Financial Capital

One of at least four forms of capital used by people, organizations, corporations, and governments, to build and maintain their livelihoods. Financial Capital includes all financial assets, instruments, and resources (including loans, bonds, stock, expenses, assets, equity, and cash flows) used throughout the the organization’s activities. Sustainable organizations seek to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency in using financial capital... Read More

Sustainable Management

The ability to direct the course of a company, community, organization, or country in ways that restore and enhance all forms of capital (human, natural, manufactured, and financial) to generate stakeholder value and contribute to the well-being of current and future generations.  Read More

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

A UN-funded study of the state of ecosystem services around the world. It is the most extensive and accurate study of its kind. Launched in 2001 and completed in March 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports on habitat status, fishing, coral reefs, forests, water use, atmospheric carbon and temperature, weather, land use, and population. More than 1300 scientists from 95 countries synthesized research, data, and models from a variety of... Read More


Anything that costs less to dispose of than it’s worth commercially. In many cases, these materials are the same being handled by manufacturers in the production of goods but because of supply chains, technology, and often subsidized capture and transportation industries, recyclable materials are often worth less than virgin materials. In addition, this includes only traditional financial costs and not social or environmental costs and benefits.... Read More

OCC (Opportunity Cost of Capital)

The expected return from investments missed in favor of other investments. Opportunity Cost of Capital is calculated by comparing various investment alternatives, their capital costs, and the value they may return. Companies usually choose the highest profit per investment ratio (if all other factors, such as risk, are equal). Some components are not, traditionally, calculated in OCC but, perhaps, should be. These include: the costs of an investment... Read More

Net Present Value (NPV)

The value, in the present, of an investment or financial transaction that will pay-off in the future, minus the cost of the investment up until the time of that pay-off. NPV represents the profit or loss, in present worth, of future transactions so they are comparable against other investments. NPV is usually calculated by adding the present value of future cash flows, residual values, and interest, minus investment costs, opportunity costs, and future... Read More

Working Capital

The value of assets a company has available to build its business. It is one measure of a company’s liquidity. Since average working capital tends to be different for different industries, it is probably more important to look at changes to a company’s WC over time and to compare it only to other companies in its industry. WC = current assets – current liabilities  Read More

Net Operating Working Capital

A traditional measure of a company’s liquidity and potential for growth. Net operating working capital is defined as non-interest bearing current assets minus non-interest charging liabilities: Net operating working capital = current assets – current liabilities Generally, net operating working capital is equal to cash, accounts receivables, and inventories less accounts payable and accruals. Currently, the traditaional definition does not... Read More

Industrial Ecology

A field of study and practice that focuses on how industry can be developed or restructured to reduce environmental burdens throughout the product life cycle (extraction, production, use, and disposal) and encompasses a variety of related areas of research and practice, including: Material and energy flow studies (“industrial metabolism”) Dematerialization and decarbonization Technological change and the environment Llife-cycle planning,... Read More

Environmental Economics

A branch of neoclassical economics that seeks to address environmental problems, such as pollution and negative externalities, using traditional economic mechanisms, such as taxes, tax incentives and subsidies. Environmental Economics differs from Ecological Economics in that it does not view the economy as a subsystem of the ecosystem, but rather as a separate sphere with tools which may be useful to the ecosystem, but are not inherently a part of... Read More