Sustainability champion honoured by the University of Stirling

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Dr Mathis Wackernagal
Dr Mathis Wackernagal, honorary graduate.

Sustainability advocate Mathis Wackernagel has today been recognised with an honorary degree from the University of Stirling.

Mr Wackernagel – President of the international non-profit think tank Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the only metric that measures how much nature is used up by the global population, the Ecological Footprint – was recognised for his outstanding contribution to advancing the global conservation around human carrying capacity, ecological economics, and environmental policy.

Mr Wackernagel received his honorary doctorate on the first day of the University of Stirling’s winter graduation ceremonies, which will see 1,772 graduates celebrate their achievements this week.

Mr Wackernagel said: “I am particularly touched to be recognised by the University of Stirling, a university dedicated to the improvement of the world around us. Its strong values and commitments to its students make it so respected and beloved.  

“Stirling also thinks ahead and recognises that we are standing in front of a humongous transition: we still do not know how we will manage, including feeding and powering ourselves. That’s why the University’s positive spirit, academic excellence, and love for teaching make it into such a delightful and essential asset for generations to come.”

Dr Mathis Wackernagal

Dr Mathis Wackernagal, honorary graduate.

Mr Wackernagel co-founded the Global Footprint Network in 2003, with the goal to make ecological limits central to decision-making across the world. The Network has since engaged with more than 50 nations, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights for policy and investment decisions. The think tank’s ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources each year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.

Little girl runs towards a graduating relative/friend

Celebration: 1,772 graduates are receiving their degrees and other academic awards this week.

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Alongside the achievements of our graduands, we are proud to recognise Mathis Wackernagel, for his significant work in promoting sustainability. He is a fantastic role model for our students and is recognised for his outstanding contribution in his field.”

Ahead of receiving his honorary doctorate, Mr Wackernagel met with the team from the Hydro Nation Chair programme – a leading collaboration led by the University to deliver sustainable water management in Scotland – and delivered The Royal Society of Edinburgh public lecture ‘How ecological overshoot is shifting economic rules’.

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