Glossary of Terms
3PL – Third-Party Logistics
Outsourcing logistics services to a third-party provider for warehousing, transportation, and distribution.
4PL – Fourth-Party Logistics
An advanced level of logistics outsourcing that involves managing multiple 3PL providers.
80/20 Rule – Pareto Principle
The concept that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes, often applied to inventory management.
BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle
An electric vehicle that is powered solely by an electric motor and draws energy from an onboard battery pack.
BMS – Battery Management System
A system that monitors and manages the performance, health, and charging/discharging of an electric vehicle’s battery.
BNEF – Bloomberg New Energy Finance
A research organization that provides analysis and data on clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities.
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Addresses environmental health issues and studies the relationship between environmental factors and public health.
DOE – Department of Energy
Manages the nation’s energy resources, research, and nuclear safety while promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.
DOI – Department of the Interior
Manages public lands, natural resources, wildlife conservation, and cultural heritage, overseeing agencies like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS).
DOT – Department of Transportation
Addresses transportation-related environmental concerns, promotes sustainable transportation options, and regulates vehicle emissions.
EJ – Environmental Justice
Aims for fair treatment of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income equally regarding environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
Responsible for enforcing environmental regulations and addressing issues related to air and water quality, hazardous waste, and pollution.
ESG – Environment, Social, and Governance
Strategies bussinesses use when taking environmental issues, social issues and corporate governance issues into account.
EV – Electric Vehicle
A vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion, relying primarily on electricity stored in batteries for power.
FERC – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Regulates interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, ensuring reliability, competitiveness, and environmental compliance.
GRI – Global Reporting Initiative
An international organization that develops standards for sustainability reporting by businesses and organizations.
HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle
A vehicle that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor, often recharging the electric motor through regenerative braking.
IEA – International Energy Agency
An autonomous agency within the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that promotes energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.
IEQ – Indoor Environmental Quality
The overall quality of the indoor environment, encompassing air quality, lighting, acoustics, and thermal comfort.
IHA – International Hydropower Association
A nonprofit organization that promotes the sustainable development of hydropower as a renewable energy source.
IISD – International Institute for Sustainable Development
An independent research institute that focuses on sustainable development and environmental issues.
IMO – International Maritime Organization
A specialized agency of the United Nations that regulates shipping to ensure safety, security, and environmental performance.
IoT – Internet of Things
Software and other technologies that connect with other systems over the internet.
IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
A United Nations body that assesses scientific information on climate change and its potential impacts.
IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency
An intergovernmental organization that advances the adoption and use of renewable energy sources worldwide.
ISES – International Solar Energy Society
A nonprofit organization that promotes the advancement of solar energy technology and its global adoption.
ISSB – Internation Sustainability Standards Board
An independent, private-sector body that develops and approves sustainability disclosure standards.
LCA – Life Cycle Assessment; Chemical Life Cycle Assessment
Evaluating the environmental impacts of a building’s materials or chemicals and processes throughout their entire life cycle including production, use, and disposal.
LED – Light-Emitting Diode
Energy-efficient lighting technology.
LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
A green building certification program that promotes sustainable design, construction, and operation.
LNG – Liquified Natural Gas
A natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state, at about -260 degrees Fahrenheit and a much smaller density than traditional natural gas, for shipping and storage.
NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Focuses on the study of oceans, atmospheric conditions, and climate, providing weather forecasts, environmental data, and marine research.
NRC – Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Oversees the civilian use of nuclear materials, ensuring nuclear safety, security, and environmental protection.
NRDC – Natural Resources Defense Council
An environmental advocacy group that works to safeguard the Earth, its people, plants, animals, and natural systems.
NREL – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
A part of DOE, it conducts research on renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, and bioenergy.
OHS – Occupational Health and Safety
The discipline concerned with protecting the health, safety, and welfare of people engaged in work or employment.
OPEC – Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
A group of oil-producing nations coordinating policies.
PFAS – Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Per- and polyfluorinated substances are a group of chemicals used in a variety products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water, and are called forever chemicals because they do not break down easily in the environment.
PPA – Power Purchase Agreement
An arrangement in which a third-party developer installs, owns, and operates an energy system on a customer’s property.
PV – Photovoltaic Cells
Devices that convert sunlight directly into electricity, commonly used in solar panels.
QMS – Quality Management System
A structured framework of policies, processes, and procedures to ensure products or services meet quality and safety standards.
REC – Renewable Energy Certificate
A unit of electricity produced from renewable energy that is owned by an individual or organization that can be later sold.
RMI – Rocky Mountain Institute
A nonprofit organization that focuses on driving the global transition to a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
RNG – Renewable Natural Gas
A biogas that is created from several sources, including animal waste, food waste, and landfill, that can be placed in the traditional natural gas system.
SaaS – Software-as-a-Service
An on-demand software technology service that is centrally hosted such as in a cloud platform.
SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
A non-profit organization that has developed sustainability accounting standards accross 77 industries.
SBTi – Science Based Target initative
Defines and promotes best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science.
SCM – Supply Chain Management
The management of activities, information, and resources involved in the flow of goods and services from raw materials to the end consumer.
Scope 1 Emissions
All direct emissions from an organization’s owned or controlled sources
Scope 2 Emissions
indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy consumed by the company
Scope 3 Emissions
Indirect emissions from assets not owned or controlled by the organization, but that the organization indirectly affects in its value chain. Scope 3 emissions include all sources not within Scope 1 and 2 definitions.
SEC – Securities and Exchange Commission
Independent agency of the U.S. government to enforce laws against market manipulation.
TCFD – Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
The Financial Stability Board created the disclosures to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information.
Triple Bottom Line
The concept of considering social, environmental, and economic factors in decision-making.
UN Global Compact
A voluntary initiative encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies and practices.
UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme
A United Nations agency that coordinates international efforts to address environmental issues and promote sustainable development.
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
An international treaty aimed at addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
USAID – U.S. Agency for International Development
Implements environmental and energy programs globally to promote sustainable development.
USDA – Department of Agriculture
Oversees agricultural practices, rural development, and conservation efforts, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
USFS – U.S. Forest Service
Manages national forests and grasslands, focusing on sustainable land management, conservation, and recreation.
UV – Ultraviolet: Protection; Radiation
Protection: Measures and precautions to shield workers from harmful UV radiation; Radation: Electromagnetic radiation from the sun that can cause skin damage and affect ecosystems.
The series of activities involved in creating and delivering a product, from raw materials to the final customer.
WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development
A global organization that works with businesses to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.
WEC – World Energy Council
A global energy body that provides a platform for dialogue and collaboration among energy leaders to shape a sustainable energy future.
WRI – World Resources Institute
A global research organization that focuses on addressing urgent environmental challenges and promoting sustainable development.
WWF – World Wildlife Fund
An international conservation organization that works to protect the natural world and address global environmental challenges.
ZEV – Zero-Emission Vehicle
Vehicles that produce no tailpipe emissions, typically referring to electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.