Energy Performance Contracting (EPC)

A contract with an architect, designer, or developer in which they are paid a bit more than they conventionally would have been, but part of their fee is paid over time from the savings their solution creates in terms of either performance or efficiency. Conversely, designers and developers are often paid a percentage of the […]

Economic Value Added (EVA)

An estimate of a business’ true economic profit for the year, differing sharply from accounting profit. EVA represents the residual income that remains after the cost of all capital, including equity capital has been deducted, whereas accounting profit is determined without imposing a charge for equity capital. The basic formula for EVA is as follows: […]

Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

An EU program recognizing organizations that are continuously improving their environmental performance beyond what is legally required. Organizations regularly produce statements reporting their compliancy and performance. Once becoming verified, they are recognized by an EMAS logo.

Eco-Industrial Park

Two or more separate industrial processes co-located in to form mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationships in which each participant’s environmental and resource issues (including energy, water, materials and waste) are managed in a manner that improves their environmental and economic performance. These parks may employ features such as: • Conversion of wastes into valuable inputs • […]

EBITA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, and Amortization)

An accounting measure that is a snapshot of a company’s financial standing. EBITA is the company’s financial picture with regard to earnings. However, what is missing from the concept of earnings, and the EBITA snapshot, is the cost and depletion of “free” natural resources that are part of production processes and consumption behaviors. If these […]

Environmental Justice

A term referring to inequalities in use and access to environmental resources, such as clean air and water and healthy living conditions. Economic disparities or geographic access often reserve clean and healthy environments for wealthier peoples, giving poorer people less access to clean resources or healthy living conditions. Environmental Justice proponents seek to create more […]

Environmental Audit

An examination (sometimes independent, sometimes internal) of an individual, corporation, organization, product, service, process or government’s impact on the environment. Currently, there are few standards for conducting environmental assessments but there are emerging audit protocols, such as the ISO 14000 and 14001 tools. At the very least, an audit can assess compliance with environmental regulation. […]

Environmental Accounting

An emerging field that aims to rebalance the treatment of environmental costs and benefits in traditional accounting practice. Separate environmentally-related costs and revenues are identified and new forms of valuation are created which encourage better management decisions and an increased investment in environmental protection and improvement.


A term loosely used to refer to the total of the Earth’s ecosystems. In an even larger sense, it includes not only the natural environment of ecological, biological, and climate conditions (the biosphere), but also the (human) social conditions that support (or not) various forms of life on the Earth. Some schools of thought cast […]

Ecosystem Services

A collection of services provided by the Earth’s ecosystem that are usually not a part of economic analyses but that are indispensable for any human endeavors. These include: clean air and water, plant pollination, climate regulation, soil regeneration, ozone protection, shade and shelter, etc. These services offer incalculable benefits to markets, economies, and societies but […]