Sustainability is a complex concept, and there are many different words and terms associated with it. Here is a glossary of some of the most common sustainability terms that are used across the industry to help you understand the most important topics in more detail.
- Biodiversity:The variety of life on Earth, including all plants, animals, and microorganisms.
- Biodegradable:Able to be broken down naturally by living organisms.
- Carbon credits are a type of permit that represents one tonne of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions removed from the atmosphere. They can be purchased by individuals or companies to offset their own carbon footprint.
- Carbon footprint: The total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by a person, organization, or product over a period of time.
- Carbon Literacy: Is the knowledge and capacity required to create a positive shift in how mankind lives, works and behaves in response to climate change
- Carbon neutral:Achieving net-zero carbon emissions, meaning that any carbon dioxide emissions are balanced out by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
- Circular economy:An economic system that is designed to eliminate waste and pollution, and to keep resources in use for as long as possible.
- Climate change:Long-term changes in temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. Climate change could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole. Climate change may cause weather patterns to be less predictable. A region might experience lower or higher than average temperatures. Climate change may cause more frequent and severe weather events, such as storms, floods, and droughts.
- Climate resilience:The ability of a community or ecosystem to adapt to and recover from climate change.
- Conservation:The protection and preservation of natural resources.
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR): A business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social, and environmentalbenefits for all stakeholders.
- Ecological footprint:The total area of land and water needed to produce the resources and absorb the waste of a person, population, or organization.
- Environmental impact:The effect that a person’s activities or a product has on the environment.
- ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. It is a set of criteria that investors use to assess the sustainability and ethical impact of a company
- Fair trade:A trading partnership between countries in the North and South, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in global trade.
- Green building: The practice of designing and constructing buildings that minimize their environmental impact.#
- Greenwashing is the practice of making misleading or unsubstantiated claims about an organization’s environmental performance. It is a type of marketing fraud that can deceive consumers into believing that a product or service is more environmentally friendly than it actually is.
- Social sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
- Sustainable development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meettheir own needs.
- Sustainable investment: Investing in companies and projects that have a positive impact on the environment and society.
- Waste management:The process of collecting, transporting, treating, recycling or disposing of waste.
We hope our glossary has given you a clearer understanding on some of these terms. Still unsure? Sign up on our website for regular updates to help make sustainability clearer.
The UK is experiencing unusually hot weather for October 2023. Temperatures have reached record highs in some parts of the country and the heatwave is expected to continue until the weekend.
There are a few reasons for the hot weather in the UK. A high-pressure system is currently over the country, which means that there is a lot of warm air over the UK. The air is sinking and compressing, which heats it up and leads to higher temperatures.
Another reason for the hot weather is that the jet stream has been pushed further north than usual. The jet stream is a band of strong winds that blows high in the atmosphere. It acts as a barrier between warm air from the south and cold air from the north. When the jet stream is pushed further north, it allows warm air to flow from the south and into the UK.
The jet stream has been heavily impacted by climate change. The warmer the atmosphere is, the more moisture it can hold. This moisture is released as rain, but it can also lead to more clouds. Clouds can trap heat, which can make the jet stream weaker and wavier. A weaker and wavier jet stream can allow warm air from the south to flow further north, and cold air from the north to flow further south. This can lead to more extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods.
Although hot weather might seem like a last hurrah for summer while we’re halfway through autumn, it’s not only a sign of climate warning us about the oncoming changes to our weather system, but it’s also having an impact on our environment. Quite simply, trees won’t be shedding their leaves and animals won’t be growing their fur coats, so when the weather changes more rapidly, it can leave our ecosystem more vulnerable to cold weather and diseases.
But how can we change this? There isn’t one simple answer. But sustainability ROX can help the UK’s businesses make real changes to ensure they contribute to a more sustainable future for all. Join our mailing list for more information.