The variability among living organisms; this includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species and of ecosystems.
- Cleaner Production (CP)
The continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy applied to processes, products, and services to increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment. For production processes cleaner production includes conserving raw materials and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials, and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes. For products it involves reducing the negative impacts along the life cycle of a product, from raw materials extraction to its ultimate disposal. For services the strategy focuses on incorporating environmental concerns into designing and delivering services. (United Nations Environment Programme)
- Design for Environment (DfE)
The Design for Environment approach is grounded in comparing performance, costs, and the risks associated with alternatives. It uses cleaner technologies substitutes assessments (CTSAs) and life cycle tools to evaluate the performance, costs, and environmental and human health impacts of competing technologies. A goal of DfE is to encourage pollution prevention, front-end, innovations through redesign rather than relying on end-of-pipe controls to reducing potential risks to human health and the environment. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
A term developed by the World Business Council on Sustainable Development. Eco-efficiency is reached by the delivery of competitively-priced goods and services that satisfy human needs and bring quality of life, while progressively reducing ecological impacts and resource intensity throughout the life cycle, to a level at least in line with the earth's estimated carrying capacity.
A dynamic system of plants, animals and other organisms, together with the non-living components of the environment, functioning as an interdependent unit.
- Ecosystem integrity
The quality of a natural unmanaged or managed ecosystem in which the natural ecological processes sustain the function, composition and structure of the system.
- Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
A management structure that allows an organization to assess and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services. (Standards Council of Canada)
- Extended Product Responsibility (EPR)
EPR addresses what many regard as the weakest link in the product responsibility chain — the final disposal of products after their sale and use by consumers. Under EPR, the responsibility for post-consumer products is extended to the producer of the product — a responsibility that has been traditionally held by municipalities and taxpayers. EPR embodies the principle that manufacturers of products should bare a significant degree of responsibility for the environmental impact of their products throughout the products' life cycle — including upstream impacts inherent in the selection of materials for the products, impacts from the manufacturers' production itself and downstream impacts from the use and disposal of the products. EPR is the basis for a new generation of pollution prevention policies that focus on the product instead of the production facility. (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
- Factor Four
The idea that resource productivity should be quadrupled so that wealth is doubled, and resource use is halved. The concept has been summed up as "doing more with less". It is argued that this would result in substantial macro-economic gains.
- Factor Ten
The idea that per capita material flows caused by OECD countries should be reduced by a factor of ten. Globally, claim proponents, material turnover should be reduced by 50%, but because OECD countries are responsible for material flows five times as high as developing countries, and world population is inevitably increasing, the OECD has to set long-term targets well beyond the more conservative Factor Four target.
- Full-Cost Accounting (FCA)
An accounting method which determines total value or final price by internalizing non-market values such as environmental and social costs and benefits. (Environment Canada — A Guide to Green Government)
- Industrial ecology
Uses the metaphor of metabolism to analyze production and consumption by industry, government, organizations and consumers, and the interactions between them. It involves tracking energy and material flows through industrial systems, e.g. a plant, region, or national or global economy.
- Inter-generational equity
The principle of equity between people alive today and future generations. The implication is that unsustainable production and consumption by today's society will degrade the ecological, social, and economic basis for tomorrow's society, whereas sustainability involves ensuring that future generations will have the means to achieve a quality of life equal to or better than today's.
- ISO 14000
The ISO 14000 series is a family of environmental management standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO 14000 standards are designed to provide an internationally-recognized framework for environmental management, measurement, evaluation and auditing. They do not prescribe environmental performance targets, but instead provide organizations with the tools to assess and control the environmental impact of their activities, products or services. The standards address the following subjects: environmental management systems; environmental auditing; environmental labels and declarations; environmental performance evaluation; and life cycle assessment. (Standards Council of Canada)
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Life cycle assessment is a specific method for systematically identifying, quantifying and assessing inputs and outputs (i.e. sources of environmental impact) throughout a product's lifecycle. It is one of a range of tools that support life cycle management, but is not a prerequisite for life cycle management.(Environment Canada — Environmental Life Cycle Management: A Guide To Better Business Decisions)
- Life Cycle Management (LCM)
Life cycle management is about minimizing environmental burdens throughout the life cycle of a product or service. The lifecycle includes all activities that go into making, using and disposing of a product. (Environment Canada — Environmental Life Cycle Management: A Guide To Better Business Decisions)
- Natural capital
An extension of the economic notion of capital (manufactured means of production) to environmental 'goods and services'. It refers to a stock (e.g., a forest) which produces a flow of goods (e.g., new trees) and services (e.g., carbon sequestration, erosion control, habitat). Natural capital can be divided into renewable and non-renewable; the level of flow of non-renewable resources (e.g. fossil fuels) is determined politically.
- Pollution prevention
The use of processes, practices, materials, products or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste, and reduce the overall risk to human health or the environment.
- Sustainable Development (SD)
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (World Commission on Environment and Development — the Brundtland Commission)
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