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.

Carbon Sink

A carbon sink is any natural system that absorbs and stores more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.

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.

Green Bond

A Green bond (also known as climate bond) is a fixed-income financial instruments (bond) which is used to fund projects that have positive environmental and/or climate benefits.

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.

Lakehouse Architecture (Data Lakehouse)

Lakehouse architecture represents a modern data management framework that combines the best elements of data lakes and data warehouses, aiming to offer an integrated solution for both large-scale data storage and advanced analytics capabilities. This architecture seeks to bridge the gap between the flexibility and scalability of data lakes with the structured organization and data management features of data warehouses. Here’s a breakdown of its core components and benefits:

Core Components of Lakehouse Architecture:

  1. Data Lake: A data lake stores vast amounts of raw data in its native format. It’s highly scalable and cost-effective, supporting the storage of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data from diverse sources.
  2. Data Warehouse Features: Lakehouse incorporates data warehouse characteristics, including ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) transactions, efficient data querying capabilities, and schema enforcement, which facilitates reliable data analytics and reporting.
  3. Delta Lake: A key component often associated with lakehouse architecture is Delta Lake, an open-source storage layer that brings reliability, security, and performance to data lakes. Delta Lake provides ACID transactions and scalable metadata handling, enhancing data consistency and access.

Benefits of Lakehouse Architecture:

  • Unified Data Platform: Lakehouse offers a single platform for all types of data workloads, from machine learning, data science, and real-time analytics to traditional business intelligence tasks. This unification eliminates the need for complex integrations and data movement between separate systems.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: It leverages the scalability of data lakes, allowing organizations to store and process exponentially growing data volumes without significant increases in cost.
  • Improved Data Quality and Governance: By integrating features from data warehouses, lakehouses support better data governance, quality, and reliability, ensuring that data is accurate, consistent, and accessible for analysis.
  • Real-time Analytics: Lakehouse architectures often support real-time data processing and analytics, enabling businesses to make quicker, data-driven decisions based on the most current information.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Combining the low-cost storage of data lakes with the sophisticated analytics capabilities of data warehouses, lakehouses can be more cost-effective than maintaining separate systems.

The lakehouse architecture is especially beneficial in sectors like energy, finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, where managing vast datasets and deriving real-time insights are critical for operational efficiency and strategic decision-making. It represents a significant evolution in data management, aiming to provide a comprehensive, scalable, and efficient solution for modern data needs.

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.


Upgrade – specifically : to improve the power output of (a machine, such as an engine)

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.