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Earth Overshoot Day 2023


You may have heard the term ‘overshoot day’ before, this is the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

Country Overshoot Days are the date when the Earth’s Overshoot Day would fall, if all humans consumed like the individuals in that specific country. Published on 1st January 2023, the country overshoot days for 2023 have been calculated as:

Country Overshoot Day - depicting the date on which Earth Overshoot Day would fall if all of humanity consumed like the people in that country

Image taken from Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day is the average of all the country overshoot days, the date for 2023 will be released on 5th June 2023.

Noting that, relevant to QinetiQ territories:

  • US and Canada overshoot day falls on 13th March
  • Australia overshoot day falls on 23rd March
  • Sweden overshoot day falls on 3rd April
  • Germany overshoot day falls on 4th May
  • UK overshoot day falls on 19th May

Overshoot days for countries are calculated by the Global Footprint Network using the calculation:

(Earth’s Bio capacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

Earth’s Bio capacity: the amount of ecological resources that Earth is able to generate that year and Humanity’s Ecological Footprint: humanity’s demand for that year.

The countries QinetiQ operates in have an overshoot day which falls in the first 6 months of the year, meaning that from these dates onwards, everyone in these countries is ‘in debt’, essentially using resources at the expense of future generations.

The group has been calculating overshoot days since 2006. Since then, Earth Overshoot day has been gradually moving earlier most years. Whilst none of the overshoot days for countries where QinetiQ operates have changed since last year, we can however do more to push these days back.

So what can we do to #MoveTheDate?

The cost of living crisis has already encouraged us to evaluate how we are heating our homes and making small changes to have a big overall impact is quite important. Whilst purchasing more sustainable products can sometimes be more expensive (buying a brand new electric car comes with a hefty price tag), there are alternative options that will have marginal gains.

This could be:

  • Purchasing products with less packaging
  • Purchasing products locally
  • Car sharing or using public transport more frequently
  • Meat Free Mondays
  • Paying more attention to the labels on products you buy – where are the products from and what materials are used?

Marginal gains: Finding a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do will lead to a significant, noticeable improvement overall.

Battery Overshoot Day
Overshoot Day Move the Date - things to consider to move overshoot days