Energy Intensity

Energy Intensity is the ratio of energy consumption to gross domestic product measured in Joule/USD. A demand indicator, it was originally a proxy for the energy efficiency of a country, and has been adapted to measure the energy efficiency of cities and corporations. Energy intensity is an aggregate indicator applicable in both public and private […]

Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day is the day each calendar year when the human demand, the natural resources we consume and the carbon dioxide emissions we create, exceeds the planet’s ability to regenerate those resources and reabsorb the carbon emissions generated during the same calendar year. Our first Overshoot Day occurred in the 1970’s and the date […]

Ecosystem Function

The physical and biological processes and characteristic activities that allow an ecosystem to exist and maintain its integrity.


According to FastCompany: “The end of the modern financial system as we know it has cleared the way for an era of ethical economics, or “Ethonomics.” We live in a world that’s resource-constrained but ingenuity-rich. So an upstart generation of entrepreneurs–and innovators within the world’s biggest companies–are founding businesses that are good for the world […]


Engaging in responsible travel to natural areas while conserving the environment and improving the well-being of local people. Those who lead or participate in ecotourism activities strive to: Minimize their impact Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts Provide direct financial benefits for conservation Provide financial benefits […]

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 […]

Ecological Economics

An interdisciplinary framework that seeks to merge the two historically separate fields of economics and ecology. It assumes that: 1) there is an inherent link between the health of the Earth’s ecosystem and the economic system created by human beings; 2) the economy is a subsystem of the earth’s ecological system; and 3) by understanding […]


The relation of outcomes, measured in a variety of ways, to the inputs required for that level of production. In business, efficiency of materials, energy, personnel, investment, and processes are commonly measured in order to measure performance and prioritize expenditures and projects. In sustainable business, a systems perspective requires addressing untraditional economic effects (such as […]


Philosophically speaking, ethics is concerned with the evaluation of human actions – which attempts to understand the nature of morality and to define that which is right from that which is wrong(1). From a professional viewpoint, ethics typically pertains to a code of professional standards that contain aspects of fairness and duty to the profession […]

Energy Service Company (ESCO)

A company that offers to reduce a client’s energy costs, often by capitalizing the upfront expenditures and sharing the resulting future cost savings with the client. This is typically accomplished through the use of an energy-performance contract (EPC) or a shared-savings agreement. ESCOs may offer any of the following services: financing, design & installation, project […]