Common terms in sustainability - Benjamin Bellwether

Common terms in sustainability

When discussing sustainable business and eco-friendly practices, you may hear these words or ideas. It’s important to know the differences so you can understand the impact of each, and make a proper plan to do your part.


Any practice that is not harmful or has a greatly reduced impact on the environment and the overall wellbeing of the Earth and its ecosystems.


The measure of a person, country, industry or specific business’ impact on the Earth and its ecosystems. Often referred to as ‘carbon footprint.’


Any release of a, usually harmful, gas into the environment. These are sometimes called ‘carbon emissions’ or ‘greenhouse gas emissions.’


The increase in the Earth’s average temperature over a long period of time. This is often used and confused as climate change.


The change in Earth’s weather, atmospheric conditions and other conditions over a long period of time, such as global warming.


This stands for ‘corporate social responsibility,’ or the self-regulation of your business practices to be more sustainable.


Something that is produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial agents.


Something that comes from the Earth, regardless of how it’s processed. This is often confused with organic.


Something that is manmade, usually using chemical ingredients and processes.