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Common Terms and Definitions
The most commonly accepted definition comes from the UN Brundtland Commission: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Kimberly-Clark uses the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as its preferred definition:
“A business approach to create long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments.”
KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL’s* working definition of source reduction is as follows: “Any change in the design, manufacture, purchase or use of materials or products (including packaging) to reduce their amount before they become waste”. It is important to keep in mind that, while the most visible sign of waste is the trash thrown in the waste bin, most “waste” is actually not so obvious. If not used efficiently, materials that go into the manufacturing and distribution processes are siphoned off before the finished product reaches the end user. This waste may include energy, water, fibre, polymers, chemicals, etc.
Vision 2010 is the third phase of a program focused on reducing the environmental impact of Kimberly-Clark’s manufacturing operations globally. The program, originally launched in 1994, contains objectives and standards in the following core areas:
- Fresh water use and wastewater quality
- Energy use and conservation, plus carbon emissions reduction
- Landfill elimination and waste reduction
- Environmental, Health and Safety Management System implementation
Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI):
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) tracks environmental, financial and social performance of leading Sustainability driven companies worldwide. The DJSI annual review is based on a thorough assessment of corporate economic, environmental and social performance including such issues as corporate governance, risk management, branding, climate change, supply chain standards and labor practices. The DJSI rating system is based on responses provided by the companies to the annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment Questionnaire, as well as other public information on Sustainability provided by the companies. The independent Sustainable Asset Management Group (SAM), which administers the rating process, also interviews various analysts regarding their perceptions of particular companies in specific areas.
Eco-label: A label representing third party approval of good environmental performance and, when based on sound-science, has the potential to inform and educate stakeholders about sustainability criteria. Eco-labels that are commonly discussed include:
- Green Seal
- Eco-Logo/Environmental Choice
- Nordic Swan
- Blue Angel
- EU Flower
Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF):
During pulp manufacturing, ECF bleaching processes replace chlorine gas with chlorine dioxide. This has been shown to significantly reduce the potential for dioxin and furan formation.
Totally Chlorine Free (TCF):
During pulp manufacturing, TCF bleaching eliminates the use of chlorine-containing bleaching chemicals and replaces them with oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and/or ozone. TCF applies only to virgin fibre since it is not necessarily known how recycled content fibres were originally bleached.
Process Chlorine Free (PCF):
PCF indicates that no chlorine was used in the production of a recycled product. However, it does not indicate that the fibres have never been bleached using chlorine during their lifetime.
Product Lifecycle/Lifecycle Analysis:
A process of evaluating the effects of a product or its designated function on the environment over the entire period of the product’s life in order to increase resource-use efficiency and decrease liabilities; commonly referred to as “cradle-to-grave” analysis The term 'lifecycle' refers to the notion that a fair, holistic assessment requires the assessment of raw material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal including all intervening transportation steps necessary or caused by the product's existence. The sum of all those steps - or phases - is the lifecycle of the product.
Waste materials generated after the end use of a particular product. This waste may then be available to recycle into another product.
Waste materials generated in manufacturing and converting processes such as scrap, trimmings and cuttings. Includes overruns, obsolete inventories, reject materials.
ISO 14001 is an international standard for an Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS is designed to help organisations manage how their operations interact with the environment (for example changes to air, water, or land) and comply with applicable legislation, promoting the concept of clean production.
The overall idea is to establish an organised approach to systematically reduce the impact of the environmental aspects which an organisation can control. Certification is performed by third-party organisations rather than being awarded by ISO directly.
Design for Environment (DfE):
DfE refers to incorporation of a variety of design principles that attempt to reduce the overall environmental impact of a product, process or service, where environmental impacts are considered across its life cycle.
The carbon footprint of a product is the sum of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted across the supply chain for a single unit of that product; the total net amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted to produce and dispose of a single, individual product.
Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO):
NGOs are legally constituted, non-business organisations created with no participation or representation from government. The number of internationally operating NGOs is estimated at 40,000.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC):
FSC is an international, independent organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests. It was founded in response to public concern about deforestation and demand for a trustworthy wood-labeling system. FSC has developed a system of forest certification and product labeling that allows consumers to identify wood and wood-based products from well-managed forests that meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. FSC is also the only forest certification system supported by such major environmental groups as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy, and National Wildlife Federation.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC):
The PEFC Council is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification. The PEFC provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests. PEFC is a global umbrella organisation for the assessment of and mutual recognition of national forest certification schemes developed in a multi-stakeholder process.
The circumpolar, subarctic forest of high northern latitudes that is dominated by conifers. To the north it is bounded by tundra and to the south by temperate, broad-leaved, deciduous forest, steppe, or semi-desert.
A process of utilising a recycled product in the manufacturing of a similar product or the remanufacturing of the same product
The creation of more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution
The result of actions taken to reduce dependence on or to save fuels, i.e., selection of road vehicles with higher MPG or the use of renewable sources of power for heating and cooling
Environmental Management System (EMS):
The part of the overall management system that facilitates the management of the environmental risks associated with the business of the organisation. This includes the organisational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the organisation’s environmental policy, targets and objectives.
A comprehensive process of design and construction that employs techniques to minimise adverse environmental impacts and reduce the energy consumption of a building, while contributing to the health and productivity of its occupants; a common metric for evaluating green buildings is the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification:
A certification system sponsored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) that creates standards for developing high performance, sustainable buildings.
Sustainable Production and Consumption:
The use of goods and services that respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimising the use of natural resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardise the needs of future generations.
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD),Symposium on Sustainable Consumption, Oslo, 1994.2