Derived from the Greek words oikos, and logos meaning “study of home.” Preceding the 1935 introduction of the term “ecosystem” by Sir Arthur Tansley, Vladimir I. Vernadsky used it to define the science of the biosphere. Ecology studies the Earth and its systems, including the interrelationships of all living things and all elements of their […]

Ecological Marketing

Developed in the 1990s, a marketing approach to highlight products and production methods that improve environmental performance, further ecological causes, or solve environmental problems. Marketing products and services on these effects is growing but not all environmental claims are accurate. Some might be examples of green-washing. Ecological marketing works well with some groups of users, […]

Ecological Footprint

A term coined by ecologist William Rees and Mathis Wackernage to describe the total ecological impact (the amount of land, food, water, and other resources needed) to sustain a person or organization. This is usually measured in acres or hectares of productive land. It is used to determine relative consumption and is frequently used as […]


Also known as electronic waste or high-tech trash, it is considered hazardous waste. E-waste contains harmful metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. When these elements are dumped into landfills they leach into our soil and water supply. The health effects of these toxins on humans include birth defects, and brain, heart, liver, kidney and […]


Externalities are effects of services, products, or production on third parties who were not involved in the buyer/seller relationship. Externalities occur when a third party incurs unintended consequences from the market behaviors of others. Externalities can be either negative (pollution, waste clean-up fees that a community must bear, rather than the generator of the waste), […]

Equator Principles

Developed in 2002 by a group of banks, these guidelines are a framework for addressing environmental and social risks in project financing. The purpose of the principles is to screen projects for adverse environmental or human affects in order to safeguard communities and natural habitats. Financial institutions who sign-on to the principles agree not to […]

Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)

A method of tracking and rating the risks associated with a product and the emissions associated with its manufacturing.


A person who assumes a lot of personal, financial, or business risk to pursue a market opportunity that does not yet exist.

Emissions Trading

An approach used by governmental regulatory agencies, private trading systems (such as the CCX), and private companies to reduce air pollution by providing economic incentives to reduce net emissions. Limits or “caps” are set and groups that foresee exceeding these caps may purchase credits from groups that have not the exceeded their emissions levels.


A term coined by David Crawford of the Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation, writing in referring to: Characteristic of those having inflated the truthfulness about their own environmental accomplishments Characteristic of having an exaggerated sense of environmental importance An environmental disregard of others