"Green" Relationships

Test A: Footprint's impact on future generation's capability to meet their needs.
Test B: Footprint's sustainability compared to specific alternatives.

Glossary of Terms

Comparative Assertion
"Environmental claim regarding the superiority or equivalence of one product versus a competing product which performs the same function." (Source: ISO 14000)

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment

Cradle to Grave

A "Cradle-to-grave" assessment considers impacts at each stage of a product's life-cycle, from the time natural resources are extracted from the ground and processed through each subsequent stage of manufacturing, transportation, product use, recycling, and ultimately, disposal.

Environmental Assessment

A detailed study of the reasonably foreseeable significant effects on the environment, beneficial as well as adverse, of a product, service or process. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) are examples of environmental assessment methods.

Environmental Impact

Impact on the environment and those human health effects that occur via uptake of toxic substances via air, water, and food.

Global Warming Potential (GWP), better: Climate Change Potential (CCP)

Changes in the global, average surface-air temperature and subsequent change of various climate parameters and the resultant effects such as storm frequency and intensity, rainfall intensity and frequency of floodings. Climate change may be affected by the greenhouse effect which is induced by emission of greenhouse gases into the air.

Green Procurement

A procurement process, which takes into account environmental elements when buying products and services. To prevent a mere shifting of burdens of environmental damages among life cycle phases or among environmental problems, an effective Green Procurement should be based on a life cycle thinking or life cycle assessment.

Life Cycle

Consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from raw material extraction, through production of materials and intermediates, parts to products, through product use or service operation to recycling and/or final disposal.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a process of compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.

Life Cycle Inventory Analysis

"Phase of life cycle assessment involving the compilation and quantification of inputs and outputs for a given product system throughout its life cycle." (Source: ISO 14000)

Non-Renewable Resource

Minerals, ores and fossil fuels. Their use as material and energy sources leads to depletion of the Earth's reserves as they do cannot be renewed in human relevant periods of time.


(1) A resource recovery method involving the collection and treatment of a waste product for use as raw material in the manufacture of the same or a similar product. (2) The EU waste strategy distinguishes between: reuse meant as a material reuse without any structural changes in materials; recycling meant as a material recycling, only, and with a reference to structural changes in products; and recovery meant as an energy recovery only.

Sustainability/Sustainable development

"The concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." (from "Our Common Future", report by the Brundtland Commission).
Terrestrial and aquatic eutrophication potential (EP)
Excessive enrichment of waters and continental surfaces with nutrients, and the associated adverse biological effects.


The degree to which a chemical substance elicits a deleterious or adverse effect upon the biological system of an organism exposed to the substance over a designated time period.