The Global Metabolism Initiative

Mapping the health of our planet

The Global Metabolism Initiative maps the impacts of global economic activity in relation to our planet’s resources, guiding business and policy leaders on the levers needed to keep the economy within planetary boundaries.

We extract 71.8 billion tonnes of material from the Earth, annually, to fuel our global economy. The rate and volume by which we extract natural resorces is far oustripping the planet’s annual budget of renewable resources.

With competing demand for biomass for food, fuel, fiber, and material and a projected global population of 9.8 billion by 2050, it is vital that we protect, balance and nurture the natural capital which sustains life.

GMI at a glance

Specifically, the GMI combines large datasets to analyze human activity and its impact on the planet. By using a global spatial analysis of material stocks and flows, alongside sectoral deep dives that map key value chains to context-specific impacts, the GMI identifies: 

  • Critically at-risk biophysical and social thresholds.
  • Where social and environmental impacts are most felt.
  • The root causes and leverage points of our economic and social systems, that have the potential to expedite transition pathways.

2022 edition

The Bioeconomy

Each year, the Global Metabolism Initiative prioritizes a deep-dive into a specific high-impact system. Our focus for 2022 is the bioeconomy.

The bioeconomy is everywhere, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear, the wood in our houses and the books on our shelves. A sustainable and resilient bioeconomy would touch every facet of our lives.

How to participate

The Global Metabolism Initiative is a group effort. Together, we can share incredible amounts of knowledge, research, and raw data, to gather new insights and intelligence on the health of our planet.

If you are interested in collaborating with the Initiative, please get in touch.

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For more information about Metabolic Institute, please get in touch.