All a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v x y z

Agenda 2030

Agenda 2030

Agenda 2030 is a UN resolution (A/RES/70/1), named Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted 2015. The purpose of the resolution is to by 2030 achieve a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development all over the world. The resolution includes the 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and the 169 sub goals.

Link to Agenda 2030 (UN website)

Annex XVII of REACH

Annex XVII of REACH

Annex XVII of REACH regulation contains the list of restrictions of certain hazardous substances used on the European market.

Link to Annex XVII of REACH (external website)

Biomimicry

Biomimicry

Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time tested patterns and strategies.

Candidate List

Candidate List

The Candidate List is a list of substances of very high concern that are candidates to be added to Annex XVII of the REACH regulation.

Link to Candidate List Table (external website)

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is a non profit charity running the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. CDP provides several tools for measuring environmental impacts and report them in a transparent way.

Read more about CDP (external link)

Child labour

Child labour

Child labour is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity and that is harmful to physical and mental development. The age of defining child labour is 15, and there is added regulations for hazardous work between 15-18 years of age.

Link to ILO's definition of Child Labour (external website)

Chromium

Chromium

Chromium (III) ions are not considered toxic but Chromium (VI) ions are toxic and carcinogenic. Chromium (VI) ions have been used for many years for surface treatment of steel products. Chromium (VI) is restricted under REACH for specific applications.

ECHA's list of restricted substances (external website) TEST (external link) TEST 2 (external link) Read about how we phased out Chromium VI

Circular Economy

Circular Economy

A circular economy (often called "circularity")is an economic system aimed at the reuse of resource and eliminating waste. The system include recycling, reuse, remanufacturing and refurbishment to create a closed system and minimising the use of virgin resources and creation of waste. Some of the relevant theoretical influences are cradle to cradle, looped economy, industrial ecology and biomimicry. The opposite is the linear economy, which consists of "take, make and dispose".

EU's definition of circular economy (external website)

Climate compensation

Climate compensation

Climate compensation is the last step when systematically reducing your climate effect. First step is to start measure your greenhouse gas emissions, secondly reduce the emissions as much as possible, then use renewable sources and last compensate the emissions that can not be avoided. The compensation is a financial investment in projects that reduces, avoid or remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. It is important to use a certified climate compensation program to assure trustworthy programs.

Climate gases or Greenhouse gases

Climate gases or Greenhouse gases

Climate gases or greenhouse gases (GHG), are gases that absorbs and emits radiant energy and are the gases that causes the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. Without greenhouse gases the average temperature of the earth should be around -18 C instead of the present 15 C. Since the industrial revolution human activities has significantly increased the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide which is the cause of the greenhouse effect with increased temperatures on our planet.

Climate neutral

Climate neutral

Climate neutral, or having net zero climate footprint, refers to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by balancing with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating greenhouse emissions altogether.

Climate positive

Climate positive

Climate positive means that an activity goes beyond achieving net zero carbon emissions to actually create a benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Climate positive means the same as carbon negative.

Conflict Minerals

Conflict Minerals

Conflict Minerals are natural resources extracted in a conflict zone and sold to perpetuate the fighting. The conflict minerals are (known as 3TGs): tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. There are international efforts to reduce the trade in conflict resources. For example , in the United States, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act require manufacturers to audit their supply chains and report use of conflict minerals. On 1st January 2021 a new law, The conflict minerals regulation, with similar requirements as the Dodd-Frank act, will come into full force across the EU.

EU Conflict Minerals Regulation (external website)

Cradle to cradle

Cradle to cradle

Cradle to cradle is a circular approach to products and systems, opposite to "Cradle to grave" which symbolizes the linear system. Cradle to cradle is a holistic, economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free.

Critical raw materials, CRM

Critical raw materials, CRM

Raw material are crucial to EU's economy and form a strong industrial base, producing a broad range of goods and applications used in modern technologies. Reliable access to certain raw materials is a growing concern within the EU and across the globe. To address this challenge, the European Commission has created a list of "critical raw materials" (CRMs) for the EU. The list is updated on regular basis. The main parameters to determine the criticality of the material are economic importance and supply risk.

EU's definition of critical raw materials (external website)

Diversity

Diversity

Diversity is a well used term within sustainability. The basics are that a diverse environment is beneficial in all contexts. Working groups, the environment on the planet and in society. A high degree of diversity provides high resilience. Diversity includes gender perspective, age, religion, sexual orientation and disability.

Due diligence

Due diligence

Due diligence is an investigation or exercise of care that a reasonable business is expected to take before entering into an agreement or contract with another party, or an act with certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations.

ECHA

ECHA

ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) is responsible for data, information and evaluation of restricted chemicals in European Union. The headquarter is in Helsinki, Finland.

Link to ECHA (external website)

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Ellen MacArthur Foundation

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future circular economy. The Foundation works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.

Link to Ellen MacArthur Foundation (external website)

Environmental aspect

Environmental aspect

Environmental aspect is the way your activity, service or product impacts the environment.

Environmental impact

Environmental impact

Environmental impact is defined as any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, resulting from an organisation's activities, products or services.

Equality

Equality

In a sustainability context, equality refers to the human right that every person has the right to be treated in the same way, regardless of where you are from, what you believe in or how you choose to live your life.

Greenwashing

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is when a company/organisation makes an untrue or misleading statement about the sustainability and/or environmental benefits of a product or a service. The effects of greenwashing might be that a company/organisation seems to be more sustainable/environmentally friendly than it really is.

Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances are substances that are toxic to living organisms or to the environment.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety

Same as Occupational Health and Safety

Go to Occupational Health and Safety

Human Rights

Human Rights

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and to education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination. There are international human right laws that lay down the obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom of individuals or groups. The foundation document is the United Nations and the declaration of Human rights.

UN's definition of Human Rights (external website)

ILO (International Labour Organization)

ILO (International Labour Organization)

Since 1919, the International Labour Organisation, ILO, has brought together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programs to promote decent work for all women and men.

More about ILO (external link)

ISO 14001

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management system and provides practical tools for an organisation to manage their environmental responsibilities.

Link to ISO 14001 (external website)

ISO 26000

ISO 26000

ISO 26000 is an international standard for social responsibility, it provides guidance on how an organisation can operate in a socially responsible way.

Link to ISO 26000 (external website)

ISO 45001

ISO 45001

ISO 45001 is an international standard for occupational health and safety. It supports organisations to improve employee safety, reduces workplace risks and creates better, safer working conditions.

Link to ISO 45001 (external website)

ISO 9001

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is an international standard for quality management system. It provides guidance and tools for organisations who want to ensure their products and services consistently meet customer's requirements and that quality is consistently improved.

Link to ISO 9001 (external website)

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol was the first international agreement to set international binding green house gases (GHG) emission reducing targets. The Kyoto protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The first commitment period of the protocol ended in 2012.

Read more about the Kyoto Protocol (external link)

Living Wage

Living Wage

The living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their basic needs. Needs are defined to include food, housing, and other essential needs such as clothing. The living wage is different for each country and some times different within different areas in a country as well.

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is different from the living wage. The minimum wage is set by national law and can fail to meet the requirements to have a basic quality of life.

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is defined by World Health Organization (WHO) as "occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards". OHS is a multidisciplinary field concerned with safety, health and welfare of people at work. The goals of occupational health and safety programs includes to foster a healthy and safe work environment.

Link to ILO's Healthy Workplace Framework

Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement builds on the convention (1/CP.21 Adoption of the Paris Agreement) and for the first time brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. The Agreement's aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well-below 2 degrees Celsius, and also even limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. All nations that have signed the convention need to set action plans on how to reduce their climate effect and act in line with the goal to keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

Planetary boundaries

Planetary boundaries

The planetary boundaries concept presents a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. The nine areas regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth system. Crossing these boundaries increases the risk of generating large scale abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.

Read more about planetary boundaries (external link)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbones (PAHs)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbones (PAHs)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbones, PAHs, are organic compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen, arranged in aromatic rings. PAHs are found in coal and tar deposits. The PAHs are also produced by the thermal decomposition of organic matter (for example in engines and incinerators or when biomass is burnt, like in forest fires). PAHs are found to be carcinogenic at exposure. Some PAHs are restricted under REACH.

Read more about PAHs (external website)

Private label products

Private label products

Private label products are products that are produced by a supplier and branded by another company which provide the product to the market. If importing private label products to the EU market, the business distributing the products to the market has full responsibility that the product is compliant to the EU laws and regulations.

REACH

REACH

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is an European Union regulation from 2006. REACH addresses the production and the use of chemical substances, and their potential impact on both human health and the environment.

Read more about REACH (external website)

Recycling

Recycling

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. In the case of recycling the products are destroyed and the materials are recycled. Recycling can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of virgin materials, thereby reducing for example energy usage, air pollution and water pollution.

Refurbish

Refurbish

Refurbished products means renovated products, or renovated parts of a product, that can be used again. To be distinguished from recycling which includes destruction of the product and the recycling of the materials of a product.

Regulated substances

Regulated substances

Regulated substances include substances that are regulated by law. For example hazardous substances (regulated by REACH) and conflict minerals (will be regulated by EU directive 2021).

Remediation Programme for Children (if child labour)

Remediation Programme for Children (if child labour)

Remediation programme for Child labour is systematic fast actions if child labour is found. It also includes rehabilitation of child workers.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human time scale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, water power and geothermal heat.

Resource depletion

Resource depletion

Resource depletion occurs when the renewable and non-renewable natural sources become scarce due to high demand, where the resources are consumed much faster than they are generated.

Restricted substances list

Restricted substances list

The restricted list is the same as Annex VI to REACH, and it contains all the substances or group of substances or substances in a mixture and the consequent restriction conditions.

Link to Restricted Substances List (external website)

Reuse

Reuse

Reuse of products means the second hand market of products both for original purpose as well as for new purposes. To be distinguished from recycling where products are destroyed and the materials of the products are recycled.

RoHS

RoHS

RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment) is an European Union Directive to restrict the use of hazardous material in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment. For example: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium.

Link to RoHS (external website)

Science-based targets

Science-based targets

The Science-based targets initiative encourage science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies' competitive advantage in the transition to the low carbon economy. The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF). The target is to assure that businesses have targets inline with keeping the global warming below 1,5 degrees Celsius.

Link to the Science-based targets (external website)

Social sustainability

Social sustainability

The social sustainability includes areas such as social equity, liveability, health equity, community development, social capital, social support, human rights, labour rights, social justice, cultural competence.

Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)

SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) is a chemical substance for which it has been proposed that the use within the European Union be subject to authorisation under the REACH regulation

List of Substances of Very High Concern (external website)

Sustainability audit

Sustainability audit

An audit performed with concerns regarding human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and health and safety for the work environment.

Sustainability principles or System conditions for sustainability

Sustainability principles or System conditions for sustainability

The sustainability principles are a framework to guide towards a more sustainable organisation. They can be used to identify sustainability risks and opportunities and comprise planetary risks and social risks in the scoop.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development

Sustainable development is a principle for meeting human development goals while simultaneously sustain the ability of natural systems to provide and regenerate the natural resources and ecosystems service upon which the economy and society depend. The definition of sustainable development is "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations" (The Brundtland Report from 1987).

Link to Brundtland report (external website)

UN Global Compact

UN Global Compact

Global Compact is an initiative from the United Nations for companies to align strategies and operations with universal principals on human rights, labour rights, environment and anti-corruption, and to take actions that advance societal goals. UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principals and to take steps to support UN goals.

Read more about Global Impact (external website)

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals are part of the UN resolution Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The purpose of the resolution is to by 2030 achieve a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development all over the world. The 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and the 169 sub goals are the blueprint to achieve a more sustainable future. The goals address the challenges humankind face including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

Link to UN Sustainable Development Goals

Unbranded products

Unbranded products

Unbranded products are products with no branded name on them. If importing unbranded products to the EU market, the business distributing the products to the market has full responsibility that the product is compliant to the EU laws and regulations.

WEEE

WEEE

WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) sets the collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods. Initiated to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic electronic waste.

Read more about WEEE (external link)