This key article seeks to empirically examine the impact of geopolitical risk, economic policy uncertainty (EPU), natural resources, and renewable energy on a country’s ecological footprint, a proxy for environmental sustainability on a national scale. We conducted a quantitative study using the cross-sectional autoregressive distributive lag, augmented mean group, and common correlated effect ... [Show full abstract] mean group estimation models, as well as a few tests such as the CD test, Westerlund’s co-integration, and CIPS and CADF unit root tests, beginning in January 2000 and ending in January 2021, to determine the data’s reliability. The findings indicate that while GPR and renewable energy sources lessen the ecological footprint (EF), EPU and the use of non-renewable energy enhance the EF. The study’s scope is narrowed to the BRICS nations, but its implications for expanding existing knowledge and shaping policy are enormous. The results can aid decision-makers in preparing for the possibility of unexpected events causing harm to the economy. The reliability of the evidence can be strengthened by employing more stringent research methods. This study’s dimensions reflect the current research paradigm. The research has policy implications for achieving sustainable development goals in emerging economies.