Access Economy

The “Access Economy”, sometimes called the “Sharing Economy” is a general catch all for economic activity generated by companies who enable the sharing of resources.  AirBnb or ZipCar are classic examples.

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 […]

Cost Benefit Analysis

Cost Benefit Analysis is a financial method of evaluating the feasibility of a project or program by systematically summing its benefits and deducting its costs. It represents an advance over traditional forms of valuation in that it includes opportunity costs, cost of externalities and costs of intangible assets. It is used in private projects as […]

ISO 26000

The ISO 26000 series represents a unique top-down protocol in corporate social responsibility standards, created by the International Organization for Standardization to implement consensus on sustainable management standards across borders and to provide practical implementation of the ISO 19011 series, the ISO 14000 series, and the GRI standards. It is a voluntary guidance standard adopted […]

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

A federal law enacted in 1969 requiring review for any “major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment…” (link to NEPA Statute).  Environmental review under NEPA can be triggered by major policy changes, public or private projects funded by, and private projects permitted by a federal agency.  NEPA also created the Council […]

Cap and Trade

Cap and Trade is a market based policy tool, which sets a cap on the amount of emissions from a group of sources with the end goal of reducing the overall pollution in a nation, region, or industry. The intention is to incentivize a reduction in emissions and penalize those who don’t comply. Participants in […]

Benefit Corporation / B Corporation

A type of corporation designed to be “purpose-driven” and operated in the interests not only of shareholders, but of their workers, their communities, and their environment.  It provides a new type of corporate structure with the objective of allowing companies to work towards societal goals, along with increasing shareholder value, without opening themselves up to […]

Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer

The protocol was signed in Montreal, Canada, in 1987, as an adjunct to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.  The protocol has been ratified by all nations recognized by the UN, as a commitment to eliminate products containing halogenated hydrocarbons which are believed to be responsible for the depletion of the […]

Social Justice

Social justice is an interactive process, not an outcome, in which members of a community seek: fair (re)distribution of resources opportunities and responsibilities challenge the roots of oppression and injustice empower all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential and build social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action (School of Social Welfare, […]

Sustainability Champion

An indication of the sustainability community’s adoption of the term is that both University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized employees as Sustainability Champions for the first time in 2009. UCSB launched a new awards program and the EPA renamed its decade-old environmental awards program Sustainability Champions.