Jargons could be overwhelming – especially for someone new in the sustainability world. We’re going to define the most heard and most critical ones in this post.
Climate Change: A change in the state or variability of the climate. Climate change is identified by variability in climate properties that persists for a prolonged period and can manifest itself through extreme heat waves, rising sea levels, shrinking glaciers etc. It may be caused by natural internal processes or by external forces, such as volcanic eruptions or persistent anthropogenic actions.
Global Warming: Warming of the planet due to human activities, which releases heat-trapping greenhouse gasses to Earth’s atmosphere. This warming refers to an increase in global temperature that has been recorded over a period of 30 years or more. It is generally expressed in relation to the levels that existed before the Industrial Revolution.
GreenHouse Gases (GHGs): The gaseous component of the atmosphere, which may be natural or anthropogenic. Greenhouse gasses absorb and emit radiation, which causes the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gasses are: Water vapor (H2O), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Methane (CH4), Ozone (O3).
Carbon Footprint: Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by actions of an individual, event, organization, service, place, product, company or country./
Net-Zero: According to the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi), “Net Zero emissions are achieved when anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period.”
ESG: Abbreviation for Economic, Social, Governance. It is used to assess performance and show the value created economically, socially and environmentally, as well as to define material risks and opportunities.
Shared Value: The term is introduced by Michael Porter as “value creation opportunities at the intersection of needs, capabilities & resources, and business opportunities”. It is important to leverage opportunities that create shared value.
Materiality Matrix: A matrix that shows material topics for an entity. It is created via input from internal and external stakeholders and displays environmental, social and governance issues in an entity’s agenda.
Green Washing: The fact that customers, who are conscious of issues like the global climate crisis or animal rights, demand products and services that are compatible with these concepts, is seen as a profit margin by some institutions and companies. When corporations advertise false claims regarding their products and services’ environmental benefits, the act is classified as “Greenwashing”.
Linear Economy: The dominant economic model today is linear. Our natural resources are processed, converted into products, consumed and disposed of. It can be observed that these products have a short lifespan and are out of use for the purpose of “buying newer and better” ones.
Circular Economy: Circular Economy is a model that reduces new material and resource use and reduces waste. It represents a fundamental alternative to the linear economy model of today.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): LCA is an assessment to show the environmental impact of a product, activity, or process over its entire life cycle.
Double Materiality: An entity’s created social and environmental value through its value chain activities (impacts outwards), as well as environmental and social issues that has a potential to impact business value (impact inwards).
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): SDGs are 17 goals developed for action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of all people throughout the world. They were approved by all the United Nations countries in 2015, with an action plan to implement the goals within 15 years.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): The Global Reporting Initiative (known as GRI) is an international independent standards organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption.
We will be periodically updating this list – let us know if you have any new jargon suggestions.