Tragedy of the Commons

A term used to illustrate the conflict between individual interests and the common good, based on the assumption that when individuals use a public good, they do not consider the impact – or externalities – of their use on the good itself; as a result, public resources become overexploited. The term was popularized by Garrett […]

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a structured approach to organizational management that seeks to improve the quality of products and services through ongoing refinements in response and continuous feedback.

Total Cost Accounting

Total cost accounting (TCA) is a financial tool used to provide a more complete assessment of the true profitability of an entity by taking into account a wider range of direct and indirect costs and savings. It uses longer time horizons that reflect the full economic or commercial life of the project, incorporates the time […]

Total Corporate Responsibility

An approach that encourages corporations to work with governments and organizations proactively to change economic and political systems and regulations that motivate them to ignore costs incurred by societies and the environment by their activities. These costs might be externalities or other effects that harm people or the Earth but for which changes in behavior […]

Tipping Point

A way of looking at the way change happens in the world, put forth by Malcolm Gladwell in his bestselling book, The Tipping Point. The book contends that ideas, behaviors, messages, and products spread through society similar to disease, and that societal changes are like epidemics: a tiny force can cause enormous shifts. The “tipping […]

Time Value of Money

A means of calculating how the value of money changes over time. This assumes that money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future, due to its potential earning capacity and the effects of inflation.

Technical Nutrient

Made of highly stable materials which can be used again and again, technical nutrients are designed to be retrieved and reused within the closed-loop cycle of sustainable manufacturing.


A team is a group of people with a shared goal (desired outcome) or promise (as opposed to a work group). Teams are the product of conversations.


A “producer responsibility” approach to facilitating reuse or recycling whereby consumers return used products back to the company that produced them. Laws mandating company “take back” programs attempt to create incentives for companies to incorporate reusability/recyclability considerations into their initial product design.


A plan for attaining a specific goal.