This study conducted a survey of the major green growth frameworks and indicators to improve understanding of their function, pros, cons and the links between them. The Ecological Footprint has strong academic foundations and draws upon latest work in this area to update and refine the methodology. This is a strength of the EF, but many of the assumptions underlying the footprint measures, and the method itself, although based on academic research, remain contentious in how they are derived and applied.
There is a perception that this measure is less robust. The Ecological Footprint offers coverage across many ecosystem issues but is weak on non-natural materials (except for fossil fuels) and biodiversity. This provides a narrower view of ecological sustainability, rather than the environment as a whole.
The OECD and UNEP indicator sets, by their nature as sets, can also offer comprehensive coverage across the main issues and aspects, being able to more clearly link them together. The trade off is in simplicity of communication and need to develop and manage more data.