||Training provided to students by a college or a
||Acidification potential is caused by direct outlets of acids or
by outlets of gases that form acid in contact with air humidity and
are deposited to soil and water. Examples are: Sulphur dioxide
(SO2), Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Ammonia (NH3). Acid depositions have
negative impacts on natural ecosystems and the man-made environment
incl. buildings. The main sources for emissions of acidifying
substances are agriculture and fossil fuel combustion used for
electricity production, heating and transport.
||"Partitioning of the input and output flows of a process
or other product system to the product system under study."
(Source: ISO 14040)
|Analysing products (LCA studies)
||Evaluating the reduction of the product environmental negative
effects and setting priorities in product improvement.
||Comparison of products to determine improvement, optimisation
and saving potentials.
||Comparison of sites to determine improvement, optimisation and
|Best available techniques Reference document
||BAT reference documents creates under the IPPC Directive
96/61/EC "The BREFs will inform the relevant decision makers
about what may be technically and economically available to industry
in order to improve their environmental performance and consequently
improve the whole environment." (Source:
||"Improving and building the technical and managerial
skills and resources within an organisation." Here related to
capacity to perform and/or review LCA studies and providing life
cycle related services. (Source: World Bank)
||Gas naturally produced by any living organism during respiration
including through microbial decay of biomass, and taken up by plants
during photosynthesis. Although it only constitutes 0.04 percent of
the atmosphere, it is one of the most important greenhouse gases.
The combustion of fossil fuels is increasing the Carbon dioxide
concentration in the atmosphere, which is generally accepted by
scientists to contribute to Climate change.
|Carbon dioxide equivalent
||A metric measure used to compare the emissions from various
greenhouse gases based upon their Climate change potential (CCP).
The carbon dioxide equivalent for other emissions is derived by
multiplying the amount of the emission by the associated CCP factor,
e.g. [x kg gas] * [y CCP-factor of the gas]. For example, the
CCP100-factor for Methane is 21 and for nitrous oxide 310. This
means that emissions of 1 kg of methane and nitrous oxide are
equivalent to emissions of 21 and 310 kg of carbon dioxide,
|Category / Impact category
||"Class representing environmental issue of
concern." E.g. Climate change, Acidification, Ecotoxicity ec.
(Source: ISO 14042)
|Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
||A mechanism in the Kyoto Protocol that makes it possible for
developed and developing countries to perform joint environmental
projects in the developing country financed by developed countries.
The resulting emission reduction can be credited to the developed
country, which payed for the improvement in the developing
||"Environmental claim regarding the superiority or
equivalence of one product versus a competing product which performs
the same function." (Source: ISO 14040)
|Comparative life cycle assessment
||Comparison of LCA results for different products, systems or
services that perform the same function. Often the products,
systems, or services are competitive.
|Cradle to grave
||A "Cradle-to-grave" assessment considers impacts at
each stage of a product's life-cycle, from the time natural
resources are extracted from the ground and processed through each
subsequent stage of manufacturing, transportation, product use,
recycling, and ultimately, disposal.
||"Specification of amount of material or energy flow or
level of environmental significance associated with unit processes
or product system to be excluded from the study." (Source:
|Damage approach See
|Depletion of abiotic resources
||Consumption of non-renewable resources, such as zinc ore and
crude oil, thereby lowering their availability for future
|Design for Environment (DfE)
||Design for Environment (DfE) or Ecodesign are methods supporting
product developers in reducing the total environmental impact of a
product early in the product development process. This includes
reducing resource consumption as well as emissions and waste. New EU
directives such as WEEE and RoHS introduce the concept of ecodesign.
A sound life cycle based Ecodesign can potentailly enable to provide
reliable decision support at a largely reduced effort for performing
|Design for recycling (DfR)
||"Design for recycling is a method that implies the
following requirements of a product: easy to dismantle, easy to
obtain 'clean' material-fractions, that can be recycled (e.g. iron
and copper should be easy to separate), easy to remove
parts/components, that must be treated separately, use as few
different materials as possible, mark the materials/polymers in
order to sort them correct, avoid surface treatment in order to keep
the materials 'clean'." (Source: Danish EPA Eco Design
||Joint analysis of the environmental and economic implications of
a product or technology, aiming to support choosing the method for
production, service, disposal or recovery that makes most ecological
and economic sense, ensuring optimum conservation of resources,
minimum emissions and waste generation at a low overall cost.
|Eco-management and auditing scheme (EMAS)
||A Community scheme, adopted by the European Union in 1993,
allowing voluntary participation by companies performing industrial
activities, established for the evaluation and improvement of the
environmental performance of industrial activities and the provision
of the relevant information to the public. The objective of the
scheme is to promote continuous improvements in the environmental
performance of industrial activities by:
(a) the establishment
and implementation of environmental policies, programs and
management systems by companies, in relation to their sites;
the systematic, objective and periodic evaluation of the performance
of such elements;
(c) the provision of information of
environmental performance to the public.
||See Design for Environment
||An "ecolabel" is a label which identifies overall
environmental preference of a product or service within a specific
product/service category based on life cycle considerations.
Ecolabels exists at EU level (the EU Flower), regional level (e.g.
The Swan in Scandinavia), and national level (e.g. The Blue Angel in
||The branch of science studying the interactions among living
organisms and their environment.
||Potential environmental toxicity of residues, leachate, or
volatile gases to the biocoenosis of plants and animals. Ecotoxic
substances alter the composition of the species of ecosystems,
destabilising it thereby and additionally threathening sensitive
species in their existence.
||Market-based approach that makes it possible for organizations
or countries to buy and sell greenhouse gas emission reductions .
Part of e.g. the Kyoto Protocol.
||The endpoint method (or damage approach) tries to model the
effects of emissions directly for the protection targets (natural
environment's ecosystems, human health, resource availability).
Endpoint methods typically follow the midpoint modelling considering
the severity and reversibility of effects and the models'
|Energy-using Products Directive (EuP)
||Directive 2005/32/EC on the eco-design of Energy-using Products
(EuP). "Products such as electrical and electronic devices or
heating equipment are covered by the directive that provides
coherent EU-wide rules for eco-design and ensure that disparities
among national regulations do not become obstacles to intra-EU
trade. The Directive does not introduce directly binding
requirements for specific products, but does define conditions and
criteria for setting, through subsequent implementing measures,
requirements regarding environmentally relevant product
characteristics (such as energy consumption) and allows them to be
improved quickly and efficiently." (Source:
||Element of an organization's activities, products or services
that can interact with the environment.
||A detailed study of the reasonably foreseeable significant
effects on the environment, beneficial as well as adverse, of a
product, service or process. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and
Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) are examples of environmental
||"An environmental effect is caused by an environmental
impact. The environmental effect may in turn give rise to a new
impact in the impact pathway until the endpoint." (Source:
||Impact on the environment and those human health effects that
occur via uptake of toxic substances via air, water, and food.
|Environmental impact assessment (EIA),
##?Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
||A technique used for identifying the environmental effects of
development projects. As a result of Directive 85/337/EEC (as
amended 1997), this is now a legislative procedure to be applied to
the assessment of the environmental effects of certain public and
private projects, which are likely to have significant effects on
||An environmental indicator can be a measurable feature or
features that provide managerially and scientifically useful
evidence of environmental and ecosystem quality or reliable evidence
of trends in quality. Thus, environmental indicators must be
measurable with available technology, scientifically valid for
assessing or documenting ecosystem quality, and useful for providing
information for management decision making. Indicators can be used
- compare current conditions with desired performance,
- show trends over time, to allow comparisons between different
- help judge the sustainability of current practices, and
- define and publicise new standards and measures for assessing
progress toward a sustainable future.
|Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
||A set of processes and practices that enable an organization to
reduce its environmental impact and increase its operating
efficiency. See also "Environmental Management and Audit
||"The actual measured results that an organisation attains
through environmental management." (Source: ISO 14001)
|Environmental performance evaluation
||An evaluation to quantify, understand and track the relevant
environmental aspects of a system. The basic idea is to identify
indicators (environmental, operational and management), which can be
measured and tracked to facilitate continuous improvements. (Source:
|Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
||An internationally standardized (ISO 14025) and LCA based method
to communicate the environmental performance of a product or
||Process for publicly disclosing an organisation's environmental
||Likelihood, or probability, of injury, disease, or death of
humans resulting from exposure to a potential environmental
|Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)
||Process of identifying and evaluating the adverse effects on the
environment caused by a chemical substance. Often implied in the
way, that an environmental exposure to the chemical is predicted and
compared to a predicted no-effect concentration, supplying risk
ratios for different environmental media.
|Environmental Technologies Action Plan
||A life cycle based European strategy for eco-innovation and
environmental technologies. It is composed of actions around three
main themes: Getting from Research to Markets; Improving Market
Conditions; Acting globally. A key aspect is the setting of
performance targets for products, that base upon the technical and
economic feasibility of their implementation in relationship to the
potential improvement for the environment.
|External costs, Externalities
||Cost not included in the market price of the goods and services
being produced, but caused by e.g. emissions and damages these cause
to goods and to the environment, which costs of repair or
compensation are borne by the society in general.
|Global warming potential (GWP), better: Climate
change potential (CCP)
||Changes in the global, average surface-air temperature and
subsequent change of various climate parameters and their effects
such as storm frequency and intensity, rainfall intensity and
frequency of floodings etc. Climate change is caused by the
greenhouse effect which is induced by emission of greenhouse gases
into the air.
||A procurement process, which takes into account environmental
elements when buying products and services. To prevent a mere
shifting of burdens of environmental damages among life cycle phases
or among environmental problems, an effective Green Procurement
should be based on a life cycle thinking or life cycle
|Green Public Procurement (GPP)
||A procurement process carried out by public purchasers to take
into account environmental elements when buying products and
services. See also Green Procurement.
||Warming of the atmosphere due to the reduction in outgoing long
wave heat radiation resulting from their absorption by gases such as
Carbon dioxide, Methane, etc.
||Wastes that because of their chemical reactivity, toxicity,
explosiveness, corrosiveness, radioactivity or other
characteristics, constitutes a risk to human health or the
|Human toxicity potential (HTP)
||The degree to which a chemical substance elicits a deleterious
or adverse effect upon the biological system of human exposed to the
substance over a designated time period.
|Integrated Pollution and Prevention Control
||Directive 96/61/EC to prevent or, where that is not possible,
reduce pollution from a range of industrial and other installations
by means of integrating permitting process as based on the
application of best available techniques (BAT).
|Integrated product policy (IPP)
||Approach founded on the consideration of the impacts of products
throughout their life-cycle to improve the environmental performance
of products in an cost-effective way.
|Internalization of externalities
||Incorporation of an externality into the market decision making
process through pricing or regulatory interventions. For example,
internalization is achieved by charging polluters with the damage
costs of the pollution generated by them, in accordance with the
"polluter pays principle".
||A series of standards emitted or being prepared by the
International Standards Organization (ISO), covering a number of
||ISO standard on Environmental Management System, EMS, that can
be adopted by any organization.
||ISO standard on Environmental Management System, EMS, concerning
Life Cycle Assessment of products and processes. ISO 14040 is a
framework for the standards ISO 14041, ISO 14042, and ISO 14043 that
concerns the specific phases of an LCA. (The ISO standards 14041,
14042, and 14043 are integrated, harmonised, and replaced in 2006 by
|Joint Implementation (JI)
||A concept in which a developed country is involved in emission
reduction projects that result in a real, measurable and long-term
reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions in a developing country.
Part of e.g. the Kyoto Protocol.
||International treaty that was adopted at the Third Session of
the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It contains
legally binding commitments, in addition to those included in the
UNFCCC. Countries included in Annex B of the Protocol (most OECD
countries and EITs) agreed to reduce their anthropogenic emissions
of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6) by at least
5 % below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012.
||Impact category related to use (occupation) and conversion
(transformation) of land area by product-related activities such as
agriculture, roads, housing, mining etc. Land occupation considers
the effects of the land use, the amount of area involved and the
duration of its occupation (quality-changes multiplied with area and
duration). Land transformation considers the extend of changes in
land properties and the area affected (quality changes multiplied
with the area).
||Consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from raw
material extraction, through production of materials and
intermediates, parts to products, through product use or service
operation to recycling and/or final disposal.
|Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
||Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a process of compilation and
evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental
impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.
|Life Cycle Cost (LCC)
||Two different uses for this term exist: a) The total cost linked
to the purchase, operation, and disposal of a product (equivalent to
"Total Cost of Ownership" (TCO))
b) The cost of a
product or service over its entire life cycle including external
costs (see "Externalities").
|Life Cycle Engineering (LCE)
||Integrated approach for design and development of products and
technologies, that jointly analyses environmental effects and costs
from a life cycle perspective, paying special attention to product
performance, technical feasibility of measures and other engineering
aspects. The environmental analysis usually employs an LCA, the
economic an LCC.
|Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA)
||"Phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation
and quantification of inputs and outputs for a given product system
throughout its life cycle." (Source: ISO 14040)
|Life Cycle Impact Assessment methods (LCIA)
||Methods which provide impact factors for elementary flows to
evaluate the environmental effects of a product or a process,
through its whole life cycle. See also environmental impact
|Life Cycle Initiative (UNEP/SETAC LCI)
||"The Life Cycle Initiative aims to develop and disseminate
practical tools for evaluating the opportunities, risks, and
trade-offs associated with products and services over their entire
life cycle to achieve sustainable development." (Source:
|Life Cycle Inventory analysis ( LCI)
||"Phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation
and quantification of inputs and outputs for a given product system
throughout its life cycle." (Source: ISO 14040)
|Life Cycle Management (LCM)
||Life Cycle Management is a business management concept based on
life cycle considerations, which can be used in the development and
application of sustainability strategies. Life cycle management is
about minimizing environmental burdens throughout the life cycle of
a product or service.
|Life cycle risk analysis
||Method of evaluating the probability of adverse effects of a
substance, industrial process, technology or natural process from a
life cycle perspective.
|Life cycle sustainability
||Method, taking jointy into account the economic, social, and
environmental aspects throughout the whole life of a product or
|Life cycle thinking (LCT)
||The concept of Life Cycle Thinking integrates existing
consumption and production strategies towards a more coherent policy
making and in industry, employing a bundle of life cycle based
approaches and tools. By considering the whole life cycle, the
shifting of problems from one life cycle stage to another, from one
geographic area to another and from one environmental medium or
protection target to another is avoided.
|Life Cycle Working Environment (LCWE)
||Inclusion of social working environment issues such as human
working time, qualifications, workers health, accidents, child work
etc. in LCA by means of quantitative indicators.
|Material flow analysis (MFA)
||"An evaluation method which assesses the efficiency of use
of materials using information from material flow accounting.
Material flow analysis helps to identify waste of natural resources
and other materials in the economy which would otherwise go
unnoticed in conventional economic monitoring systems."
||Restoration of materials found in the waste stream to a
beneficial use which may be for purposes other than the original
|Material Safety Data Sheet, MSDS
||Information on a product's health and environmental hazards such
as safe handling, transportation, storage, physical data (e.g.
boiling, melting, and flash point), toxicity, health effects, first
aid, reactivity, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak
||"A term that specifies the results of traditional LCIA
characterization and normalization methods as indicators located
between emission and endpoint damages in the impact pathway at the
point where it is judged that further modelling involves too much
uncertainty." (Source: IPU, Denmark)
|Monitoring the effects of environmental
||Process of following up the effects of the decisions and actions
established in the environmental policy.
||Minerals, ores and fossile fuels. Their use as material and
energy sources leads to depletion of the Earth's reserves as they do
cannot be renewed in human relevant periods of time.
||Ozone, the triatomic form of oxygen (O3), is a gaseous
atmospheric constituent. In the troposphere, it is created both
naturally and by photochemical reactions involving gases resulting
from human activities (photochemical smog). In high concentrations,
tropospheric ozone can be harmful to a wide range of living
organisms. In the stratosphere, ozone is created by the interaction
between solar ultraviolet radiation and molecular oxygen (O2).
Stratospheric ozone plays a decisive role in the stratospheric
radiative balance. Depletion of stratospheric ozone, due to chemical
reactions, results in an increased ground-level flux of ultraviolet
(UV-) B radiation.
|Ozone depletion potential (ODP)
||The integrated change in total stratospheric ozone per unit mass
emission of a specific compound, relative to the integrated change
in the total ozone per unit mass of a reference emission (e.g.
||A compound that contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion.
Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) include CFCs, HCFCs, halons, methyl
bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform. The most
relevant ODS are very stable in the troposphere and only degrade
under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere. When they break
down, they release chlorine or bromine atoms, which then deplete
||Performance indicators compare actual conditions with a specific
set of reference conditions. Some of them measure the "distance(s)"
between the current environmental situation and the desired
situation (target): distance to target assessment.
|Photochemical ozone formation (or Photochemical
||"Chemical reactions brought about by the light energy of
the sun. The reaction of nitrogen oxides with hydrocarbons in the
presence of sunlight to form ozone is an example of a photochemical
reaction." (Source: California Air Resources Board. Glossary
of air pollution terms)
||Product Stewardship is "the responsible and ethical
management of the health, safety and environmental aspects of a
product throughout its total life cycle."
|Quantifying indirect effects
||Measuring the results of products or processes, not directly
linked with them, e.g. the environmental impacts related to the
production of materials, which are used in the analysed
||Energy that is radiated or transmitted in the form of rays or
waves or particles.
- A resource recovery method involving the collection and
treatment of a waste product for use as raw material in the
manufacture of the same or a similar product.
- The EU waste strategy distinguishes between: reuse meant as a
material reuse without any structural changes in materials;
recycling meant as a material recycling, only, and with a
reference to structural changes in products; and recovery meant as
an energy recovery only.
||A voluntary program developed by the chemical industry that
helps it to raise its standards and win greater trust from the
public. Under Responsible Care, the worldwide chemical industry is
committed to continual improvement in all aspects of health, safety
and environmental performance and to open communication about its
activities and achievements.
|Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (RoHS)
||Directive 2002/95/EC on the restriction of the use of certain
hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)
is together with directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and
electronic equipment (WEEE) designed to tackle the fast increasing
waste stream of electrical and electronic equipment and complements
European Union measures on landfill and incineration of waste.
Directive 2002/95/EC requires the substitution of various heavy
metals (lead, mecury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium) and
brominated flame retardants (polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or
polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE)) in order to prevent the
generation of hazardous waste. (Source:
|Review of environmental reports
||Verification of the information contained in a report that
addresses the environmental performance of a company.
|Review of LCA reports
||Process intended to ensure consistency between a life cycle
assessment report and the principles and the requirements of the
international ISO 1404o series standards on life cycle assessment.
It can be carried out by an expert (internal or external) or a panel
of interested parties.
||Expected losses (of lives, persons injured, property damaged and
economic activity disrupted) due to a particular hazard for a given
area and reference period. Based on mathematical calculations, risk
is the product of hazard and vulnerability.
||The procedure in which the risks posed by inherent hazards
involved in processes or situations are estimated either
quantitatively or qualitatively.
||Process of evaluating alternative regulatory and non-regulatory
responses to risk and selecting among them. The selection process
necessarily requires the consideration of legal, economic and social
||See Restrictions of Hazardous Substances
||A process used within a project to determine whether more in
depth environmental assessments are needed and the type and level of
||The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is
a nonprofit, worldwide professional society comprised of individuals
and institutions engaged in:
- the study, analysis, and solution of environmental problems
- the management and regulation of natural
resourcesenvironmental educationresearch and development
SETAC's mission is to support the development of principles and
practices for protection, enhancement and management of sustainable
environmental quality and ecosystem integrity. SETAC is the
scientific body that develops the LCA methodology.
||An institution, organization, or group that has some interest in
a particular sector, product, or system.
|Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
||"...a process to ensure that significant environmental
effects arising from policies, plans, and programmes are identified,
assessed, mitigated, communicated to decision-makers, monitored and
that opportunities for public involvement are provided." SEA
is being introduced by the Directive 2001/42/EC. (Sources:
|Supply Chain Management
||"The delivery of customer and economic value through
integrated management of the flow of physical goods and associated
information, from raw materials sourcing to delivery of finished
products to consumers." (Source:
|Sustainability Performance Indicators (SPI)
||A limited number of indicators used to find and keep track of
the sustainability performance of e.g. projects, products or
organizations. SPIs cover the economic, environmental (EPI), and
social dimension of sustainability.
||Information from a company used to assess the integration
efficiency of the three sustainability pillars into its business
||"Sustainability reporting is a process for publicly
disclosing an organisation's economic, environmental, and social
performance. ... Through sustainability reporting, organisations
report on progress against performance goals not only for economic
achievements, but for environmental protection and social
well-being." (Source: Global Reporting Initiative, GRI)
|Sustainability/ Sustainable development
||"The concept of meeting the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
needs." (from "Our common future", report by the
|Sustainable development indicator
||Indicator selected with the aim to provide information on the
essence of sustainable development on the level of companies or
countries; it may refer to systemic characteristics such as carrying
capacities of the environment, or it may refer to interrelations
between economy, society and the environment.
|Terrestrial and aquatic eutrophication potential
||Excessive enrichment of waters and continental surfaces with
nutrients, and the associated adverse biological effects.
|Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
||The total costs to own a product throughout its life, including
the costs of purchase, operation, maintenance, and potential waste
||The degree to which a chemical substance elicits a deleterious
or adverse effect upon the biological system of an organism exposed
to the substance over a designated time period.
||United Nations Environmental Program http://www.unep.org/
|Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
||"Directive 2002/96/EC requires increased recycling of
electrical and electronic equipment for limiting the total quantity
of waste going to final disposal. Producers will be responsible for
taking back and recycling electrical and electronic equipment. This
will provide incentives to design electrical and electronic
equipment in an environmentally more efficient way, which takes
waste management aspects fully into account. Consumers will be able
to return their equipment free of charge." (Source:
||"Approach based on three principles (EU):
- Waste prevention: As a key factor the amount of generated
waste should be reduced
- Recycling and reuse: If waste cannot be prevented, as many of
the materials as possible should be recovered, preferably by
- Improving final disposal and monitoring: Where possible, waste
that cannot be recycled or reused should be safely incinerated,
with landfill only used as a last resort.
|Waste management strategy
||Evaluation of the different options available for dealing with
waste and their environmental and/or economic desirability.
|Willingness to pay
||The amount an individual is willing to pay to acquire a product
or service, more specifically also used regarding the willingness to
pay for the repair of environmental damages. This may be elicited
from stated or revealed preference