Sustainability Glossary

New to reading Sustainability updates, don’t worry, we’ve got a glossary explaining the technical stuff and legal language.

Agricultural model

The relationship between climate, soil, and crop sequences that is considered when evaluating the impact of various farming management practices.

Agronomic practices 

Farming practices commonly associated with field crop production, like soil management, cultivation, and cropping.  


Biodiversity is short term for biological diversity and is all the different kinds of life you'll find in one area, like plants, animals and insects, fungi, and microorganisms like bacteria. Each species and organism work together in ecosystems to maintain balance and support life.

Climate declaration

The publicly disclosed carbon footprint estimated from the combined greenhouse gas emissions related to producing a specific product or service.

Cover crop

Cover crops are plants that are planted to improve soil health rather than to be harvested. Cover crops manage soil erosion, fertility, and quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity, and wildlife in man-made ecological systems like farms. Clover Seeds, Annual Rye Grass Seeds, and Winter Wheat are some examples of good cover crops.

Energy intensity baseline

An energy baseline helps companies to spot trends in their energy consumption by measuring the amount of energy a facility uses over a determined period. Preferably, this period should cover the two previous years or more.

GHG emissions

GHG is short for greenhouse gas, a collection of  gases which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. They are necessary for our survival, but too many greenhouse gases cause the world to overheat. Examples of human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases include methane , carbon dioxide, and other industrial gases. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to limit warming to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the UN Paris Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak before 2025. Then they must decline by 43 percent by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.

GHG Protocol

The GHG Protocol is a wide-ranging international standardized framework for measuring and managing GHG emissions from private and public sector operations, value chains, and actions taken to reduce the above's impact.

Greenhouse gas emissions target

A specific goal  to reduce  emissions from greenhouse gases over a clearly defined period. E.g., the UN goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Intermodal rail transportation

Transportation of shipping containers by rail and truck or boat transportation that combines each method's best attributes to generate the most efficient, cost-effective total movement.

Life cycle assessment

A methodology for evaluating environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a commercial product or service life cycle, including things like construction or cultivation, land use, water use, and product use.