Alternatives evaluation: A systematic evaluation of alternative ways to accomplish a task that reviews the cost, performance, and environmental impact of each alternative under consideration. Ideally, the range of evaluation would include alternative chemicals, products, processes, technology, work procedures, and disposal methods.

Ancillary material: Material input that is used by the unit process producing the product, but is not used directly in the formation of the product.

Aspect, environmental: Element of an organization's activities, products, and services that can interact with the environment.

Assessment: An estimate or determination of the significance, importance, or value of something.

Back to top

Certification: Procedure by which a third party gives written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements.

Compliance: An affirmative indication or judgment that the supplier of a product or service has met the requirements of the relevant specifications, contract, or regulation.

Continual improvement: Process of enhancing the Environmental Management System (EMS) to achieve improvements in overall performance, in line with the organization's environmental policy.

Corrective action: An action taken to eliminate the causes of an existing nonconformity, defect, or other undesirable situation in order to prevent recurrence.

Back to top

Effects: Refers to changes, actual or potential, caused by a chemical, activity, or process as it comes into contact with humans or the environment.

Environment: Surroundings in which an organization operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans, and their interrelation.

Environmental assessment: A systematic, documented, periodic and objective review by company management of facility operations and practices related to meeting environmental requirements. The assessment is a systematic, documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence to determine whether specified environmental activities, events, conditions, management systems, or information about these matters conform with selected criteria, and communicating the results of this process to management.

Environmental Management System (EMS): Organizational structure, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing, and maintaining the environmental policy.

Environmental objective: Overall environmental goal, arising from the environmental policy, that an organization sets itself to achieve, and that is quantified where practicable.

Environmental performance: The measurable results of the environmental management system, related to an organization's control of its environmental aspects, based on its environmental policy, objectives, and targets.

Environmental performance evaluation: Process to measure, analyze, assess, report, and communicate an organization's environmental performance against criteria set by management.

Environmental performance indicator: A specific datum selected, such as volume of a chemical used, which will provide measurable information regarding progress toward meeting a specific environmental goal.

Environmental policy: Statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance, which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets.

Environmental target: Detailed performance requirement, quantified wherever practicable, applicable to the organization or parts thereof, that arises from the environmental objectives and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those objectives.

Back to top

Function: Performance characteristic.

Back to top

Hazard: The ability to cause damage.

Back to top

Impact, environmental: Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization's activities, products or services.

Inputs and outputs: Material or energy that crosses a unit process boundary. Example: Materials may include raw materials, products, emissions, and waste.

Interested party: Individual or group concerned with or affected by the environmental performance of an organization.

Back to top

Life cycle: Consecutive and inter-linked stages of a product system, from raw material acquisition or generation of natural resources to the final disposal.

Life-cycle assessment (LCA): Compilation and evaluation, according to a systematic set of procedures, of the inputs and outputs of materials and energy and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.

Life-cycle characterization: Element of the life-cycle impact assessment phase in which the potential impacts associated with the inventory data in each of the selected categories are analyzed.

Back to top

Media: The means or substance through which something is transmitted, e.g., air, water, or soil.

Back to top

Objective, environmental: Overall environmental goal, arising from the environmental policy, than an organization sets itself to achieve, and that is quantified where practicable.

Back to top

Pollution prevention: Pollution prevention means reducing pollution or waste at the beginning of a process. The underlying theory to this approach is that if you don't generate waste in the first place, there is nothing to treat or dispose of.

Prevention of pollution: Use of processes, practices, materials, or products that avoid, reduce or control pollution, which may include recycling, treatment, process changes, control mechanisms, efficient use of resources and materials substitutions.

Procedure: A specified way to perform an activity.

Process: A set of interrelated resources and activities that transform inputs into outputs.

Product: Any good or service.

Back to top

Risk: This is the probability that something undesirable will happen from exposure to a hazard.

Risk assessment: Risk assessment is the process of gathering data and making assumptions to estimate short and long-term effects on human health or the environment from exposure to hazards associated with the use of a particular product or technology.

Root cause: A fundamental deficiency that results in a nonconformance and must be corrected to prevent recurrence of the same or similar nonconformance.

Back to top

Stakeholders: Those groups and organizations having an interest or stake in a company's EMS program (e.g. regulators, shareholders, customers, suppliers, special interest groups, residents, competitors, investors, bankers, media, lawyers, insurance companies, trade groups, unions, ecosystems, cultural heritage and geology).

Substitutes: A chemical, product, process or technology, which may be substituted for another to perform the same function or achieve the same end result.

Back to top

Target, environmental: Detailed performance requirement, quantified wherever practicable, applicable to the organization or parts thereof, that arises from the environmental objectives and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those objectives.

Back to top

Volatile: Ability to evaporate easily.

Back to top

Waste: Any output from the product system that is disposed of.

Back to top

© 2002, Vintara, All Rights Reserved