Robust land footprint indicators can potentially extend the consumption-based resource use indicator of the German sustainability strategy, which focuses on abiotic resources including fossil fuels, metals, and construction and industrial minerals and decidedly excludes biotic resources.
This study provides a review of the current state of the art in measuring land footprints and gives clear recommendations for the further development of land flow accounting methods, particularly highlighting the advantages of hybrid accounting approaches as a framework for the robust and transparent assessment of land footprints associated with global biomass flows. We set up an accounting model according to the derived recommendations and apply it to calculate land footprint indicators for Germany and Europe. The study furthermore discusses and evaluates options of impact-oriented land footprint indicators (measuring e.g. biodiversity loss related with the land footprint) and calculates selected indicators for Germany.