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.

Value Chain

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.