Glossary of terms

Biodegradable: Capable of being broken down by natural processes, such as bacterial action.

Bio-diesel: A clean burning, alternative fuel derived from animal fats or vegetable oil that can be used in diesel burning engines. It does not contain petroleum products, but may be blended with petroleum-based diesel.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2): A heavy, colourless gas that does not support combustion. Made of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, it is formed especially in animal respiration and in the decay or combustion of animal and vegetable matter. It is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis, and is an atmospheric greenhouse gas.

Carbon Footprint: A measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Offset: A way of counteracting the carbon emitted when the use of fossil fuel causes greenhouse gas emissions. Offsets commonly involve investing in projects such as renewable energy, tree planting and energy efficient projects.

Climate Neutral: Products or services that reduce and offset the greenhouse gases generated at each stage of their life-cycle on a cradle-to-grave basis: the sourcing of their materials, their manufacturing or production, their distribution, use, and ultimate end-of-life disposition.

Compost: A mixture of humus-rich, decomposed vegetable matter, used as a fertiliser or soil enrichment.

Corporate Responsibility: Our obligation to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities and the environment as an aspect of meeting planning, execution and evaluation so that sustainability can be achieved.

Ecological Footprint: The measure of area needed to supply national populations with the resources and area needed to absorb their wastes.

Ecology: The system of relationships between organisms and their environments.

Ecosystem: A community of living organisms interacting with themselves and with their environment.

Ecotourism: Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.

Energy/Water Conservation: Practices and strategies that are designed to minimise the amount of energy and water used.

Environmentally Responsible Transportation: Transportation options that minimise environmental impact such as mass public transportation and electric/hybrid vehicles.

E-waste: Waste materials generated from using or discarding electronic devices, such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones. E-waste tends to be highly toxic to humans, plants, and animals, and has been known to contaminate water, air and dirt.

Fair Trade: Small farmers are paid a fair market price that enables them to improve their standard of living.

Fossil Fuel: An organic, energy-rich substance formed from the long-buried remains of prehistoric life.

FOG: Fats, Oil and Grease form the catering sector.

Global Warming: A gradual, long-term increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. The term is most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases.

Green: A common expression meaning environmentally responsible.

Green Collar Job: A job connected to eco-friendly products and services.

Greenhouse Effect: Heating of the atmosphere that results from the absorption of solar radiation by certain gases.

Greenhouse Gas: A gas which contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing solar radiation. These gases include, but are not limited to, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons.

Greenwash: To falsely claim a product is environmentally sound, also known as faux green. Disinformation disseminated by an organisation so as to present an environmentally friendly public image.

High-intensity discharge (HID) lamp: Compared with fluorescent and incandescent lamps, HID lamps have higher luminous efficacy since a greater proportion of their radiation is in visible light as opposed to heat. Their overall luminous efficacy is also much higher: they give a greater amount of light output per watt of electricity input.

High Performance Lamp (HPL): The proprietary HPL lamp uses a compact filament, which concentrates the most light where it is efficient in an ellipsoidal reflector.

Hybrid Vehicle: Vehicle that uses a combination of two engine types. Cars are most commonly petrol-electric hybrids.

Kilowatt Hour: 1,000 watts of electricity used for one hour.

Led lamp: A Light-Emitting-Diode lamp is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. LED lamps offer long life and high efficiency, but initial costs are higher than that of fluorescent lamps.

Occupancy Sensor: A monitoring device commonly connected to a room’s lighting but also occasionally to heating or ventilation, which shuts down these services when the space is unoccupied, thus saving energy.

Organic Foods: Grown without chemicals that can harm the land, water or human health. Organic certification of food can be through an independent organisation or government program.

Parabolic aluminised reflector lamp (Par light): A type of lamp that is widely used in commercial, residential, and transportation illumination. The lamps and their fixtures are widely used in theatre, concerts and motion picture production when a substantial amount of flat lighting is required for a scene.

Post-Consumer Material: An end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of a solid waste. Post-consumer materials include recyclables collected in commercial and residential recycling programs, such as office paper, cardboard, aluminium cans, plastics and metals.

Processed Chlorine Free (PCF): “Processed chlorine free” describes a bleaching process free of chlorine or chlorine compounds, which poisons rivers. The most common PCF bleaching agent is hydrogen peroxide (which breaks down into water and oxygen).Using PCF paper eliminates most of the toxic by-products of traditional bleaching, such as dioxins and other organ chlorides, and this means cleaner rivers.

Recycled Paper: Uncoated paper with at least 30% post-consumer waste and coated paper with at least 10% post-consumer waste can be called “recycled” paper.

Recycling: The collection of waste materials and reprocessing them into new materials or products, which are then sold again.

Renewable Resources: Resources that are created or produced at least as fast as they are consumed, so that nothing is depleted. These include solar, hydro, wind power, biomass, and geothermal energy sources.

Shade Grown Coffee: Coffee that is grown in the traditional manner, with coffee plants interspersed under a canopy of trees. End result: more habitats for birds, less need for chemical inputs, and the forest is not disrupted.

Sustainable Food: Food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals, provides a fair wage for the farmer, and supports and enhances rural communities.

Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Triple Bottom Line: A business and development philosophy incorporating the three Es: equity, environment, economics. Also referred to as the three Ps: people, planet, profit.

Vegetable-based Inks: Environmentally friendly printing inks which are made from vegetable oils combined with pigments. The most common type is made from soy.