Accommodation: Accommodations are defined as facilities designed for transient occupancy to house overnight visitors or travelers. Accommodations typically include, but are not limited to bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, condominiums, cottages, eco-lodges, home-stays, hostels, hotels, inns, lodges, motels and resorts.
The accommodation may offer air, land, or water-based transportation and or tours as separate services, but these services are to be assessed separately. Swimming pools, golf courses, or restaurants associated with the properties are not included in Eco-Certification.
Small- to Medium-sized Accommodations are defined as properties that have less than 60 rooms.
Large-sized Accommodations are defined as properties that have more than 60 rooms.
Aerators: Aerators are various devices used for aeration, or mixing air with another substance, such as soil or water.
Attraction: Attractions are defined as facilities and or natural areas with fixed infrastructure that offers entertainment and or educational experiences for the public.
Attractions typically include, but are not limited to aquariums, heritage centers, museums, parks (city, state, regional, or national), theme parks, visitor centers and zoos. Please note, however, that the animal care operations for aquariums and zoos associated with the attraction are currently not included in Eco-Certification.
The attraction may offer overnight accommodations, tours, and or air, land, or water-based transportation as separate services.
Audit: A systematic, documented, periodic and objective evaluation and verification of how well a particular entity (company, product, program, individual, destination, etc.) is doing compared with a set of standards.
(Source: Ecotourism & Certification, Martha Honey)
Baseline: The starting point against which a program’s outcomes are measured.
Benchmarking: The process of comparing performances and processes within an industry to assess relative position against either a set industry standard or against those that are “best in class.” Benchmarking is not synonymous with baselining which establishes the existing level of performance within an operation.
(Source: Ecotourism & Certification, Martha Honey)
Biocides: A biocide is a chemical substance capable of killing living organisms, usually in a selective way. Some substances used as biocides are also employed as anti-fouling agents or disinfectants under other circumstances.
Biodegradable: Capable of being decomposed or broken down by natural biological processes, such as living microorganisms like bacteria or fungi, into simpler, more stable organic compounds.
Biodiversity: The diversity of living organisms in all of their forms and levels of organization including the diversity of genes, species, and ecosystems as well as the evolutionary and functional processes that link them.
(Source: British Columbia Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management)
Capacity Building: Efforts aimed to develop human skills or societal infrastructures within a community or organization needed to reduce the level of risk. In extended understanding, capacity building also includes development of institutional, financial, political and other resources, such as technology at different levels and sectors of the society.
(Source: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction)
Carbon Calculators and Protocols: Nationally and internationally accepted carbon calculators or protocols include: Sustainable Travel International’s MyClimateâ˘ carbon offsets calculator, The GHG Protocol – Corporate GHG Accounting and Reporting, Climate Neutral Network’s greenhouse gas calculator, and The Java Climate Model.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e): The universal unit of measurement used to indicate the global warming potential (GWP) of each of the seven greenhouse gases. It is used to evaluate the impacts of releasing (or avoiding the release of) different greenhouse gases
(Source: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative)
Carbon footprint: A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.
The carbon footprint is a measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce and has units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Carbon Offset: The result of any action specifically undertaken to reduce carbon emissions or increase carbon sequestration. Each carbon offset equals one metric ton of carbon delivered over a specified period of time
(Source: SGS U.K.)
Carbon Offsetting: Carbon Offsetting is the term given to a mechanism which seeks to counter-balance carbon emissions through either the sequestration of carbon in biomass or through the purchase of âcarbon creditsâ on the international market.
Carrying Capacity: The maximum number of individuals of a given species that a site can support during the most unfavorable time of year, without causing deterioration of an ecosystem, habitat, or protected natural area. In recreation management, carrying capacity refers to the amount of use an area can sustain without degrading the environment or significantly decreasing the quality of the experience.
CCBA standards: The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is a partnership between leading companies, NGOs and research institutes seeking to promote integrated solutions to land management around the world. With this goal in mind, the CCBA has developed voluntary standards to help design and identify land management projects that simultaneously minimize climate change, support sustainable development and conserve biodiversity.
Certification: Certification is a voluntary procedure that assesses, monitors, and gives written assurance that a business, product, process, service, or management system conforms to specific requirements. It awards a marketable logo or seal to those that meet or exceed baseline standards, i.e., those that at a minimum comply with national and regional regulations and, typically, fulfil other declared or negotiated standards prescribed by the program.
(Source: Ecotourism & Certification, Martha Honey)
Certified Emission Reduction (CER): CERs are Certified Emission Reductions, an example of ‘carbon credits’, or ‘carbon offsets’. They are issued in return for a reduction of atmospheric carbon emissions through projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). One CER equates to an emission reduction of one tonne of CO2.
Holders of CERs are entitled to use them to offset their own carbon emissions as one way of achieving their Kyoto or EU ETS emissions reduction target.
Certified Organic: A certification process for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products. In general, any business directly involved in food production can be certified, including seed suppliers, farmers, food processors, retailers and restaurants. Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping that include but may not be limited to: avoidance of synthetic chemical inputs (e.g. fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, etc) and genetically modified organisms; use of farmland that has been free from chemicals for a number of years (often, three); keeping detailed written production and sales records (audit trail); maintaining strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products; and undergoing periodic on-site inspections. Certified organic producers are also subject to the same agricultural, food safety and other government regulations that apply to non-certified producers.
CFO: The chief financial officer (CFO) of a company or public agency is the corporate officer primarily responsible for managing the financial risks of the business or agency. This officer is also responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, as well as financial reporting to higher management. (In recent years, however, the role has expanded to encompass communicating financial performance and forecasts to the analyst community.)
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs (also known as Freon) are non-toxic, non-flammable and non-carcinogenic. They contain fluorine atoms, carbon atoms and chlorine atoms. CFCs are widely used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioners, as solvents in cleaners, particularly for electronic circuit boards, as a blowing agents in the production of foam (for example fire extinguishers), and as propellants in aerosols. Man-made CFCs however, are the main cause of stratospheric ozone depletion. CFCs have a lifetime in the atmosphere of about 20 to 100 years, and consequently one free chlorine atom from a CFC molecule can do a lot of damage, destroying ozone molecules for a long time. Although emissions of CFCs around the developed world have largely ceased due to international control agreements, the damage to the stratospheric ozone layer will continue well into the 21st century.
Climate Change: This term is commonly used interchangeably with “global warming” and “the greenhouse effect,” but is a more descriptive term. Climate change refers to the buildup of man-made gases in the atmosphere that trap the suns heat, causing changes in weather patterns on a global scale. The effects include changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise, potential droughts, habitat loss, and heat stress.
(Source: National Safety Council)
Community: In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing an environment. Traditionally a “community” has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location.
Community-based Tourism: Socially sustainable tourism that is initiated and almost always operated exclusively by local people. Shared leadership emphasizing community well-being over individual profit, balances power within communities, and fosters traditional culture, conservation, and responsible stewardship of the land.
Company: The entity who has applied for eco-certification, including each of the regions in which it offers its programs and / or services.
Composting: Process whereby organic wastes, including food wastes, paper, and yard wastes, decompose naturally, resulting in a product rich in minerals and ideal for gardening and farming as soil conditioners, mulch, resurfacing material, or landfill cover
(Source: Natural Resources Defense Council)
Corporate Social Reporting (a.k.a. Sustainability Reporting): Reporting by companies of financial information as well as socio-cultural and environmental information. This type of reporting often includes but is not limited to value added statements, employment reports, fair trade and business practices, energy and other natural resource consumption, waste minimization, product safety, and community involvement and development.
Corporate Social Responsibility: A company’s obligation to be accountable to all of its stakeholders (i.e., employees, customers, service providers, etc.) in all its operations and activities with the aim of achieving sustainable development not only in the economical dimension but also in the socio-cultural and environmental dimensions.
Cryptobiotic Soil: A type of soil found throughout the world in arid regions. These living soil crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria – a class of bacteria commonly referred to as blue green algae which make use of oxygen producing photosynthesis – and also include soil lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria – all of which play an important role in the ecosystems in which they occur.
(Source: National Park Service)
Cultural Imperialism: The practice of promoting the culture or language of one nation in another. It is usually the case that the former is a large, economically or militarily powerful nation and the latter is a smaller, less affluent one. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude.
Culture or Cultural: The accumulated habits, attitudes, languages, and beliefs of a group of people that define for them their general behavior and way of life.
Durable Goods: Manufactured items that have a long life expectancy of three years or more. Examples include but are not limited to automobiles, furniture and equipment.
Eco-certification: A voluntary procedure that utilizes a set of criteria designed to assist travel providers in mitigating their negative environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impacts and maximizing the benefits they provide to the environment, local and indigenous people and their communities.
Eco-friendly: As related to the travel industry, having a beneficial effect on the environment and or on local and indigenous people and their communities.
Eco-label: A logo or seal that indicates that a product has met a set of environmental, socio-cultural and or economic standards.
Ecological Footprint: The Ecological Footprint has emerged as the worldâs premier measure of humanityâs demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resource it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology.
Economic Impact: There are three types of economic impacts – direct, indirect, and induced. In the travel industry, direct impacts are those directly related to tourism. These include the profits of travel providers and the wages earned by employees. Those that offer tourism also purchase goods and services from other companies. The additional profits or wages associated with providing these goods and services are indirect economic impacts. Finally, employees in the travel industry spend their wages on food, cars, homes, and other goods and services and thus induce additional economic activity for the providers of these goods and services. The resulting economic activity is an induced impact of tourism.
Ecosystem: All living organisms and their physical surroundings found in a particular environment, such as a forest, a desert, or a coral reef.
Eco-tourism: Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features – both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations.
(Source: The World Conservation Union)
EHS: Environmental, Health and Safety
Endemic: Endemic in biology and ecology means exclusively native to a place or biota. It is in contrast to any one of several terms meaning “not native” (e.g., adventive, exotic, alien, introduced, naturalized, non-native). However it is also differentiated from indigenous. A species that is endemic is unique to that place or region, found naturally nowhere else. A species that is indigenous is native, but not unique because it is also native to other locations as well.
Energy conservation: Energy conservation is the practice of decreasing the quantity of energy used. It may be achieved through efficient energy use, in which case energy use is decreased while achieving a similar outcome, or by reduced consumption of energy services. Energy conservation may result in increase of financial capital, environmental value, national security, personal security, and human comfort. Individuals and organizations that are direct consumers of energy may want to conserve energy in order to reduce energy costs and promote economic security. Industrial and commercial users may want to increase efficiency and thus maximize profit. (Source: Wikipedia)
Energy Efficient: Requiring a minimal amount of energy to produce a maximum yield. Where available, energy efficient products may be identified by bearing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy StarÂŽ label, or otherwise indicate energy efficiency when compared with other similar equipment using established, industry-standard testing methods.
(Source: Green Seal)
Energy StarÂŽ: A voluntary energy-efficiency program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which rates products that save energy by meeting strict guidelines.
Environment: The components of the Earth, including but not limited to land, water and air; all layers of the atmosphere; organic and inorganic matter; living organisms; and the interacting natural systems.
(Source: Government of Canada)
Environmental Emergencies: The spill or unexpected discharge of a hazardous material to water, air or land that threatens the life, health or safety of citizens or the environment is considered an environmental emergency.
Environmental Impact: Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s activities, products or services.
(Source: Government of Canada)
Environmental Management Plan: A developed scheme, program, or method that sets forth standards and procedures, responsibilities, performance criteria, resources and work practices that protect human health and the environment.
(Source: Global Development Research Center)
Environmental Management System: A management approach that enables an organization to identify, measure, monitor and control its environmental impacts. An environmental management system is part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining an environmental policy.
(Source: PEER Center)
Environmental Policy: Statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental goals, objectives and targets as well as its environmental management plans and environmental management systems. (Source: PEER Center)
Environmental Professional: Someone who possesses sufficient specific education, training, and experience necessary to render expert advice on environmental issues. Qualified environmental professionals have: a state or tribal issued certification or license and three years of relevant full-time work experience; or a Baccalaureate degree or higher in science or engineering and five years of relevant full-time work experience; or ten years of relevant full-time work experience. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Environmentally Additional Offsets: Based on the Kyoto Protocol, additionality refers to offset projects that achieve greenhouse gas reductions or removals in addition to what would have occurred in their absence, so environmental additionality refers to emission reductions that represent a physical reduction or avoidance of emissions over what would have occurred. (Source: World Resource Institute/Would Business Council for Sustainable Development). Organizations that currently or in the near future plan to certify Environmentally Additional Offsets or have offset project protocols include: Climate Neutral Network, World Wildlife Fund, Clean Development Mechanism climate change mitigation projects, and the Project GHG Accounting and Reporting protocol.
Equipment: Any owned or leased tangible personal property that is capitalized. Examples include but are not limited to the following (where applicable): air conditioners, boilers, computers, copiers, dishwashers, dryers, fax machines, freezers, heat pumps, monitors, ovens, printers, refrigerators, stereos, televisions, VCR or DVD players, washers, water heaters.
Ethics Policy: Statement by the organization in relation to its overall behavior and conduct regarding its intentions, moral principles, and values as they relate to its respect for its employees, clients and local communities.
Fair-trade: Fair-Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing their rights of, disadvantaged producers and workers â especially in the South. (Source: Fair Trade)
Faucets: In the U.S. the word faucet is used for water outlets, taps. A tap is a valve for controlling the release of a liquid or gas.
Flora and fauna: Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively. The indigenous plant and wildlife of a geographical region is often referred to as that regionâs flora and fauna. Both are collective terms, referring to groups of plant or wildlife specific to a region or a time period.
Flow Rate: Rate of water flowing from faucet, shower, etc., which can be measured with a bucket and timer (2.5 gpm = 2.5 gallons per minute).
Fossil fuel: Fossil fuels are formed by the anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms that lived up to 300 million years ago. These fuels contain high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons. Fossil fuels range from volatile materials with low carbon:hydrogen ratios like methane, to liquid petroleum to non-volatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, like anthracite coal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form of methane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust over hundreds of millions of years. (Source: Wikipedia)
Freshwater: Water with very low soluble mineral content; sources include lakes, streams, rivers, glaciers, and underground aquifers. (Source: Geographic.org)
Fuel Efficient: Relating to the efficiency of conversion to kinetic energy from energy contained in a carrier fuel, specifically in a transportation vehicle, such as an automobile. Improved fuel economy relates to a decrease in the amount of fuel required to move a vehicle over a given distance, resulting in monetary savings, strengthening of national security, protecting the environment and conserving resources. (Source: Wikipedia)
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): a multi-stakeholder process and independent institution whose mission is to develop and disseminate globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Within the travel and tourism sector, the Tour Operators Initiative (detailed below) offers the relevant protocol.
Global Warming: Increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and landmass. It is widely believed that human activities, notably the burning of fossil fuels, are responsible for the recent fluctuations and overall increase in global temperatures. See also Climate Change, above.
Gray Water or Grey water: Wastewater composed of wash water from kitchens, bathrooms, tubs, sinks, laundry tubs and or washers that contains chemical or chemical-biological ingredients such as soaps, detergents, etc. It’s distinct from wastewater that has been contaminated with sewage, which is referred to as black water.
Green Purchasing: Purchasing that places preference on products or services which have a reduced environmental impact in their life cycle (i.e., the producer is responsible for the product from cradle to grave), which are designated as environmentally friendly by an eco-label (compared to those that are conventionally farmed or produced), which are locally produced by locally owned businesses, or which are fair trade certified.
Green Purchasing: Purchasing that places preference on products which have reduced environmental impact in their life cycle (development, manufacturing, use, recycling, and disposal), or which are designated as eco-friendly by firms that are active proponents of environmental preservation. (Source: Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Heritage).
Green Tags: Green Tags are created when wind power or other renewable energy is substituted for traditional power. The result is a shift away from dependence on burning fossil fuel to produce electricity. Using clean renewable energy is eco-friendly, reducing greenhouse gases emissions. However, itâs still a little more expensive than buying traditional power, so Green Tags can be purchased in addition to the electricity that you use. Buying Green Tags has the same effect as buying green power. Both replace fossil fuel generators with clean renewables, and both have exactly the same environmental benefits(Source: Bonneville Environmental Foundation)
Green-E: In the U.S. Green-e is the nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products. (Source: Green-e)
Greenhouse Gases: Gases such as water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) in the atmosphere that absorb heat radiated from the surface of the Earth and trap heat from the sun. The increase of these gases in the atmosphere contributes to global warming and is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, emission of pollutants and deforestation. An increase in energy efficiency can lead to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenwashing: The falsification of objective requirements for environmental conservation, ecological sustainability, and/or socio-cultural responsibility so as to present an environmentally responsible public image (Source: Green-Travel.com)
Guides: A guide is a person who leads people through unknown or unmapped country, or conducts travellers and tourists through a place of interest.
Hazardous Materials: Materials such as chemicals, combustible liquids, compressed gases, controlled substances, corrosives, explosives, flammable materials, oxidizers, poisons, radioactive materials, and toxic materials that are capable of posing a significant risk to health and the environment.
Heat Loss: The transfer of heat from inside to outside by means of conduction, convection, and radiation through walls, windows, and other building surfaces. Heat loss prevention technology includes but is not limited to double-paned and or energy-efficient windows, window films, curtains and or blinds, insulated roofs, insulated walls (in cooler climates), insulated hot water pipes, and building materials that assist with heat absorption.
Heavy Metals: Metallic elements including antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, hexavalent, lead and mercury that tend to accumulate in the food chain (sometimes exponentially) and can damage living organisms even at very low concentrations.
Impact Assessment: Impact assessment is the process of identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed action. It is used to ensure that projects, programmes and policies are economically viable, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. (Source: Convention on Biological Diversity)
Implemented: To put into practical effect; carry out.
Indigenous People: People who are the descendants of the original inhabitants of a geographic region prior to colonization who have maintained some or all of their linguistic, cultural and organizational characteristics.
Integrated Pest Management: An ecologically based approach to pest control that relies on natural mortality factors, such as natural enemies, weather, and crop management that is designed to produce a healthy crop in an economically efficient and environmentally sound manner.
Invasive species: A non-native species which becomes established in natural or semi-natural ecosystems or habitats, is an agent of changes, and threatens native biological diversity (or has the potential to do so). An alien species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity.
Land Use Planning: Land-use planning is the systematic assessment of land and water potential, alternatives for land use and economic and social conditions in order to select and adopt the best land-use options. Its purpose is to select and put into practice those land uses that will best meet the needs of the people while safeguarding resources for the future. The driving force in planning is the need for change, the need for improved management or the need for a quite different pattern of land use dictated by changing circumstances. (Source: fao.org)
Latrine: A latrine is a structure (usually small, holding a single person, and freestanding) for defecation and urination. Latrines allow for safer and more hygienic disposal of human waste than open defecation. They are used in rural areas and low-income urban communities, with significant use in the developing world. Many variations exist, but at its simplest, the reason for using a latrine is that waste is controlled and decomposed into safer by-products. May be called a bathroom or toilet, regardless of how modern or primitive it is.
Leave No Trace: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational, nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. (Source: Leave No Trace)
LEED: The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
Life Cycle Cost: The cost of a product or service which takes into account the cost of manufacturing, transportation and distribution, operating, maintaining and disposing of a product or service over its economic or useful life as set forth by industry standards. (Source: Green Seal)
Life Cycle Thinking: Manufacturing processes which address a product’s entire life cycle i.e., the producer is responsible for the product from cradle to grave, including reducing resource use and greenhouse house gas emissions while improving the social performance in various stages of a product’s life in an effort to achieve products and processes that are more sustainable.
Life Cycle Thinking: Manufacturing processes which address a product’s entire life cycle i.e., the producer is responsible for the product from cradle to grave, including reducing resource use and greenhouse house gas emissions while improving the social performance in various stages of a product’s life in an effort to achieve products and processes that are more sustainable.
Light Pollution: Unwanted, harmful or offensive light that is unreasonably intrusive and that is typically human induced.
Local People: Residents who have lived in an area long enough to take an active role in shaping and defining their community and its cultural identity in a positive way.
Long Haul-Short Stay: A flight or drive over a distance of 5000 miles or more away from the point of origin in which the duration of visitation is three days or less, or a flight or drive over a distance of 7500 miles or more away from the point of origin in which the duration of visitation is seven days or less.
Low Impact: A modifier term used to identify practices and or activities that minimize actual or apparent changes to the environment.
Luxury Accommodation: An accommodation specific travel provider generally characterized by having a four star deluxe or five star quality classification.
Market Driven Conservation Model: Protects bio-diversity through capacity building and promotion of sustainable tourism while linking resources to markets and monitoring and managing impacts. (Source: Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance)
MARPOL: Marpol 73/78 is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978. (“Marpol” is short for marine pollution and 73/78 short for the years 1973 and 1978.)
Marpol 73/78 is one of the most important international marine environmental conventions. It was designed to minimize pollution of the seas, including dumping, oil and exhaust pollution. Its stated object is: to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances.
Material Recovery Facility (MRF): Specialized plant that separates, processes and stores recyclables that have been collected either separately from waste (a ‘clean’ MRF) or co-mingled with it (‘dirty’ MRF). Recycled materials are then sent on to reprocessors and any residual material not suitable for processing is disposed of.
Methodology: A set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.
Minimal Impact Code: The Minimal Impact Code is the practice of decreasing by as much as possible the amount of damage one does to the environment. This includes many factors, the foremost being education.(Source: kmleague.org)
Minimal Impact: Planned behavior or activities that focus on reducing or mitigating the negative impacts of human beings on the environment to minimum levels.
Mission Statement: A mission statement defines the core purpose of an organization (i.e., why it exists) and reflects employees’ motivations for engaging in the company’s work. Effective mission statements are inspiring, long-term in nature, clear, concise and easily communicated.
Mitigate: To cause a lessening or alleviation of negative behavior or activities.
Natural Steps Four Conditions of Sustainability: The scientific consensus principles on which the Natural Step Framework (NSF) is based were used by Swedish physicist Dr. John Holmberg and NS founder and Swedish medical doctor and oncologist Dr. Karl-Henrik Robert to generate four basic âsystem conditionsâ or conditions for sustainability that are the focus of the NSF and have been modified as stated below:
The Natural Step Framework holds that in a sustainable society, nature wonât be subject to systematically increasing:
- Concentrations of substances extracted from the earthâs crust;
- Concentrations of substances produced by society;
- Degradation by physical means;
- human needs are met worldwide.
And, in that society,
(Source: Natural Step US, naturalstep.org)
Net Revenue: Calculated as the total income from sales minus returns, discounts, allowances, and overhead expenses.
New Urbanism: A term used to describe development which focuses on the restoration of urban centers and towns within coherent metropolitan regions, the reconfiguration of sprawling suburbs into communities of neighborhoods and diverse districts, the conservation of natural environments, and the preservation of the built legacy. (Source: SmartGrowth.org)
Nitrilotriacetic acid: Nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) is easily biodegradable and is almost completely removed during wastewater treatment.
Noise Abatement: Noise abatement or mitigation is a set of strategies to reduce noise pollution. The main areas of noise mitigation or abatement are: transportation noise control, architectural design, and occupational noise control. Roadway noise and aircraft noise are the most pervasive sources of environmental noise worldwide, and remarkably little change has been effected in source control in these areas since the start of the problem.
Noise Pollution: Unwanted, harmful or offensive sounds that are unreasonably intrusive. It is recommended that humans not be exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels for a maximum period of six continuous hours.
Non degradable: not subject to or capable of degradation or decomposition.
Non-native species: A species that has been introduced directly by human agency (deliberately or otherwise) to an area where it has not occurred in historical times and which is separate from, and lies outside, the area where natural range extension could be expected. The species has become established in the wild and has self-maintaining populations.
Non-point Source Pollution: Pollution that occurs when rainfall, snowmelt, or irrigation runs over land or through the ground, picks up pollutants, and deposits them into rivers, lakes, and coastal waters or introduces them into ground water. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Nontoxic: Product does not exhibit potentially harmful characteristics as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations found at 16 CFR Chapter II, Subchapter C, Part 1500 and is not required to be labeled Toxic or Highly Toxic. (Source: Green Seal)
OMRI: The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a national nonprofit organization that determines which input products are allowed for use in organic production and processing. OMRI Listedâor approvedâproducts may be used on operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program. (Source: OMRI)
Operational permits: Operational permits allow for extra requirements to be placed on certain activities or processes that present a greater hazard to life or property.
Organic Agriculture: Agriculture that does not use chemicals, genetic modification, or irradiation, using only natural products.
Organic: These products contain at least 95â99% organic ingredients (by weight). The remaining ingredients are not available organically but have been approved by the NOP. These products may display the USDA Organic seal. Refer to USDA national organic program.
Organic insecticides: An organic insecticide is derived from a living organism, such as a plant or an animal. Organic insecticides are thought to be environmentally sound, causing no harm to the earth, humans, or animals. They often consist of such things as fatty acids and plant oils.
Plan Vivo: The Plan Vivo system is a set of standards, processes and tools used to develop and register payments for ecosystem services (PES) projects in developing countries. Project activities include afforestation and agroforestry, forest conservation, restoration and avoided deforestation, and are implemented by small-holders or communities on their own land, or land where they have user rights. (Source: Plan Vivo)
Point Source Pollution: Pollutants and or contaminants that are discharged from or can be traced to a single point or location, including but not limited to pipes, ditches, channels, containers and vessels.
Policy: A policy is typically described as a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcome(s). However, the term may also be used to denote what is actually done, even though it is unplanned.
Pollution: The contamination of ecosystems (e.g., soil, water, living organisms) and the atmosphere by artificial means through the discharge of harmful substances as a consequence of human activities.
Post Consumer Recycled Content (PCRC): Post-consumer is an end product or material that has completed their life cycles as consumer items and have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream for recycling that would have otherwise been disposed of as solid wastes.
Recycled-content products may contain some pre-consumer waste, some post-consumer waste or both. A product does not have to contain 100 percent recovered materials to be considered ârecycled,â but clearly the higher the percentage of recycled content, the greater the amount of waste that is diverted from disposal. (Source: oregonmetro.gov)
Post-consumer: End products or materials that have completed their life cycles as consumer items and have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream for recycling that would have otherwise been disposed of as solid wastes.
Potable Water: Water that meets applicable quality standards for drinking water, or is safe for consumption in drinking, eating and cooking by humans.
Pre-consumer: Any recovered products or materials, other than post-consumer products or materials, including some waste from manufacturing, converting, and printing processes.
Principles of sustainable tourism: Increasing evidence shows that an integrated approach to tourism planning and management is now required to achieve sustainable tourism. It is only recently that there has been a growing recognition of the importance of combining the needs of traditional urban management (transportation, land use planning, marketing, economic development, fire and safety etc.) with the need to plan for tourism. (Source: gdrc.org)
Procedures: A procedure is a specified series of actions, acts or operations which have to be executed in the same manner in order to always obtain the same result under the same circumstances.
Professional Development: Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. Professional development encompasses all types of facilitated learning opportunities, ranging from college degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage.
Protected Natural Area: Private or public bodies of land and or water that are set aside and maintained in such a way as to protect biodiversity, cultural heritage, natural heritage, or recreational values.
Puron: Puron is a chlorine free replacement refrigerant. Under the 1990 Clean Air Act, R-22âthe long time industry standard refrigerant used in most air conditioning and heat pump systemsâmust be phased out by 2010 because it is an ozone-depleting substance.
Puron Refrigerant is superior to R-22 not only in environmental safety, but in performance and cost-saving energy efficiency. (Source: bryant.com)
Recycled: Products that may include post-consumer and or pre-consumer materials. If the contents of a product are only labeled “recycled,” without specifying post-consumer content, the product may contain only pre-consumer materials.
Recycling: Process by which products or materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated or processed and returned to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods. (Source: Global Recycling Network)
Refrigerant: A refrigerant is a compound used in a heat cycle that undergoes a phase change from a gas to a liquid and back. The two main uses of refrigerants are refrigerators/freezers and air conditioners. (Source: Wikipedia)
Regenerative Design: Approaching design in terms of using the activities of design and building to restore the capability of local natural systems to an entry state of self-organization and continual evolution. (Source: Natural Logic)
Renewable energy: Renewable energy quickly replaces itself and is usually available in a never-ending supply. Renewable energy comes from the natural flow of sunlight, wind, or water around the Earth. With the help of special collectors, we can capture some of this energy and put it to use in our homes and businesses. As long as sunlight, water and wind continue to flow and trees and other plants continue to grow, we have access to a ready of supply of energy. (Source: re-energy.ca)
Resource Manager: An individual that oversees, watches over or assists in the management of land, soil, energy and or fresh water resources and or directs activities and or business operations on public or private lands.
Responsible Purchasing: Purchasing that places preference on products or services which have a reduced environmental impact in their life cycle (i.e., the producer is responsible for the product from cradle to grave), which are designated as environmentally friendly by an eco-label (compared to those that are conventionally farmed or produced), which are locally produced by locally owned businesses, or which are fair trade certified.
Responsible Tourism: A type of tourism that is practiced by tourists who make responsible choices when choosing their vacations. These choices reflect responsible attitudes to the limiting of the extent of the sociological and environmental impacts their vacation may cause. (Source: Pearson Education, The Business of Tourism Management)
Risk management: A systematic approach used to identify, evaluate, and reduce or eliminate the possibility of injury or accidents by either mitigating the risks or applying cost effective controls.
Sediment Control: A sediment control is a practice or device designed to keep eroded soil on a construction site, so that it does not wash off and cause water pollution to a nearby stream, river, lake, or bay.
Self-propelled: Moved by its own force or momentum.
Service Providers: Independent individuals, businesses or contractors who do work for hire in the form of products that are made or services that are performed (e.g., accommodations, conservation and community development projects, food vendors, printers, public service companies, rental car agencies, restaurants, contracted tour operators, transportation providers, etc.).
Sexual exploitation: Sexual exploitation is the sexual abuse of children and youth through the exchange of sex or sexual acts for drugs, food, shelter, protection, other basics of life, and/or money. Sexual exploitation includes involving children and youth in creating pornography and sexually explicit websites. (Source: jibc.ca)
Sexual Harassment: Harassment of a sexual nature that is deliberate, uninvited, unwelcome, oftentimes repeated and is perceived by the recipient to be embarrassing, offensive, demeaning or compromising. (Source: The Tasmania, Australia Department of Education)
Soaker Hose: A hose that leaks water all over-made of permeable material that soaks the ground, rather than spray it.
Social Norm: In sociology, a norm or social norm, is a pattern of behavior expected within a particular society in a given situation. The shared belief of what is normal and acceptable shapes and enforces the actions of people in a society. The very fact that others in one’s society follow the norm may give them a reason to follow it. Important norms are called mores. (Source: Wikipedia)
Social Structure: Ordered interrelationships that are characteristic of particular societies, such as its class structure or system of economic or political relations. (Brunel University, Researching Society and Culture)
Socio-cultural Impact Study: Identifying the impact of change on a social and or cultural environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s activities, products or services.
Socio-cultural Impact: Any change to the social and or cultural environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s activities, products or services.
Solid Waste Reduction: A systematic approach used to decrease solid waste resulting from industrial and commercial operations, or from community activity.
Solid Waste: Any garbage, refuse, sludge and other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid or contained gaseous material, resulting from industrial and commercial operations, or from community activity.
Speleology: The exploration, description and study of caves and related phenomena.
Stakeholder: An individual or group with an interest in the success or failure of an organization in delivering intended results and maintaining the viability of the organization’s products and services. Stakeholders influence programs, products, and services.
Supply Chain Management: Defined in the scope of the Sustainable Tourism Education Programâ˘ (STEP), an approach for ensuring that service provider’s products and services are offered in the right quantities, in the right locations, and at the right time, in order to maximize resource productivity and minimize system-wide costs, waste, and other negative socio-cultural, environmental and economic impacts while satisfying customer needs.
Sustainability Management Plan: A developed scheme, program, or method that sets forth standards and procedures, responsibilities, performance criteria, resources and work practices that protect the environmental, socio-cultural and economic needs of a community, ecosystem, habitat, or protected natural area.
Sustainability Management System: A management approach that enables an organization to identify, measure, monitor and control its environmental, socio-cultural, and economic impacts. A sustainability management system is part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining a sustainability policy.
Sustainability Policy: Statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental, socio-cultural and economic performance which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental socio-cultural and economic goals, objectives and targets as well as its sustainability management plans and sustainability management systems.
Sustainable Agriculture: An approach to growing pesticide and antibiotic free food and fiber which is profitable, uses on-farm resources efficiently to minimize adverse effects on the environment and people, preserves the natural productivity and quality of land and water, and sustains vibrant rural communities. (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists)
Sustainable Building Practices: Building practices that consider environmental and human health and well-being, in addition to the traditional criteria of function, cost and aesthetics. Conservation and continuous cyclic use of materials, methods, water, natural resources and energy are major considerations when designing and building sustainably. (Source: GreenBuilder.com)
Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. (Source: World Commission on Environment and Development – the Brundtland Commission)
Sustainable Tourism: Envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity, and life support systems. (Source: World Tourism Organization)
Tour Operator’s Initiative (TOI): a network of tour operators that are associated with the Global Reporting Initiative (see above) who are committed to sustainable development by incorporating an accounting system that takes into account a tour operator’s triple bottom line.
Tour Operators: are defined as companies whose main business is taking individuals or groups of people to one or several places. Tours typically combine multiple vacation elements such as walking and driving and viewing and interacting with the environment. This category encompasses both in-bound and out-bound tour operators as well as tour wholesalers and travel agents.
Tour operators may offer air, land, or water-based transportation and or overnight accommodations as separate services.
Small to Medium-sized tour operators are defined as tourism providers that have less than 20 full time employees.
Large-sized tour operators are defined as tourism providers that have more than 20 full time employees.
Tour: Activity involving taking individual or groups of consumers or clients on a trip or an excursion to one or more places.
Toxic Organic Substances: Toxic Organic Substances or Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are they’re more commonly known are a class of chemicals that persist in the environment, are capable of long-range transport, bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue, and have significant impacts on human health and the environment. They include such substances as dioxin, PCBs, DDT, brominated flame-retardants or tributyltin (TBT). POPs released to the environment can travel through air and water to regions far distant from their original source. For more information on the elimination and minimization of production, use and release of persistent organic pollutants, visit www.pops.int.
Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRC): A TRC is a way to buy and sell renewable electricity that divides the generation into two separate products, “electricity” and “renewable energy attributes.”
Transportation Service Providers: Transportation Service Providers are defined as companies whose main business is offering tourism-related, air, land or water-based transport services to individuals or groups of people. This category encompasses taxi, shuttle and charter services as well as small airlines, scenic cruises, off-road vehicle tours and the like.
The transportation service provider may offer overnight accommodations and tours as separate services, but these services are to be assessed separately.
Travel Philanthropy or Altruistic Travel: A voluntary movement of conscientious consumers and responsible travel companies who are donating financial resources, time, talent and economic patronage to protect and positively impact the cultures and environments they visit.
Triple Bottom Line: An expanded baseline for measuring performance, adding social and environmental dimensions to the traditional economic benchmark. Though there is interdependence between each aspect of the triple bottom line, ideally, each cost and benefit is assessed independently, so companies are not in the black unless all three bottom lines are positive. (Source: Ecological and Carbon Footprints)
USDA national organic program: The United States Department of Agriculture, the National Organic Program (NOP) develops, implements, and administers national production, handling, and labeling standards for organic agricultural products. The NOP also accredits the certifying agents (foreign and domestic) who inspect organic production and handling operations to certify that they meet USDA standards. (Source: National Organic Program)
Verified Emission Reduction (VER): A unit of greenhouse gas emission reductions that has been verified by an independent auditor, but that has not yet undergone the procedures and may not yet have met the requirements for verification, certification and issuance of CERs (in the case of the CDM) or ERUs (in the case of JI) under the Kyoto Protocol. Buyers of VERs assume all carbon-specific policy and regulatory risks (i.e. the risk that the VERs are not ultimately registered as CERs or ERUs). Buyers therefore tend to pay a discounted price for VERs, which takes the inherent regulatory risks into account. VERs are carbon credits which are not certified under the Kyoto Protocol but which can be used to compensate carbon emissions. 1 VER corresponds to one metric tone of CO2 equivalent. (Source: orbeo.com)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): VOC’s are hydrocarbons released from burning fuel such as gasoline and oil, as well as vapors from paints and cleaning solvents. These vapors are released into the atmosphere and are acted upon by the sun and heat and combine with Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx) to form ozone.
Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS): The Voluntary Carbon Standard provides a robust, new global standard for voluntary offset projects. It ensures that carbon offsets that businesses and consumers buy can be trusted and have real environmental benefits. (Source: Voluntary Carbon Standard)
VolunTourism: Volunteer tourism describes a field of tourism in which travelers visit a destination and take part in projects in the local community. Projects are commonly nature-based, people-based or involve such things as restoration or construction of buildings, assisting archeologists in digging up artifacts, etc. (Source: Volunteer Tourism: Experiences that Make a Difference, S Wearing, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)
Waste Management: Products, systems and services for the collection, handling, treatment (including recycling) and disposal of municipal, commercial and industrial wastes. Examples include landfill liners and composters (products), landfill gas extraction (systems), and collection and disposal (services). (Source: Envirolink UK)
Waste Stream: Aggregate flow of waste material from generation to treatment to final disposition.
Waste-to-energy: The burning of municipal solid waste to produce energy.
Wastewater: Water with waste materials or pollutants dissolved in it, containing waste including gray water, black water or water contaminated by contact with waste, including process-generated and contaminated rainfall runoff, water that has been used in sewage systems, and in industries and businesses that is not suitable for reuse unless it is treated. (Source: British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection)
Yard Waste: Green (yard) waste is biodegradable waste that can be composed of garden or park waste, such as grass or flower cuttings and hedge trimmings, as well as domestic and commercial food waste. The differentiation green identifies it as high in nitrogen, as opposed to brown waste, which is primarily carbonaceous (i.e., wood).
We are grateful to our friends fromÂ orientalbirdimages.org & Rofikul Islam for sharingÂ Blyth’s TragopanÂ pic in nature – it’s genuine rare sight, even at Mt. Victoria!!