| Abatement Technology
means technologies for reduction or lessoning of pollution, and can include both
cleaner production and end of pipe technologies
Atmospheric drops combine with a range of chemical pollutants such as carbon and
sulphur dioxide to form rain, mist or snow that is more acid than normal. It can
cause damage to plants many thousands of kilometres away from where it formed.
Activities are actions, processes operations or services in the workplace
that must be carried out in order to achieve objectives.
Aerosols are particles of matter, solid or liquid, larger than a molecule
but small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere. Natural sources include
salt particles from sea spray and clay particles as a result of weathering of
rocks, both of which are carried upward by the wind. Aerosols from human activities
are often considered pollutants.
AFL-CIO is the US equivalent of Britain's TUC, the organisation that brings
together most trade unions.
Agenda 21 is the name of the agreement signed by most countries at the
Rio Conference in 1992. "Agenda 21 addresses the pressing problems of today and
also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next century. It reflects
a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development
and environment co-operation."
Agribusiness is where the culture and skills have been taken out of agriculture
and replaced by business connections. The farm becomes a sandwich with the business
interests of the input, fertiliser and pesticide, companies and the output control
of retailers and major food industries.
Agrochemicals are chemicals such as pesticides and fertilisers produced
by major chemical companies - the input agribusiness, and applied to farmland.
Alkinisation is a form of salinisation where the water contains sodium
or sodium salts causing the soil to disintegrate completely and become rock-hard
AQS is the Air Quality Strategy introduced in the Environmental Act 1995.
This strategy sets levels for nine pollutants, to protect human health or the
Around the earth there is an envelope of gases held by gravity. The gases are
mainly nitrogen and oxygen, together with elements of inert gases hydrogen, ozone,
radon, and carbon dioxide. There are different layers - the troposphere nearest
the earth, then the stratosphere up to 50 kilometres, then the mesosphere, the
thermosphere, and the ionosphere out to about 400 km.
Originally an 'eco-audit' was a workplace inspection looking for environmental
effects of the work. This meaning can often be heard in Europe today. Nowadays,
the word is closer to the meaning of a financial audit.
An environmental management system audit is part of all environment management
system. It is a systematic and documented verification process of objectively
obtaining and evaluating evidence to determine whether an organisation's environmental
management system conforms to the environmental management system criteria set
by an organisation, and for communication of the results of this process to management.
(ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.6)
Authorisationscontain conditions on both the quality and quantity of effluent
permitted. See Consents.
BATNEEC is the Best Available
Techniques Not Entailing Excessive Cost. Many companies have
to demonstrate they are using BATNEEC in order to be authorised
to operate. BATNEEC strikes a balance between the best available
technology and what the sector of industry can generally afford.
BATNEEC is not applicable in Scotland.
Benchmarking involves comparing the measures in your
organisation for certain factors with those in a similar organisation
as a way to set and understand your own standards.
Biodegradable materials are those that can be broken
down, usually by micro organisms. Most organic wastes such
as food and paper are biodegradable
Biodiversity is the wealth of life on earth. It refers
to the millions of plants, animals, and micro-organisms, their
genes and the relationships they build into the living environment
Biofuels are those fuels derived from organic matter,
such as plants, wood and their immediate by-products. The
term also includes fuel produced by the action of micro-organisms
on waste products like dung, compost and municipal rubbish
They are the global cycles of nutrient elements between living
organisms and non-living (geological) environment, ie soil,
water, rocks and air. An example is the carbon cycle
Biological control is control of pests by the introduction
of other living things, rather than pesticides, into their
Biological diversity (Biodiversity) means the variability
among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia,
terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological
complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity
within species, between species and of ecosystems.
Biomass is the total mass of living matter occupying
any given area or ecological unit. Also used to describe fuel
from living sources.
Biomass energy is energy in the form of gaseous and
liquid fuels, heat and electricity derived from organic matter
of plant and animal origin. Traditional sources of biomass
consist of agricultural and forestry residues and waste from
animal husbandry. New biomass sources include specifically
grown energy crops, particularly short rotation coppice (SRC)
of willow or poplar
Biomes are characterised by a dominant vegetation and
defined by the species within them. Examples include the desert
biome and the rainforest biome.
Biomimicry copies nature, in terms of processes, cycles
or laws, for the benefit of production e.g. from butterflies
Biosphere is the sum of all ecosystems
Biotechnology means any technological application that
uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives
thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific
BOD Biological Oxygen Demand
This is the amount of oxygen taken from the water by all processes
- mainly biological. Some pollutants demand this oxygen, thereby
depriving other biological processes.
BPEO is Best practicable Environmental Option and relates to the disposal or dispersal with the lowest environmental
impact in the long term. The aim of BPEO is: "to find the
optimum combination of available methods of disposal so as
to limit damage to the environment to the greatest extent
achievable for a reasonable and acceptable total combined
costs to industry and the public purse"
Brown Agenda is a people-centred approach that believes the rich
consume too much, placing pressure on the environment, and
the poor fall back on natural resources to meet their needs,
degrading the environment. Alleviating poverty thus helps the environment.
Brownfield sites are those
that have previously been developed and now lie idle. The
name contrasts with "Greenfield" sites, which are sites being
developed on agricultural or green belt land..
Bund is an enclosure designed to hold at least 110%
of the contents of a liquid storage vessel, tank or drums
without their being able to escape. Bunds are usually made
of concrete or masonry but can be metal.
By-product synergy is an aspect of the eco-efficiency
approach. It entails using the by-products and wastes of one
industry as the raw materials and resources for another. It
is the synergy among diverse industries, agriculture, and
communities resulting in profitable conversion of by-products
and wastes to resources promoting sustainability.
| Capacity building is the
development of the skills and activities of individuals in an organisation to
their full capacity. It means investment made with the purpose of enhancing the
ability of individuals to achieve their development goals.
Capitals Model is the basis for a new generation of management tools that
link the following capitals:
Carbon cycle is the route taken by the element
carbon in its cyclical movement between living organisms and the non-living environment.
The element combines with other elements to make larger molecules needed for living
tissues. It is a vital nutrient constantly recycled through the water, air and
land using living things as the transport system.
- Finance Capital reflects the productive
power of other types of capital and enables them to be owned or traded.
- Natural Capital is any stock or flow
of energy and matter that yields valuable goods and services that includes resources,
some of which are renewable (timber grain fish water) whilst others are not fossil
fuels) sinks which absorb neutralise or recycle wastes and process such as climate
regulation. Natural capital is the basis not only of production but of life itself.
- Human Capital consists of our health
knowledge skills and motivation Investing in human capital for instance through
education - is vital for a flourishing economy. Failure to invest generates poverty
which is both orally indefensible and socially inefficient in that it prevents
millions of people from fulfilling their potential and becoming engaged in the
creation of wealth.
- Social Capital is the value added to
nay activity by human relationships and co-operation. It is located in social
structures or institutions such as families, communities, businesses, trade unions,,
schools, and voluntary organisations
- Manufactured Capital comprises material
goods - tools machines, buildings and other forms of infrastructure which contribute
- which contribute to the production process, but are not used up in it. Capitalism
is the name for a society based on the ownership of manufacturing capital to control
the means of production
Carbon dioxide is produced whenever fossil fuels or wood
are burnt. Each tonne of oil burnt produces over 3 tonnes of
CO2. Road transport and electricity generation rely on the burning
of fossil fuels releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In the UK 50% of emissions come from private cars with fossil-fuel
power stations making up most of the remainder. In the developing
world it is estimated that four billion tonnes of carbon are
released into the atmosphere from deforestation by cutting and
Carcinogens are agents, usually chemical, that promote cancer.
Carrying capacity is the maximum number of individuals of a defined species
that a given environment can support over the long term. The notion of limits
is fundamental to the concept of carrying capacity. However, our limited understanding
of complex, non-linear systems leads to uncertainty in calculating carrying capacity
in relation to humans. Some argue that the concept is meaningless as free market
conditions and technological innovation can extend limits indefinitely
CFCs are Chloroflourocarbons These are compounds that
were seen as very useful compounds that could be used in a number of ways and
were very stable. They have now been found to degrade ozone in the outer atmosphere
and to contribute to global warming.
Chemical energy is the form of energy that changes in a chemical reaction;
e.g. when natural gas burns, chemical energy is transformed into heat.
Chemical weathering is the breakdown of rocks by chemical action e.g. limestone
is dissolved by rainwater containing carbon dioxide.
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Cleaner Production is the continuous application of an integrated preventive
environmental strategy to processes and products in order to reduce risks to human
and the environment. For production processes, cleaner production includes conserving
raw materials, water and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials and reducing
the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes into water and into the
atmosphere, and of waste. For products, the strategy focuses on reducing all impacts
during the entire life cycle of the product, from raw material extraction to the
ultimate disposal of the product. Cleaner production requires applying know-how,
improving technology and changing of attitudes.
Clean Development Mechanism is an instrument of the International Climate
Policy following the Kyoto Protocol that could ideally reward countries funding
clean technologies in developing countries.
Climate Change (also referred to as 'global climate change') is sometimes
used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's
climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant
change from one climatic condition to another. In some cases, 'climate change'
has been used synonymously withthe term, 'global warming'; scientists however,
tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.
Climate change definitions
Clinical Waste - healthcare waste or healthcare risk waste - is classified
as industrial waste for legislative purposes. Handlers of clinical waste are also
subject to the duty of care provisions in section 34 of the EPA. Most clinical
waste is also subject to the Special Waste Regulations 1996. The Controlled Waste
Regulations 1992 define clinical waste as:
COD is short for Chemical
oxygen demand, a test that measures the potential capacity for
a microorganism to react with oxygen.
- Any waste which consists wholly or partly of
human or animal tissue, blood or other body fluids, excretions, drugs or other
pharmaceutical products, swabs or dressings, syringes, needles or other sharp
instruments, being waste which unless rendered safe may provide hazardous to any
person coming into contact with it, and
- Any other waste arising from medical, nursing,
dental, veterinary, pharmaceutical or similar practice, investigation, treatment,
care, teaching or research, or the collection of blood for transfusion, being
waste which may cause infection to any persons coming into contact with it.
Common but Differentiated Responsibility is a Principle
of Rio Declaration. It says: "States shall cooperate in a spirit
of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health
and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view of the different
contributions to global degradation States have common but differentiated
responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility
that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development
in view of the pressures their societies place on the global
environment and the technologies and financial resources they
command" (Principle 7)
Commercial Waste includes waste from: offices, showrooms,
hotels, private garages (more than 25 sq m), club/social premises,
markets or fairs, courts, government departments, local and
central government premises, corporate bodies, tents on land
other than camp sites.
Community is the collection of organisms (of various
species of plant and animal groups or people) that live together
in a particular habitat or area.
Competency is the set of skills and attitudes, described
in terms of behaviours, which can be observed and which is essential
for effective environmental performance. Competence is the ability
to perform in the workplace to the standards required.(MCI NVQ
Compliance is meeting the required standards, specifications,
procedures or law.
Consent is a type of permit or authorisation: Discharge
consents for discharge of trade effluent to controlled waters
are issued by the Environmental Agency or Scottish Environmental
Protection Agency. Trade effluent discharge consents are issued
by the sewerage undertaker (England & Wales) or water authorities
(Scotland) allowing discharge of trade effluent to public sewer.
Conservation of mass, law of This states that mass is
conserved in chemical reaction: the mass of the reactions is
equal to the mass of the products. Nuclear reactions may appear
to, but do not, break this law (see below).
Conservation off energy, law of This states that the
total amount of energy in a physical system is always constant
ie energy can neither be created or destroyed. Some or all of
the energy may be converted from one form into another.
Conservation recognises that natural communities of plants
and animals are not static and it involves preventing any development
that would alter or destroy natural habitat but not interfering
unduly with ecological changes that occur naturally.
Consultation is asking others for their views and involving
them openly in decision-making. A more strict legal definition,
as found in the Health and Safety at Work Act, requires employers
to inform employee representatives of proposals, and be give
them the chance to respond, and take note of their response,
without necessarily any commitment to do anything about the
response. See also negotiation
Consumption capacity is a term employed in the Pollution
Prevention and Control Regulations 1999 with respect to organic
solvents used by certain processes. It means the amount of organic
solvent that a company has the potential to use if it were working
at the extreme capacity to do business with its current equipment.
Contaminated land is land contaminated as a result of
past or current pollution by substances that could give rise
to damage to the health of living organisms (including humans,
animals, fish, plants etc.), habitats, crops, controlled waters
Continual Improvement involves the identifying areas
for improvement, developing and implementing plans for improvement
evaluating the results and using the findings to develop further
improvements (MCI NVQ 4). It is the process of enhancing the
environmental management system to achieve improvements in overall
environmental performance in line with the organisation’s environmental
policy. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.1).
Controlled Waste includes waste from domestic, industrial
and commercial premises as well as special waste for which there
are additional regulations. (EPA Part II 1992)
Controlled waters are rivers,
streams, estuaries, canals, lakes, ponds, ditches and groundwater
as far out as the UK territorial limit. Most legislation relating
to discharges of effluent (other than to sewer) applies to controlled
waters. The statutory definition of controlled waters is given
in the Water Resources Act 1991, section 104 (1) and COPA 1974
section 30A (d).
Conventions are agreements made between
minimum number of states within the United Nations governing
various environmental impacts. They are now called Multilateral
Environmental Agreements - MEAs
CoP is the Conference of Parties (Nations) which have
ratified the UN Conventions. The primary role of the CoP is
to keep the implementation of the Convention under review and
to take the decisions necessary for the effective implementation
of the Convention.
Corporate Social Responsibility is the commitment of
business to contribute to sustainable economic development,
working with employees, their families, the local community
and society at large to improve their quality of life. (Source:World
Business Council for Sustainable Development)
Credits are real and quantifiable reductions in a source’s
emissions (sulphur, nitrogen or carbon oxides) that can be used
for market-based trading solutions for environmental control.
See www.emissions.org The world’s first
exchange-traded market in carbon credits is Sydney Futures Exchange
Cumulative is the act of accumulation that acquires or
increases by successive additions, or by “heaping on” - as opposed
to organic growth. Persistent chemicals often accumulate in
parts of the food chain.
| Dematerialisation: Companies
are beginning to reduce the physical materials that go into the manufacture, delivery
and use of their products. Sometimes it just means use, others it means redesigning
products so that components can be recaptured for reuse or recycling at the end
of their useful lives.
Deplete is an environmental word for the decrease of a finite resource.
Desertification is the ultimate stage in the process of unnatural land
degradation, when the fertility of the its soil has been completely and irreversibly
Dioxins are a group of 80 or so chlorinated compounds
that occur as contaminants of a number of industrial processes
involving chlorinated substances. One dioxin, TCDD, is one of
the most toxic compounds known and was found as a contaminant
of 245T weedkiller, called 'Agent Orange' in Vietnam. It was
also released over the town of Seveso in Italy in 1976 after
an explosion in a local factory. It is now the subject of European
Dispersion is the movement of individuals away from each other. It applies
to both organisms and molecules of pollutant, which become less concentrated further
from the source.
Discharge is the flow of surface water in a stream or canal or the outflow
of ground water from a flowing artesian well, ditch, or spring. Can also apply
to discharge of liquid effluent from a facility or to chemical emissions into
the air through designated venting mechanisms.
Discounting is the implicit weighting in favour of the present over the
Dumping has two meanings. One is the everyday use of throwing away rubbish
in an unofficial landfill. This term has been extended to the habit of developed
countries distributing excess and unwanted products (in particular food and chemicals)
very cheaply on developing countries.
Duty of Care A duty of care applies to anybody who carries, keeps, treats,
or disposes of waste, or who acts as a third party and arranges matters such as
imports or disposal. They must ensure that nobody in the chain commits an offence
Eco-efficiency is the efficiency with
which environmental resources are used to meet human needs and can help achieve
the aim of maximising benefits while minimising risks.
Eco-footprint is the area of land and water required to support a defined
economy or population at a specified standard of living. Industrialized economies
are considered to require far more land than they have, thus, through trade, impacting
on resources in other countries. Also known as 'appropriated carrying capacity',
this concept also incorporates the distributional aspects of sustainable production
Ecology is the study of communities of living organisms and the relationships
among the members of those communities and between them and the physical and chemical
constituents of their surroundings.
Ecological rucksack is the total weight of material flow 'carried by' an
item of consumption in the course of its life cycle. Like the ecological footprint,
the ecological rucksack concept deals with displaced environmental impacts but
has a more technical focus. It is concerned with reducing material intensity and
Economic instruments can be broadly defined as policy tools which take
advantage of market principles to achieve their objectives
Ecospace is the capacity of the environment to support human activities
by regenerating renewable resources and absorbing waste. The boundaries of environmental
utilization space are determined by the patterns and level of economic activity.
Allocating ecospace at a national or per capita level can illustrate present inequities.
Ecosystems are systems in which organisms interact with each other and
with their environment. According to the originator o the term, there are two
parts; the entire complex of organisms (biome) living in harmony and the habitat
in which the biome exists.
EDCs are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, and are sometimes called "gender
benders" in the popular press. They disrupt hormones, including sex hormones,
at very low concentrations.
El Nino is a climatic phenomenon occurring
irregularly, but generally every 3 to 5 years. El Ninos often
first become evident during the Christmas season (El Nino
means Christ child) in the surface oceans of the eastern tropical
Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon involves seasonal changes in
the direction of the tropical winds over the Pacific and abnormally
warm surface ocean temperatures. The relationship between
these events and global weather patterns are the subject of
much research in order to predict seasonal/annual fluctuations
in the climate.
Electrical energy. Fundamentally, this is the form
of energy that a charged particle has by virtue of its position.
Electrical energy is converted in, for eg electrical appliances.
Electromagnetic spectrum is the complete spectrum of
electromagnetic waves. It extends from the comparatively long-wavelength
radio waves, through microwaves, infrared radiation, visible
light, ultraviolet radiation and X-rays, to the comparatively
short-wavelength y-rays [wrong symbol]
Emissions is the release of a substance into the atmosphere
Employee Involvement refers to internal communication,
training and assignment of responsibilities in job descriptions,
as outlined in EMAS.
Employee Participation in environmental protection
means the involvement and empowerment of employees in helping
management to improve their company’s impact on the environment.
The United Nations recommended to "educate staff on the ways
in which sustainable development affects their firm and how
they can utilise these criteria in their specific tasks'
'End-of-pipe' equipment is that used to treat, handle,
measure or dispose of emissions and wastes from production.
This contrasts with "Integrated" equipment.
Energy is the measure of
the ability to do work
Energy Coeft is the ratio between the rate of increase
of GDP and the increasing use of energy
Energy conversion is the transformation of energy from
one form into one or more other forms.
Energy of the environment (earth science) is the energy
of the transporting medium. This is the most important factor
governing the transport and sorting of particles, and whether
a particle of a given size will be transported or not.
Environment is the “surroundings in which an organisation
operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora,
fauna, humans and their interrelation. Surroundings in this
context extend from within the organisation to the global
system. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.2)
Environment Agency was established in the UK in …plus
Environmental Aspect is any aspect of an organisation's
activities, products or services that can interact with the
environment. A significant aspect is an environmental aspect
that has or can have a significant environmental impact. (ISO
14001: 1996 definition 3.3)
Environmental Agreements are voluntary agreements between
industry and public authorities in the achievement of environmental
Environmental Assessment is the process undertaken
at the planning stage of a new company project of estimating
the environmental consequences of the scheme. Law now often
Environmental Awareness aims to create general awareness
of environmental issues, their causes and solutions by bringing
about changes in perception.
Environmental Condition Indicator (ECI) is the specific
expression that provides information about the local, national
or global condition of the environment. (ISO 14031: 1999 definition
Environmental Consequence is the assessment criteria
used to determine the environmental impact rating. Any consequence
rating is based around the environmental impact of the relevant
aspect while taking into account the site setting and sensitivity.
Environmental Debt is the cost of restoring previous
environmental damage as well as the cost of recurring restoration
measures. Unless measures are taken to alleviate environmental
degradation, environmental debt continues to rise and the
burden is transferred to future generations. Some environmental
damage such as species extinction is not restorable, and therefore
cannot be included in the environmental debt.
Environmental Effect is any direct or indirect impingement
of the activities, products or service of the organisation
upon the environment whether adverse or beneficial. Work affects
the environment, the result of which is an environmental effect.
Effects became replaced between BS7750 and ISO 14001 by impacts.
Environmental Engagement is a self assessed measure
of the strengths and weaknesses in management approach of
an organisation, and has been developed into an Index of the
top FTSE 100 companies by Business in the Environment.
Environmental Impact is the change to the environment,
whether adverse or beneficial, which wholly or partly result
from the organisation’s activities. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition
Environmental Impact Rating is the scoring system use
for assessing the significance of any identified environmental
aspects associated with processes and activities.
Environmental Management is he organised effort of
all functions of an organisation with the main objective of
enabling it to comply with existing environmental legislation
and to continually improve its impact on the environment.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are those systems
introduced by management, similar to those for quality production.
It is the part of the overall management system that includes
organisational structure, planning, activities, responsibilities,
practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing,
implementing, achieving, reviewing, and maintaining the environmental
policy. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.5). There are a number
of recognised systems, including the European EMAS and the
Environmental Marketing is defined by Environmental
Marketing Management as the holistic marketing process responsible
for identifying, anticipating and satisfying the requirements
of customers and society, in a profitable and sustainable
Environmental Objective is the overall goal, arising
from the environmental policy, that an organisation sets itself
to achieve, and which is quantifiable where practicable. (ISO
14001: 1996 definition 3.7)
Environmental Performance is the relationship between
the organisation and the environment. It includes: the environmental
effects of resources consumed, the environmental impacts of
the organisational process, the environmental implications
of its products and services, the recovery and processing
of products and meeting the environmental requirements of
law (MCI NVQ 4) Environmental Performance has two definitions
according to the International Standards Organisation.
Environmental Performance Criterion is an
environmental objective, target, or other intended level of environmental performance
set by the management of the organisation and used for the purpose of environmental
- Measurable results of the environmental management
system, related to an organisation’s control of its environmental aspects, based
on its environmental policy, objectives and targets. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition
- Results of an organisation’s management of its
environmental impacts (ISO 14031: 1999 definition 3.7)
Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE) is the process to facilitate
management decisions regarding an organisation’s environmental performance by
selecting indicators, collecting and analysing data, assessing information against
environmental performance criteria, reporting and communicating, and periodic
review and improvement of this process. . (ISO 14031: 1999 definition 3.9).
Environmental Performance Indicator is a specific expression that provides
information about an organisation’s environmental performance. .(ISO 14031: 1999
definition 3.10). There are two sorts of EPI.
- Operation Performance Indicator (OPI) provides
information about the environmental performance of the organisation.
- Management Performance Indicator (MPI) provides
information about management’s efforts to influence environmental performance.
Environmental Policy is a statement by
the organisation of its intentions and principles in relation
to its overall environmental performance which provides a
framework for action and for the setting of its environmental
objectives and targets. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.9)
Environmental Practices are work practices that reduce
impacts on the environment.
are values that direct improvement in environmental
protection at work, and include cleaner production, energy
efficiency and waste hierachy.
describe the specific means of achieving objectives and targets
and include a description of the measures taken to achieve
aims to reduce environmental pollution caused during normal
operations - to reduce or prevent emissions to air or water,
to dispose of waste materials, to protect land, soil and groundwater,
to prevent noise and vibration, or to protect the natural
Environmental Quality Standards (EQSs) are laid down
by the European Council. They refer to maximum levels of pollutants
in the air or water that will be permitted.
Environmental Statements crop up in two places, as
part of the process of environmental assessment (above) and
the last part of the European environmental management system.
In this, a company states what targets it has set to reduce
environmental impact and how successful they have been achieving
them. These statements are verified by external auditors.
Environmental Target is the detailed performance requirement,
quantified where practicable, applicable to the organisation
or parts thereof, that arises from the environmental objectives.
and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those
objectives. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.10)
Emissions Trading is the creation of surplus emission
reductions at certain stacks, vents or similar emissions sources
and the use of this surplus to meet or redefine pollution
requirements applicable to other emissions sources. This allows
one source to increase emissions when another source reduces
them, maintaining an overall constant emission level. Facilities
that reduce emissions substantially may "bank" their "credits"
or sell them to other facilities or industries
Equality is the quality of being fair, usually used
in relation to sex, race and disabilities.
Equity is the quality of being equal, fair or even
handed usually in relation to earnings/wealth.
Erosion is the process of wearing away the surface
of the earth's crust usually by mechanical action of water
or ice or by particles transported by wind, water or ice.
Eutrophication is the enrichment
of aquatic environments with high levels of dissolved plant
nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate ions, leading to
high algal growth. It is a natural process that can be exacerbated
by human activity e.g. from leached fertilisers.
Exported packaging - is packaging that is exported
out of UK and so does not count to packaging obligations.
Extended Product Responsibility requires companies
to take life-cycle responsibility for their products. Companies
redesign their products, or their products' delivery mechanisms,
to make it easier to take back products and capture these
used products' value through recycling, refurbishing, reuse
or other means. Product take-back initiatives also
have required companies to create educational, informational
or training programs to help customers understand how to purchase,
use and dispose of products to facilitate their reuse or recycling.
| Factor Four is 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 10 Club argues that the intensity of material and energy use in
the economy should be reduced by a factor of ten in industrialised countries over
the next 30-50 years, in order halve global CO2 emissions while allowing for continuing
economic growth. See Unit 3 <..\Unit Texts\Unit 3.doc>
Finite is used to describe substances that are found in limited amounts
Food chain is the sequence of organisms usually beginning with plants,
that successively depend on each other for food, the chain shows the direction
of the flow of energy between organisms
Food web is a group of inter-linked food chains that shows how energy flows
through an eco-system.
Fossil Fuel is a general term for combustible geologic deposits of carbon
in reduced (organic) form and of biological origin, including coal, oil, natural
gas, oil shales, and tar sands. A major concern is that they emit carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere when burnt, thus significantly contributing to the enhanced
Gaia's hypothesis treats
the earth as a single living organism, in which biological
chemical and physical factors all play important roles. This
inseparable whole is regulated and kept adapted for life by
living organisms themselves. The theory was put forward by
James Lovelock who sees Gaia as 'a complex entity involving
the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and soil; the totality
constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an
optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this
GDP is the Gross Domestic Production, a common measure
of economic progress.
Genetic Engineering is the new technique of finding
and transferring desirable genes from one organism. Concerns
Genetics is the study of the way characters of living
things are passed from one generation to the next.
Geothermal energy is the energy gained by tapping the
hotspots near the surface of the Earth's crust.
Globalisation can be thought
of as a process, in which economic markets, technologies and
communications gradually come to exhibit more "global" characteristics,
and less "national" or "local" ones. That is what the OECD
say. There are lots of definitions, including “The growing
integration of economies worldwide through increases in trade,
investment flows, and technology transfer, facilitated by
rapid advances in communications and information technology
and an international policy environment which emphasizes trade
liberalization, privatisation, and deregulation of financial
Global Warming is an increase in the near surface temperature
of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past
as the result of natural influences, but the term is most
often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a
result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases. The Earth's
surface has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past
140 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
recently concluded that increased concentrations of greenhouse
gases are causing an increase in the Earth's surface temperature
and that increased concentrations of sulfate aerosols have
led to relative cooling in some regions, generally over and
downwind of heavily industrialized areas. Related to greenhouse
GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms which according
to the EU are "an organism in which the genetic material has
been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating
and/or natural recombination".
is produced as greenhouse gases allow incoming solar radiation
to pass through the Earth's atmosphere, but prevent most of
the outgoing infra-red radiation from the surface and lower
atmosphere from escaping into outer space. This process occurs
naturally and has kept the Earth's temperature about 59 degrees
F warmer than it would otherwise be. Current life on Earth
could not be sustained without the natural greenhouse effect.
More definitions relating to global warming and greenhouse
Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are those gases contributing
to the greenhouse effect and are carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs), nitrous oxides, and methane. Global Warming Potential
(GWP) is the index used to translate the level of emissions
of various gases into a common measure in order to compare
the relative radiative forcing of different gases without
directly calculating the changes in atmospheric concentrations.
Green track is a shorthand expression from the US for
alternative pathways that companies take by committing themselves
to environmental objectives that go beyond compliance with
pollution control laws.
Greenwash is disinformation produced by an organisation
so as to present an environmentally responsible public image,
when it has not doing much for the environment.
Grey Water is wastewater
from household use, such as sink and bathrooms, that is being
re-used, e.g as cistern flush water. Black water is effluent
from household use being used for cistern flushing.
Gross primary production (GPP)
the total amount of light energy converted by plant photosynthesis
to organic chemical energy in organic molecules in a given
area and given time
| Habitat is the local surroundings
in which an organism normally lives. Other individuals of the same species (i.e.
by a population) will share the habitat. There will usually be a community of
other populations (i.e. of other species) in the same habitat
Half-Life is the time required for a pollutant to lose one-half of its
original concentration, or the time required for half of the atoms of a radioactive
element to decay or the time required for the elimination of half a total dose
from the body.
Halogens are the highly reactive elements fluorine, chlorine, bromine,
iodine and astatine.
Halons are bromine-containing compounds with long atmospheric lifetimes
whose breakdown in the stratosphere causes depletion of ozone. Halons are used
in fire fighting.
Harm is hurt, injury, damage or loss of inherent quality to people or the
environment . “Harm to the health of living organism or other interference with
ecological systems of which they form part and, in the case of man (sic) includes
harm to his property." (Statutory Regime for Contaminated Land July 1999)
Hazard is “something with the potential to cause harm” according the HSE.
Almost anything may be a hazard, but may or may not become a risk
Heat is the energy that is transferred when two objects at different temperatures
are brought into contact.
Holistic approach looks at the whole picture. The totality of something
is much greater than the sum of its component parts and they cannot be understood
by the isolated examination of their parts.
Household Waste includes waste from premises occupied by a charity; land
belonging to domestic property, caravan or residential home; private garage; moored
houseboat; camp sites; prisons and penal institutions; public meeting halls; royal
palaces; litter collected under section 89 of the EPA.
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is the tripartite UK body responsible
for making and enforcing health and safety laws.
Hydrocarbons describe a wide range of compounds that contain hydrogen and
carbon molecules. Many oil, paraffins, and coal are hydrocarbons.
Hydrological (water) cycle is he cycle of the earth's water supply from
the atmosphere to the earth and back which includes precipitation, transpiration,
evaporation, runoff, infiltration, and storage in water bodies and groundwater.
Immune system is the
name given to the body’s response to protect us from disease
and invasion from foreign bodies. Once our body has been invaded,
the immune system copies the invading body and our defence
mechanism so that should we be invaded again we are ready
to attack. The reason why AIDS has taken on such importance
in the last few years is that the virus that causes AIDS attacks
the immune system thereby destroying all body defences.
Industrial ecology uses the metaphor of metabolism
to analyse 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
Industrial Waste includes waste from: commercial garages
/ maintenance premises; laboratories and scientific research
associations; workshops; dredging and tunnelling waste; clinical
waste; aircraft, poisonous or noxious waste from certain processes
(e.g. dry cleaning, paint mixing/selling, pesticide sales);
premises for breeding, boarding, stabling or exhibiting animals;
waste oils; waste solvent; scrap metals; waste imports and
waste from ships
'Integrated' expenditure on environmental protection
relates to new or modified production facilities, which have
been designed so that environmental protection is an integrated
part of the process.
Integrated Waste Management uses a variety of practices
to handle municipal solid waste and can include source reduction,
recycling, incineration, and landfilling.
Interested Party is an individual or group concerned
with or affected by the environmental performance of an organisation.
(ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.11)
International Organisation for Standardisation
is a world wide federation of national standards bodies or ISO member bodies.
Each member body can be represented on the technical committees, which prepare
the standards. They drew up the ISO 14000 series on environment management and
ISO 9000 series on quality. All their standards are voluntary, consensus, private-sector
standards. The ISO organisation has no power to impose standards on any country
or organisation. They produced ISO 14001/4, ISO 1400 10/11/12 and ISO 14031 to
promote environmental standards and the ISO 9000 series for quality. See ISO
IPC is Integrated Pollution Control which tries to integrate the control
of pollution to land, air, and water.
IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is the International
body charged by the United Nations with examining the effects of and formulating
responses to future world climate.
ISO is Greek for ‘equal’. It is not an acronym of the International Organisation
for Standardisation, although they use the term for many of their standards. The
ISO 14000 series emerged form the Uruguay round of the GATT negotiations and the
Rio Summit on the Environment 1992.
keeps workers and communities whole when toxic chemicals, or
other environmental damaging processes, are banned or phased
out e.g a fund raised from a surcharge on the polluting process
can provide for employees to make the transition to other jobs.
| Kinetic energy is the energy
an object has by virtue of its motion.
Landfill is the disposal
of waste by tipping it on the land. Nowadays waste can only
be tipped on licensed landfill sites that protect against
contamination of land and water.
Leachates are liquids that have seeped through waste
Lead-free Petrol is vehicle fuel that does not contain
tetraethyl lead a compound added to stop "knocking" or "pinking".
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
is a systematic tool for assessing the environmental impacts
of a work process in order to build an inventory and make
an evaluation of inputs and outputs and to identify the most
significant aspects of the process.
Light energy is the form
of energy associated with visible light.
Limits of Growth was the title of a book produced in
the early 1970s by a research team from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology that purported to show that “under
the most optimistic assumptions….the world cannot support
present rates of economic and population growth”. The title
has become a short-hand for the earth running out of resources.
MEAs (Multilateral Environmental
Agreements) the new term for the International Conventions
Methane gas in the atmosphere is increasing at a greater
rate than carbon dioxide. Changes in agricultural production
from traditional farming methods to agri-business are the
main cause. Rice production and cattle ranching are mainly
responsible. Cattle produce methane I the gut, releasing it
from both ends.
Mineral cycle is the cycle, within an ecosystem, of
a mineral element between living and non-living parts of the
natural world. Mineral cycling does not involve the atmosphere,
they are so called as main reservoir is in rocks (mineral)
Mineral is a naturally occurring chemical element or
compound possessing a definite crystalline structure
Monoculture is the cultivation of vast tracts of land
under one crop.
Monterrey is the UN Summit
in 2001 that spurred poor countries to commit to improve their
environmental policies and governance in exchange for promises
by rich countries to deliver more aid, and open their markets
Mutagens are those substances that can alter (mutate)
the genes - the bits of material that pass on characters in
| Natural capital is 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.
Natural resource is something (as a mineral, forest, or kind of animal)
that is found in nature and is valuable to humans.
Natural resource accounting and green GDP are alternative systems of national
accounting and performance measures, which incorporate ecological and human welfare
Natural Step is a framework of thinking developed by a group of Swedish
people, including Karl-Henrik Robert, which says that substances should not be
produced faster than they can be reintegrated into cycles of nature.
Negotiation is a joint process between employer and employee representatives
leading towards agreement.
Net primary production (NPP) The part of GPP that remains after the plants
have used some of the GPP in respiration. NPP may increase plant biomass, be eaten,
or after death pass to decomposers and detritivors or be buried in peat and compressed
ultimately to form coal
NGOs are non government organisations. They are what their name says -
organisations that are not governmental!. These include the main environmental
organisation such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, but also include womens
groups, Hazards groups and local pressure groups, Trade unions are sometimes included
although they prefer to be seen as social partners. Companies, while not governmental,
prefer not to be seen as NGOs.
Niche describes the role played by a particular species within the ecosystem.
NIMBY means “Not In My Back Yard” and refers to the habit of everybody
to want any environmental degradation to go on somewhere else.
Nitrates are materials containing the “nitrate” ion group made of nitrogen
and oxygen; sources include animal wastes and some fertilizers; can seep into
groundwater; linked to human health problems, including "blue baby" syndrome (methemoglobinemia).
Nitrogen Cycle is the process whereby nitrogen, which is vital to all plant
life, is circulated through food chains.
Nitrogen Fixation is the conversion of airborne nitrogen into nitrates,
mainly by bacteria mainly in the soil. Nitrogen has little biological use, nitrates
are food to other plants. Because of the commercial significance of nitrates,
there are now industrial nitrogen fixing processes based on the Haber process.
Nitrous oxides are releasing during fossil fuel burning. In addition to
being a greenhouse gas they are also ozone depleters. The increased use of fertilisers
with the expansion of intensive farming is another major source of nitrogen oxides.
Nuclear fission and fusion is the source of energy that is released either
by splitting (fission) the nucleus of a heavy atom (usually uranium) or fusing
(fusion) the nuclei of two light atoms.
Nuclear reprocessing is the recovery of unused plutonium or uranium from
irradiated fuel that has been used up in nuclear reactors- the systems used to
carry out nuclear fission.
Nuisance can be public or private. Public nuisance is an act or omission
that materially affects the reasonable comfort and convenience of a definable
section of the public and is a criminal act. Private nuisance is any unlawful
interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land or some connection with
it, and usually for some prolonged period of time.
| Obligated Company is one that
has packaging that exceeds thresholds set by the Packaging Regulations, and so
must register with the Agency to reduce the waste from that packaging.
Occupational Exposure Standard (OES) is the concentration of an airborne
substance, averaged over a reference period, for which, according to current knowledge,
there is no evidence that is likely to be injurious to employees if they are exposed
by inhalation, day after day, and which is specified in a list , document EH 40,
approved by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC).
OECD is the Organisation for economic Co-operation and Development and
promotes policies to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment
in Member countries. These include all EU countries, plus Canada, Iceland, Turkey,
US, Japan, Australia New Zealand and recently S.Korea.
Opportunities are developments, either inside or outside the organisation,
which could have a positive impact on work or plans if appropriate action is taken.
Opportunity costs are the costs of the activity in terms of what could
have been done instead.
Organic originally meant “derived from living matter”. In chemistry it
means chemicals containing carbon and hydrogen with other elements such as oxygen
and nitrogen. Nowadays, organic commonly refers to food produced without the use
of chemical fertilizers or pesticides - leading to the tautology organic vegetables!
Organisation is a company, corporation, firm, entreprise, site, authority
or institution, or part or combination thereof, whether in corporate or not, public
or private, that has its own functions and administration. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition
Organism is an individual plant or animal
Organochlorines are organic compounds that contain chlorine.
many are pesticides. They are are relatively persistent and accumulate in food
chains, some are suspect carcinogens, and all produce dioxins when burnt.
Organophosphates are pesticides that contain the phosphate group. They
are less persistent than organochlorines but are more toxic to people as they
can affect the nervous system.
Orimulsion is a bitumen fuel produced by the Venuzuelan State Oil company.
It consists of 70% bitumen and 30% water and is said to produce more energy than
coal and can be burned in traditional oil fired power stations. It also produces
a lot more sulphur dioxide.
Oxidation Pond is a basin to retain wastewater before final disposal. Bilogical
oxidation of organic matter occurs by natural or artificial transfer of oxygen
to the water from air.
Oxidising Agent is a chemical which gives up oxygen in a chemical reaction.
It can also mean to take hydrogen from a substance. Oxidising agents in the air
include ozone and nitrogen dioxide.
Oxygen Cycle the continuous movement of oxygen. Oxygen is a major and vital
component of all living matter. Most comes from the process of photosynthesis
carried out by plants.
Ozone is a form of oxygen that is produced when atmospheric oxygen is electrically
charged. Oxygen is usually found as two atoms together as O2, whereas ozone is
when there are three - as O3. It is found at ground level, created from exhaust
gases, where it is dangerous and at levels high in the sky where it is protective.
Ozone depletion potential (ODP) is a relative index indicating the extent
to which a chemical product may cause ozone depletion. The reference level of
1 is the potential of CFC-11 and CFC-12 to cause ozone depletion. If a product
has an ozone depletion potential of 0.5, a given weight of the product in the
atmosphere would, in time, deplete half the ozone that the same weight of CFC-11
Ozone layer is a thin layer of stratoshere - between about 15 kilometres
out and 50 kilometres out from the earth. The ozone layer was formed by oxygen
from plants reacting with ultraviolet light of the sun. Concentration of ozone
is heaviest between 25-35 km, but is almost certainly being depleted by pollution
Packaging is “All products made of any
materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling,
delivery and presentation of any goods” This includes boxes, pallets, containers, tubes,
bags and sacks made out of paper, board, timber, glass, metals,
plastics, ceramics and the like. It can also include labelling,
tape, wrapping, binding and tying materials See also Special Packaging
Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) are tradeable certificates
showing the types and amounts of packaging waste recovered by
an accredited reprocessors and the type of recovery undergone.
Particulates are tiny pieces of solid or liquid matter, such as soot, dust,
fumes, or mist.
PBTs are substances which are Persistent, Bio-accumulative, and
Toxic. See also VPVBs
Persistence is the word
used for chemicals that do not break down very easily and
remain persistent (in one form or another) in the environment
Pesticides are chemicals that are aimed to kill pests
- including insects (insecticides) weeds (herbicides) and
moulds (fungicides). The insecticides include organochlorines
and organophosphates. While being applied, they get into the
air, water and food systems of the world causing a wide variety
of hazards, from affects on nerves to cancer.
pH is the scale for all liquid chemicals. Acids and
alkalis are the chemicals at each end of the pH spectrum.
The scale runs from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkali). At both ends
the chemicals are very reactive and corrosive, but in between
or mixed together they become neutral. The most neutral chemical
is water, pH 7.
Photochemical smog consists of oxidants caused by the
reaction of sunlight on hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides from
vehicle and industrial emissions. The photochemical smog causes
cause eye irritation, headaches, coughs and damage lung tissues.
Long term effects of exposure are not fully known but it is
thought to affect the immune system. The name “smog” was also
used in the early 1950s to describe fogs consisting of sulphur
dioxide and soot that hit many major UK cities.
Photosynthesis is possibly the most important process
on earth. It is how plants transform the energy of the sun
to power the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates,
producing oxygen as a by-product. Carbohydrates are the basis
of all food and oxygen is required by all animals to live.
PIC (Prior Informed Consent) refers to the system,
under procedures established by the
UN, of notifying receiving countries of exports of pesticides
and other hazardous chemicals that have been banned or severely
restricted within producing countries.
Plankton are free floating
minute plants or animals in the sea, lakes or rivers. The
plant forms photosynthesise (above), supplying food for all
the sea food chains. They are also said to be responsible
for one quarter of Europe’s acid rain (above) due to their
production of dimethyl sulphide which converts to sulphur
dioxide and then sulphuric acid and in the spring and summer.
Pollutant is, strictly, too much of any substance in
the wrong place or at the wrong time.
Polluter Pays Principle
(PPP) means what is says - the polluter should pay for any
damage to health or environment. Public money should not be
used to subsidise pollution reduction systems for private
industry. A private organisation, which is being polluted,
may say that it is the offender that should pay to clean up
E.g it should be farmers to pay for cleaning nitrogen from
water rather than the breweries who need it clean.
Pollution is the adverse
alteration of land, air or water by a substance. When any
alteration is considered adverse, a substance becomes a pollutant.
Pollution Prevention (often
called 'P2') means avoiding the creation of pollution in the
first place rather than dealing with its consequences after
the fact - very similar to 'Cleaner Production'.
is drinkable water and must be free of disease-causing organisms,
have a desirable taste, smell, colour and cloudiness and contain
no harmful chemicals. Full legal definition in Food Safety (General
Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995
POPs are Persistent
Organic Pollutants such as PCBs, DDT, Dieldrin and Dioxins.
The text of a Protocol has been agreed under the UNECE Convention
on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution to control POPs
emissions using process and product controls.
Population is the total number of organisms under study.
Population density refers to the concentration of those organisms
in any given area. The science of measuring population densities
and dynamics was derived from studies of insects, especially
pests. It has since been extended to human populations.
Precautionary principle is part of the Rio Declaration.
It says: "In order to protect the environment, the precautionary
approach shall be widely applied by States according to their
capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible
damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used
as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent
environmental degradation" (Principle 15). Loosely speaking
it means you can reject things that are worrying.
Preservation involves maintaining areas unchanged from
the conditions they were in when their importance was first
Prevention of Pollution is the use of processes, practices,
materials or products that avoid, reduce or control pollution,
which may include recycling, treatment, process changes, control
mechanisms, efficient use of resources and material substitution.
(ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.13).
Procedure is the guidance concerning the
control operations and tasks. The procedure can stand alon or fit with existing
Product Stewardship denotes the responsible management of the health, safety
and environmental aspects of the basic configuration of a business in terms of
a product throughout its life-cycle and / or the investment and operations to
produce a process or provide a service.
Putrescible refers to anything that can decay, rot, decompose e.g. animal
and vegetable matter.
| Quality Systems are the fore-runners
of environment management systems. They were developed in the 1980s to control
quality by achieving more accurate production, thereby cutting down waste. They
lead to the idea of Total Quality Management (TQM) that encouraged the consumer
to drive all developments - as evidenced with the advert "everything we do is
driven by you".
| Radiation. There are two types
of radiation - ionising and nonionising. Nonionising radiation from the sun is
essential although excess is dangerous. Exposure to all levels of ionising radiation
causes complex disturbances in living tissues.
Recovery is the reprocessing or recycling of materials into new products
or using the packaging as a fuel (waste to energy process
Recovery obligation is the amount of materials to be recovered that a company
obligated under the Packaging Regulations must achieve when registered directly
with the Environment Agency.
Recycling is a form of recovery by reprocessing of waste materials to produce
a usable raw material or product. Recycling includes organic recycling, e.g. composting
under controlled conditions, but not energy recovery.
Recycling obligation is the amount of packaging that must be recycled by
a company obligated under the Packaging Regulations..
Red-list substances are those substances considered to be toxic, persistent
or bio-accumulative enough to require BATNEEC to reduce them and listed in the
Environmental Protection (Prescribed Processes and Substances) Regulations 1991.
Practical guidance for red list substances (and grey and black EU list substances)
find at http://www.ifi.co.uk/ecm-eff.htm
Reengineering is a new management technique that examines the whole work
process rather each individual task. This technique has profound implications
for environmental management.
Renewable is any resource that can be exploited without depletion because
it is constantly replenished. Plants lend themselves to being renewable resources.
Sun, wind and water should be infinitely renewable. The opposite is Non-renewable
Respiration is the process where both plants and animals produce energy
by burning carbohydrates in their cells using oxygen. Carbon dioxide is produced
as a by-product. Plants are taken out of hospitals at night to stop the oxygen
being depleted and the carbon dioxide building up.
Responsible Care is the scheme established by the Chemical Industries Association
that builds on quality management and health and safety systems to include environmental
Resources are the people, time, equipment, materials, services, energy
and premises.(MCI NVQ 4)
Review. This is the part of a environment management system that reviews
what has already gone on. It comes both at the beginning of the process and at
periodic intervals after. The review looks at the main environmental impacts of
the organisation, relevant law and what the company has done already done about
Right to Discharge is an alternative the polluter-pays principle. Any organisation
wishing to discharge a pollutant pays, or is given special allocation for the
right to pollute. The intent is levy money before rather than after the event,
thus encouraging organisations to clean up.
Risk is “the likelihood of the hazard’s potential being realised” according
to the HSE
Risk Assessment is the process of estimating the risk to health or environment
of a product or work process by determining the possible extent of damage and
the likelihood of that damage occurring. The goal is to produce “objective” data
as a basis for making managerial or regulatory decisions.
Salinisation refers to
land that has become too salty to support life. Ill-planned
irrigation schemes have greatly exacerbated the problem.
Seller is somebody, in the Packaging Regulations, who
supplies to an "end user"
Sequestration is where
carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere and stored
by soil or trees. These areas are called "sinks" (see below).
This absorbed, 'Sequestered' carbon can be counted as credit,
that can then be used as a commodity in a carbon trading system.
Significant Environmental Aspect is “an environmental
aspect that has or can have a significant environmental impact”
according to ISO 14001.
Sink is a reservoir that takes up a pollutant from
another part of its cycle. Soil and trees act as natural “sinks”
Smog is a mixture of smoke, chemical pollutants and
fog (dispersed water droplets). Smog hit many UK cities in
the 1950s and early 1960s, killing nearly 5000 elderly people.
Social capital is a measure of the ability of people
to work together for common purposes in groups and organisations.
Social capital of the nation can be measured or assessed by
the quality of life and quality of living and working conditions.
The size or level of social capital in a country determines
the extent everyone can make full use of their physical, mental,
and social capacities.
Solar Energy is the energy from the sun and it provides
the source for all energy sources - wind, water, waves, biofuels
and fossil fuels.
Solvent is any liquid used to dissolve and disperse
useful substances. Much work is going on to replace organic
solvents that are known to cause nervous disorders with water
Special Packaging is packaging that handles special
waste (below). It contribute to a company's overall packaging
obligation but is exempt from the recovery and recycling obligation
Special Waste is solid or liquid that must be disposed
of in accordance with the Special Waste Regulations. This
includes substances on the EU Hazardous Waste List and a has
one of more of the following hazardous characteristics: explosive,
oxidising, highly flammable, flammable, irritant, harmful,
toxic, carcinogenic, corrosive, infectious, teratogenic, mutagenic,
substances and preparations which release toxic or very toxic
gases, substances and preparations which after disposal can
produce a hazardous characteristic, ecotoxic.
Species are usually described as a group of organisms
that reproduce only with themselves. It has also been heard
to be described as a 'concept of a good taxonomists mind'
Stakeholders are people or groups of people who have
a vested interest in the success of the organisation and the
Statistical Process Control (SPC) was developed by
W.E Deming as a tool to examine the deviation from the mean
of what was required. He proposed that more attention is paid
to why things are not at the mean and in so doing demonstrated
that the cause for most faults were not individuals’ as much
as the organisation of the management system. Environmentally
it is the ultimate way to reduce waste.
Steady state economy is a human economy characterized
by constant population, capital stocks and rate of material/energy
throughput such that there is sustainable equilibrium between
human activities and the environment. While these elements
are constant, "cultural capital" can change; thus a distinction
is made between growth (quantitative) and development (qualitative).
Substantial change is any change that will result in
a significant negative effect on the environment in the opinion
of the Environment Agency for Part A1 processes, or the Local
Authority for Part A2 or B processes, as regulated under the
Pollution Prevention and Control regulations 1999
Supply Chains integrate the procuring, producing, and
delivering products and services to customers, including sub-suppliers,
suppliers, internal operations, trade customers, retail customers,
and end users and manage the material, information, and funds
Sustainable Development is development that meets the
needs of the present without compromising the ability of future
generations to meet their own needs. It first came to prominence
with the Bruntland Report of 1987 and is the basis of Agenda
Sustainability."Something is sustainable if you can
carry on doing it indefinitely. If you can't - it isn't."
Task is the smallest
indivisible part of an activity when it is broken down to
a level best understood and performed by a specific person.
TBT or Technical Barrier to Trade is what it says -
something technical that may prevent trade.
Technical Fix is the idea that technology alone can
solve problems - rather than recognise the role of social,
economic and political influences.
Teratogen is a substance that deforms the foetus directly.
Thermal pollution is the increase in temperature of
a body of water due to the discharge of water used as a coolant
in industrial processes or power production and can cause
damage to aquatic life
Third World is a term used since the 1940s to describe
developing countries. These were countries that depended for
over 70% of their economy on primary production - agriculture
or provision of raw materials, as opposed to manufacturing
and servicing industries. The First World were those governed
by markets, the Second World being the centrally planned countries.
New descriptions are now necessary.
Toxic means having the characteristic of causing death
or damage to humans, animals, or plants; poisonous.
Toxic substances (or toxin) are those chemicals or
other substances that can cause damage to the health of living
TQEM means Total Quality and Environmental Management
and does for environmental management systems what Total Quality
Management did for ISO 9000, turning it from a series of procedures
to a way of life at work
Triple Bottom Line is for companies aiming for sustainability,
who have to perform to not just a single financial bottom
line, but the simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity,
environmental quality and social equity.
Type 1 Agreements are
made between countries and carry the status of soft law, whereas
Type 2 Agreements are voluntary and made between business
and countries, to promote sustainable development.
Valorise means to reuse, recycle or incinerate
waste with energy recovery.
Value shift is when human and social values change over time. Freeing slaves
and enfranchising women were once thought extraordinary, now they are taken for
granted. New concepts such as environmental justice and responsible consumerism
are moving the same way.
Volatile organic compound (VOC) The environmental or legislated definition:
Constituents that will evaporate at their temperature of use and which, by a photochemical
reaction, will cause atmospheric oxygen to be converted into potential smog-promoting
tropospheric ozone under favourable climatic conditions. Some areas classify a
substance to be a VOC based on its vapor pressure. Scientific definition: Any
hydrocarbon, except methane and ethane, with a vapour pressure equal to or greater
than 0.1 mm Hg.
VPVBs are substances which are Very Persistent
and Very Bio-accumulative. See also PBTs.
| Waste is any substance or
object that is discarded by the business that was responsible for producing it.
Every business produces waste covered by environmental legislation - even if the
producer does not consider it to be toxic, harmful or large in quantity
Waste Brokerage is when waste companies circulate lists of types of wastes,
giving other companies the opportunity to use these wastes.
Waste Hierarchy proposes that waste reduction is the best way to deal with
waste, re-use the second best option, followed by recovery (e.g. recycling) and
a last resort disposal.
Water Vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas and is the water present
in the atmosphere in gaseous form. Water vapour is an important part of the natural
Waterborne disease is a disease spread by contaminated water. More Water
Water Quality Standards are purity standards of water for domestic use
which are internationally acceptable. The World Health Organisation (WHO) publishes
“Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality”. In Europe the Directive “The Quality
of Water Intended for Human Consumption” 80/778/EEC sets standards for the UK.
Wave radiation. This is the property of glass which accounts for the heating
effect of greenhouses. It is also the property of carbon dioxide.
Weather is the specific condition of the atmosphere at a particular place
and time. It is measured in terms of such things as wind, temperature, humidity,
atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather can
change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate is the average
of weather over time and space. A simple way of remembering the difference is
that 'climate' is what you expect (e.g., cold winters) and 'weather' is what you
Weathering is the chemical and mechanical breakdown of rocks due to atmospheric
Wetlands are areas occasionally or always covered with shallow fresh or
World Trade Organisation (WTO). The international body set up as part of
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in order to promote free trade. More
means technologies for reduction or lessoning of pollution, and can include
both cleaner production and end of pipe technologies
Atmospheric drops combine with a range of chemical
pollutants such as carbon and sulphur dioxide to form rain, mist or snow
that is more acid than normal. It can cause damage to plants many thousands
of kilometres away from where it formed.
Activities are actions, processes operations or services in the
workplace that must be carried out in order to achieve objectives.
Aerosols are particles of matter, solid or liquid, larger than a
molecule but small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere. Natural
sources include salt particles from sea spray and clay particles as a result
of weathering of rocks, both of which are carried upward by the wind.
Aerosols from human activities are often considered pollutants.
AFL-CIO is the US equivalent of Britain's TUC, the organisation that
brings together most trade unions.
Agenda 21 is the name of the agreement signed by most countries at
the Rio Conference in 1992. "Agenda 21 addresses the pressing problems of
today and also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next
century. It reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the
highest level on development and environment co-operation."
Agribusiness is where the culture and skills have been taken out of
agriculture and replaced by business connections. The farm becomes a
sandwich with the business interests of the input, fertiliser and pesticide,
companies and the output control of retailers and major food industries.
Agrochemicals are chemicals such as pesticides and fertilisers
produced by major chemical companies - the input agribusiness, and applied
Alkinisation is a form of salinisation where the water
contains sodium or sodium salts causing the soil to disintegrate completely
and become rock-hard waste.
AQS is the Air Quality Strategy introduced in the Environmental Act
1995. This strategy sets levels for nine pollutants, to protect human
health or the environment.
Around the earth there is an envelope of gases held by
gravity. The gases are mainly nitrogen and oxygen, together with elements of
inert gases hydrogen, ozone, radon, and carbon dioxide. There are different
layers - the troposphere nearest the earth, then the stratosphere up to 50
kilometres, then the mesosphere, the thermosphere, and the ionosphere out to
about 400 km.
Originally an 'eco-audit' was a workplace inspection
looking for environmental effects of the work. This meaning can often be
heard in Europe today. Nowadays, the word is closer to the meaning of a
An environmental management system audit is part of all environment
management system. It is a systematic and documented verification process of
objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence to determine whether an
organisation's environmental management system conforms to the environmental
management system criteria set by an organisation, and for communication of
the results of this process to management. (ISO 14001: 1996 definition 3.6)
Authorisationscontain conditions on both the quality and quantity of
effluent permitted. See Consents.