society. For example, on an environmental level, our influence is felt in electricity consumption, where switching to renewable energy sources reduces greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to climate protection. At the same time, choosing a sustainable bank promotes socio-ecological responsibility in investments. Individual decisions can lead to collective action, which has the potential to accelerate this so-called transition.

In addition, there are other, probably better terms to encompass personal impact:

Climate Shadow

The "Climate Shadow" illustrates how our life choices affect the climate crisis as a whole. It includes not only direct everyday actions such as energy consumption and transportation, but also decisions such as supporting parties with concrete climate protection measures, our own career goals, investments and communication and reflection on climate change among relatives and friends. In contrast to the ecological footprint, the climate shadow encompasses more complex actions and contagious behaviors instead of pointing out rather insignificant - but easily quantifiable - actions.


While the widely used footprint is metaphorically used for negative impacts, the handprint stands for the positive and innovative management that contributes to sustainable development. The handprint is a symbol and a measure of our commitment to positive actions that benefit the world in the present and in the future.

Concept definitions for footprint, handprint and climate shadow

BP and the carbon footprint campaign

The term "carbon footprint" was first propagated by British Petroleum (BP) in the "early eighties" and its narrative has been successfully disseminated to this day. In 2004, the oil giant presented its "Carbon Footprint Calculator", a misleading advertising tool with the simple aim of diverting attention from its own responsibility. This emphasis on responsibility subtly shifts the burden of the crisis situation from governments and companies to individuals, even if the leverage effects are extremely unevenly distributed. The fact is that 25 oil companies are responsible for the amount of carbon emissions that remain globally for the 1.5-degree target to avoid the most devastating, irreversible effects of climate change, with none of the oil giants taking drastic action against the status quo with concrete measures.

Our leading principle is the market signal - the untapped power of consumers. Personal contributions to a socio-ecological turnaround that can significantly influence the market. In terms of fixed costs, this means that the more of our money goes into meaningful projects, the more investment funds there are for greater leverage.

So what is the exact impact of your monthly ancillary costs? Let's take a look at three segments: energy, banking and mobile communication.

Green Energy - Your Personal Impact