Grunver Sostenibilidad

sustainability dictionary



Removal of abiotic resources from the earth, or depletion of non-living natural resources. For materials it is generally measured as abiotic depletion potential (ADP). It is divided into two categories, non-fossil resources (minerals and metals) and fossil resources, and are used as environmental impact indicators in the generation of life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. However, because the uncertainties of the results are high and the experience of their use as an indicator is limited, they should be used with caution.  

Source: van Oers et al. 2002

Environmental footprint (EF) impact category addressing the effects due to the presence of acidifying substances in the environment. Emissions of NOx, NH₃ and SOx lead to the release of hydrogen ions (H+) when the gases are mineralised. Protons contribute to soil and water acidification when released in areas with low buffering capacity, causing forest deterioration and acidification of lakes.

Source: Recomendación CE

Information associated with processes during life cycle inventory (LCI) modelling. Each of the aggregated LCI results of the process chains representing the activities of a process are multiplied by the corresponding activity data and then combined to determine the carbon footprint and/or environmental footprint associated with that process.

Source: Recomendación CE 2021

Air pollution is both a local and global problem caused by the emission of certain substances which, either on their own or as a result of their chemical reactions, have harmful effects on the environment and health.

Source: MITECO

In human systems, the process of adjustment to actual or projected climate and its effects, in order to moderate damages or take advantage of beneficial opportunities. In natural systems, the process of adjustment to actual climate and its effects; human intervention may facilitate adjustment to projected climate and its effects.

Source: IPCC


Abbreviation of “business to business”. Business model in which product or service transactions are produced from the production company to another company.

Abbreviation of “business to consumer”. Business model in which product or service transactions are directly carried out between a company and a consumer.

Material capable of decomposing rapidly by microorganisms under natural conditions (aerobic and/or anaerobic). Most organic materials, such as food scraps and paper are biodegradable. Check: biodegradable plastic.

A plastic capable of undergoing physical or biological decomposition, so that it ultimately decomposes into carbon dioxide (CO₂), biomass and water, and which, in accordance with European packaging standards, is recoverable through composting and anaerobic digestion.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Variability of living organisms of all kinds, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.

Biodegradable vegetable waste from households, gardens, parks and the service sector, as well as food and kitchen waste from households, offices, restaurants, wholesalers, canteens, catering and retail outlets, among others, and comparable waste from food processing plants.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.


Carbon budgets refer to the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released into the atmosphere while keeping global warming within a specific target, such as limiting the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. These budgets represent a finite amount of emissions that are allocated globally and need to be distributed equitably to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Fuente: IPCC. “Informe especial sobre el calentamiento global de 1,5 grados Celsius”. 2018.

An international instrument that allows companies to offset their emissions by investing in projects that avoid or capture greenhouse gases. Carbon credits are an emissions permit whereby each company is entitled to emit one ton of CO2 per credit. Depending on the system used, each Depending on the system used, each entity has a limited number of credits and can acquire new ones in two ways: by buying them from in two ways: either by purchasing them from a third party on the carbon credit market or by generating them market, or by generating them through mitigation projects, such as carbon sequestration through for example, carbon sequestration through reforestation.

Sum of greenhouse gas emissions and removals in a product, service, organisation or activity system, expressed as CO₂ equivalent and based on a life cycle assessment using the single impact category of climate change.

Fuente: ISO 14067-2019

It is an independent, non-profit organization that manages the largest database of corporate information on environmental issues. By measuring the environmental impact of its actions and policies, CDP guides private and public companies in making decisions towards a sustainable economy and compiles all this information to prepare annual company rankings that serve as reference tools for investors and stakeholder.

Fuente: CDP

Calculation of the magnitude of the contribution of each input/output classified in relation to their respective environmental footprint impact categories, and aggregation of the contributions within each category.

According to the European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Program, “characterization factors” are coefficients or numerical values used to quantify the environmental impact of different impact categories such as climate change, soil acidification, eutrophication, among others. These factors enable the conversion of inputs and outputs of a system into values that reflect their contribution to specific environmental impacts. Characterization factors are crucial in life cycle analysis and environmental footprint assessment as they help translate quantitative data into meaningful results for environmental decision-making.

The Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) aims to classify the contributions of ecosystems to human well-being obtained through living processes.

Business model oriented towards a more efficient use of resources to create, provide and capture value. It seeks to enable all possible recirculations of components and materials and the reduction or elimination of waste, throughout the entire product life cycle. It can involve anything from a switch to more sustainable materials, to extending the useful life or servitisation of a product.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

It is also called circular design or ecodesign for a circular economy. It is the design that integrates the principles of the circular economy and pursues value retention through the continuous closing of cycles.

The circular economy is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, renewing and recycling existing materials and products as often as possible to create added value. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, it also means minimising waste. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. They can be productively used again and again, thus creating additional value.

Fuente: Noticias parlamento europeo

According to the European Commission, circular economy indicators are “tools that measure and quantify key aspects of the circular economy, such as resource efficiency, waste reduction, material reuse and recycling, and contribution to climate change mitigation.” These indicators provide information about the performance of an economic system in terms of its ability to close material loops and reduce dependence on finite natural resources.

Consists of a design approach that seeks to create products and solutions that align with the principles of the circular economy.

They constitute a set of indicators designed by member companies of the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development) to measure the progress of companies in their transition to a circular economy. These indicators encompass key areas such as circular product design, resource management, utilization of recycled materials, product lifespan extension, and waste reduction. The CTIs offer guidance and a measurement framework for companies to evaluate their circular performance and undertake tangible actions towards sustainability.

Climate change is the global variation in the Earth’s climate, caused by an increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. These gases enter the atmosphere as a result of activities in our daily lives: the use of energy from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas), industrial processes, travelling by plane or car, or using household appliances at home.

Fuente: Guía de la Convención sobre el Cambio Climático y el Protocolo de Kyoto

An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the anthropogenic forcing of the climate system; it includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions and enhancing greenhouse gas sinks.  

Source: IPCC

A compostable material can be degraded by the action of organisms (i.e. biologically) producing carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass in a controlled period of time. A biodegradable material is not always compostable but a compostable material is always biodegradable.

Fuente: Enlace

Composting is defined as a biological process that submits biodegradable waste to anaerobic or aerobic decomposition and that results in a product used on land or for the production of growing media or substrates.

Fuente: Eurostat Statistics

Waste generated by construction and demolition activities.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Any of two or more products coming from the same unit process or product system.

Fuente: PEPecopassport

Raw materials considered relevant to the EU economy and with a high risk of supply disruption.

Fuente: Propuesta del nuevo Reglamento de Materias Primas Fundamentales (COM/2023/260 final)


Decarbonization, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), is the process of reducing or eliminating dependence on fossil fuels and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of achieving a low-carbon economy. It involves the adoption of technologies and practices that enable a transition to cleaner and renewable energy sources, as well as the implementation of energy efficiency measures.

Fuente: IEA

Commercial dependence of a company on the use of natural capital.

Set of specific data about a product that can be accessed electronically through a data medium. The Digital Product Passport introduced by the European Regulation on Ecodesign of Sustainable Products aims to provide information about the entire life cycle of the product, along its entire value chain, to promote more sustainable products.

Fuente: Reglamento Europeo sobre Diseño Ecológico de Productos Sostenibles (adaptada)

The process by which digital technology is implemented in the economy as a whole, affecting production, consumption and the very organisation, structure and management of companies.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

GHG emissions associated with an organisation’s operations. These emissions come from sources owned or controlled by the organisation. In a very simplified way, they could be understood as emissions released on-site at the location where the activity takes place, e.g. emissions due to the heating system if it is based on the burning of fossil fuels.


It is a recycling process that results in products of lower value and quality than the original ones.

In the context of a life cycle analysis, the term “downstream” refers to the stage following the production of a product or service, such as waste management, recycling, final disposal, or reuse.


It is the process of investigating or auditing the company or person with whom a potential buyer or investor will do business. It consists, therefore, of a thorough review and analysis of all financial records.

Fuente: Enlace


Ecodesign, also known as designing for the environment, is a methodology that considers the environmental variable as a further criterion in the process to design industrial products, alongside other earlier factors such as economic costs or the quality. The final aim is to improve the environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle.

Fuente: IHOBE

According to the European Union’s Environmental Action Programme, eco-innovation is defined as the creation and application of products, processes, services, and business models that contribute to environmental protection, resource efficiency, and the reduction of negative impacts on the environment. Eco-innovation aims to promote innovative solutions that generate both environmental and economic benefits, fostering the transition towards a circular economy. Its goal is to enhance the competitiveness of businesses while reducing environmental impacts and promoting sustainability across various industrial sectors.

Fuente: European Union’s Environmental Action Programme

Sustainability that supports the long-term economic development of a company while protecting environmental and social elements.

Dynamic complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and the inanimate environment interacting as a functional unit.

In the life cycle inventory, elemental flows include “matter or energy entering the system under study, which has been extracted from the environment without prior human transformation, or matter or energy leaving the system under study, which is released into the environment without subsequent human transformation.” Among the elemental flows are, for example, resources extracted from nature or emissions to the atmosphere and discharges to water and soil that are directly related to the characterization factors of the impact categories of the environmental footprint.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

Any operation other than recovery, including where the operation has as a secondary consequence the recovery of substances or materials, provided that these do not exceed 50 % by weight of the waste treated, or the recovery of energy. A non-exhaustive list of disposal operations can be found in Annex III of Law 7/2022 of 8 April on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

The European Regulation 761/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council of March 19, 2001, regulates and defines the “European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme” (EMAS). This environmental management system, internationally known as the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme), incorporates aspects such as organizational transparency requirements (publication of the environmental statement), worker participation, and measurement of actual results.

The greenhouse gas emission factor is a coefficient relating GHG generating activity data to GHG emissions.

Fuente: ISO 14064-1:2019

Emissions are releases of gases to the air. Greenhouse gas emissions are determined by the carbon footprint and collected in greenhouse gas inventories for reporting.

Fuente: ISO 14064-1:2019

The environment is the set of physical, chemical, biological and social agents that can have a direct or indirect effect on living beings and human activities. The environment encompasses the interactions of all living species, the climate, natural resources or intangible factors such as culture.

Fuente: RAE

An element of an organisation’s activities, products or services that can interact with the environment. An environmental aspect can cause one or several environmental impacts.

Fuente: Métodos de huella ambiental de productos y servicios. Análisis de ciclo de vida (2020)

The Environmental Footprint is a multi-criteria indicator of environmental impact that reflects the consequences of human and/or business activity on the environment with a perspective of the entire life cycle.

Fuente: Entrada blog HA Grunver

It is defined as the positive or negative effect that human activities have on the environment. It refers to the resulting consequences of the interaction between humans and their natural surroundings, including ecosystem alteration, degradation of natural resources, air, water, and soil pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Environmental impact can manifest at different scales, ranging from the local to the global level, and it can be the result of various human activities, such as industry, agriculture, transportation, construction, among others.

Fuente: Agencia de Protección Ambiental de los Estados Unidos (EPA) (Adaptado)

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), according to ISO 14025 standard, is a verified and registered document that provides quantified and objective information about the environmental performance of a product throughout its life cycle. The EPD is based on a comprehensive life cycle assessment and includes data on natural resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, impacts on air and water quality, as well as other relevant indicators. The information in an EPD enables consumers and professionals to make more informed decisions and promotes transparency in the environmental communication of products.

Fuente: ISO 14025

Sustainability focused on the correct use of natural resources to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Certification managed by Ihobe that recognizes those eventos in the Basque Country that integrate environmental measures in the design and organization, acting as a driviing force and raising awareness for all the agents involved.

Fuente: Erronka Garbia

Acronyms for Environmental, Social and Governance. These three criteria are used as a framework for assessing the sustainability and ethical performance of companies, and serve as a guide for integrating sustainability and ethics into company culture and operations. Taking ESG criteria into account in company decision-making serves, among other things, to capture opportunities and avoid risks.

An opinion, a score or a combination of both, regarding an entity, a financial instrument, a financial product, or an undertaking’s ESG profile or characteristics or exposure to ESG risks or the impact on people, society and the environment, that are based on an established methodology and defined ranking system of rating categories and that are provided to third parties, irrespective of whether such ESG rating is explicitly labelled as “rating” or “ESG”score.

The “European Eco-label,” also known as the EU Ecolabel, is an official certification awarded to products and services that meet high environmental standards set by the European Commission. This label certifies that the product or service has been assessed and meets strict criteria regarding its environmental impact throughout its life cycle, including aspects such as natural resource consumption, emissions of pollutants, waste management, and efficient energy use. The European Eco-label provides consumers with reliable and transparent information to make more sustainable choices and promote the selection of environmentally-friendly products.

The European Green Deal is a package of policy initiatives, which aims to set the EU on the path to a green transition, with the ultimate goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. It supports the transformation of the EU into a fair and prosperous society with a modern and competitive economy.

Fuente: European Council

The increase in the concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds that causes an accelerated growth of cyanobacteria, algae or higher aquatic plants, causing negative disturbances in the balance of the biological populations present in the aquatic environment and in the water quality itself.

Set of measures taken to ensure that producers of products assume either financial responsibility or financial and organisational responsibility for the management of the waste phase of a product’s life cycle.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.


Substance, mixture, microorganism or any other material applied or intended to be applied to plants or their rhizosphere, fungi or their mycosphere, or intended to constitute the rhizosphere or mycosphere, by itself or mixed with other materials, in order to provide nutrients to plants or fungi or to improve their nutritional efficiency.

All food (as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety) that has become waste.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

It covers food loss during food processing and transportation and food waste throughout the food chain.

Source: FAO

Fuels formed from the decomposition of decomposition of plants and animals. Fossil fuels are found in the earth’s crust and contain carbon and hydrogen, two components that generate energy when burned. Coal, oil or gas are examples of fossil fuels.

Quantified performance of a product system for use as a reference unit.

Fuente: ISO 14044


A tool that establishes a standardized global framework for measuring and managing organizations’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Index that measures the radiative forcing of a unit mass of a specific substance accumulated over a given time horizon. It is expressed in terms of a reference substance (e.g., CO₂ equivalent units) and a specific time horizon (e.g., GWP 20, GWP 100, GWP 500, for 20, 100, and 500 years, respectively).

By combining information about radiative forcing (the energy flux caused by the emission of the substance) and the time it remains in the atmosphere, GWP allows for measuring the ability of a substance to influence changes in the global average surface-air temperature and the resulting changes in various climatic parameters and their effects, such as storm frequency and intensity, rainfall intensity, and flood frequency, among others.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

It is the incorporation of environmental aspects in the purchase and contracting of any corporate supplies and services in private companies. These environmental criteria focus not only on the environmental characteristics of the products/services in question but also on the behaviour of suppliers.

Fuente: Basque Ecodesign Center

Acquisition of a product or service that during its life cycle offers the appropriate level of quality compared to others of the same basic utility but generates a lower overall environmental impact by requiring fewer resources (materials, water, energy, etc.), avoiding or reducing the generation of waste and emissions, not containing toxic elements, facilitating its subsequent recycling and recovery and/or incorporating recycled materials.


It is a process by which public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced life-cycle environmental impact compared to other goods, services and works with the same primary function that would be procured instead.

Fuente: ACLIMA

A gaseous component of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the earth’s surface, atmosphere and clouds.

Fuente: ISO 14064-1:2019

It is an “abusive” and “misleading” marketing strategy of a brand trying to sell itself as environmentally friendly when in fact, it is not. This practice has two consequences: firstly, it misleads the consumer, and secondly, it does not comply with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Fuente: Enlace


Specific waste with a certain degree of toxicity that necessitates special treatment (as indicated in Directive 91/689/EC and decision 2532 EC).

Fuente: PEPecopassport

Hazardous or non-hazardous waste generated in households as a result of domestic activities. Household waste is also considered to be waste similar in composition and quantity to the previous waste generated in services and industries, which is not generated as a consequence of the activity of the service or industry itself. Also included in this category is waste generated in households from, among others, used cooking oils, electrical and electronic equipment, textiles, batteries, accumulators, furniture, household goods and mattresses, as well as waste and rubble from minor construction and repair work in the home. Waste from the cleaning of public roads, green areas, recreational areas and beaches, dead domestic animals and abandoned vehicles will be considered domestic waste.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

A term that states that, in a low-carbon economy and society, CO₂ emissions are lower than those required to stabilise CO₂ concentration in the atmosphere in the long term.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC


Negative or positive effect of commercial activity on natural capital.

It is a specific set of indicators used to assess and quantify the potential environmental effects of a product or system in different aspects, such as climate change, soil acidification, eutrophication, depletion of natural resources, among others.

Fuente: Programa de Evaluación del Ciclo de Vida (PEF) de la Unión Europea

Waste incineration is a process in which waste is subjected to high temperatures in the presence of oxygen for thermal destruction. The process generates heat, which can be used for energy generation. However, it can also generate emissions of gases and solid, liquid, or gaseous residues, which must be properly treated to minimize their negative environmental impacts. Waste incineration must comply with the requirements established in legislation and applicable regulations to ensure safe and environmentally responsible waste treatment.

Fuente: Agencia Europea de Medio Ambiente (European Environment Agency, EEA)

GHG emissions associated with an organisation’s operations. These are a consequence of the organisation’s activities, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another organisation. An example of an indirect emission is the emission from electricity consumed by an organisation, the emissions of which have been produced at the location where the electricity was generated.


Wastes resulting from the production, manufacturing, transformation, use, consumption, cleaning or maintenance processes generated by the industrial activity as a consequence of its main activity.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Expression that represents the fourth industrial revolution, a new stage in the organisation and control of the industrial value chain. It involves the digital transformation of manufacturing-production and value creation processes, with artificial intelligence at its core. It is intimately related to the accumulation of large amounts of data, the use of algorithms to process them, and the massive interconnection of digital systems and devices.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

Industrialised construction, modular construction, or offsite. Offsite construction is an alternative to traditional construction that is characterised by the production of components in the workshop which are then transported to their final location for assembly.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

Flow of products, materials, or energy that enters a unitary process. The products and materials include raw materials, intermediate products, and co-products.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

Product, material or energy flow that enters a unit process.

Fuente: ISO 14040:2006

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to provide comprehensive assessments of the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies.


The ISO 14040 standard is a standard that defines the general principles and requirements for conducting a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which allows for a comprehensive evaluation and communication of the environmental impacts of a product or system throughout its life cycle.

Fuente: (adaptado)

The ISO 14044 standard is an international standard that provides more detailed and specific guidelines than ISO 14040 for conducting a comprehensive and consistent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), including technical procedures and guidelines for each stage of the study.

The ISO 14064 standard is a set of international standards that provide guidelines for the measurement, quantification, and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and emission reductions. These standards focus on the design and development of GHG inventories, as well as the validation and verification of GHG reports.

The ISO 14067 standard provides requirements and guidelines for the quantification and communication of the carbon footprint of a specific product, enabling transparent assessment and communication of the impacts of GHG emissions associated with that product.


Any liquid that leaks through the waste deposited and is emitted or contained in a landfill.  

Source: Directiva 1999/31/CE del Consejo, de 26 de abril de 1999, relativa al vertido de residuos

An Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report or environmental footprint report is a document that presents the results of a systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts of a product, service, or process throughout its entire life cycle. This analysis is conducted following a standardized methodology and using quantitative data on resource consumption, emissions, and waste generated at each stage, from raw material extraction to final disposal. These reports are used to assess and compare the environmental sustainability of different options, identify areas for improvement, support informed decision-making, and promote the implementation of more sustainable practices in sectors such as industry, agriculture, transportation, and others.

Fuente: ISO (adaptado)

Consecutive and interrelated stages of a product (or service) system, from the acquisition of raw materials or their generation from natural resources to its final disposal.

Fuente: Métodos de huella ambiental de productos y servicios. Análisis de ciclo de vida (2020)

Consists of a thinking framework that considers a holistic view of a product, process or service from production to consumption or use, to the end of its lifetime.

Collection and quantification of inputs and outputs of a product system during its life cycle.

Fuente: ISO 14044

Collection and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and potential environmental impacts of a product system during its life cycle.

Fuente: Métodos de huella ambiental de productos y servicios. Análisis de ciclo de vida (2020)


The stock of renewable and non-renewable resources that, in combination, generate a flow of benefits or services to humans. It is a way of describing the resources, environment, the species, their habitats or ecosystems (sometimes referred to as “stock”) that support the benefits of ecosystem and abiotic services (sometimes referred to as “flow”).

Fuente: Natural Capital Protocol – Natural Capital Coalition

The process of measuring and valuing relevant natural capital impacts and/or dependencies, using the appropriate method.


According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Net Zero” refers to the situation in which anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are significantly reduced, and any remaining emissions are offset through tangible reduction and compensation actions.

The priority is to eliminate or reduce emissions to the greatest extent possible, and only then turn to compensation to address unavoidable emissions.

Measures taken by companies within or outside the value chain to remove carbon from the atmosphere to offset the impact of a source of emissions within the company’s value chain. These measures are based on carbon storage or sinks.

Fuente: Forética

It refers to approaches, practices, or technologies that are oriented towards a more sustainable future, such as innovative solutions that go beyond previous generations in terms of efficiency, reduction of environmental impacts, and promotion of social equity. These initiatives can be related to renewable energies, energy efficiency, circular economy, sustainable mobility, regenerative agriculture, eco-efficient design, among other aspects.

Waste that is not covered by the definition of “hazardous waste” according to Law 7/2022, of July 28, on waste and contaminated soils.

Fuente: De la ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.


Actions or investments undertaken by a company to balance the emissions that could not be reduced in a given sector by capturing or avoiding the same amount of CO₂ outside the value chain.

Fuente: Forética

Compilation and assessment of the inputs, outputs and potential environmental impacts of activities associated with the organisation in part or as a whole adopting a life cycle perspective.

Fuente: ISO 14072

Products, materials, or energy that exit a unitary process. The products and materials include raw materials, intermediate products, co-products, and emissions. It is also considered that the outgoing flows encompass elemental flows.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

Product, material or energy flow that leaves a unit process.

Fuente: ISO 14040:2006

Plastic materials that include additives, which by oxidation, cause the plastic material to fragment into micro-fragments or to decompose chemically.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.


The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 ºC, preferably to 1.5 ºC, compared to pre-industrial levels.The Paris Agreement aims to achieve its long-term goals through the participation and commitment of countries worldwide. By establishing a global framework for climate action, the agreement seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen resilience to climate change, and mobilize financial and technological support to assist developing countries.

Fuente: United Nations of Climate Change

Is the introduction of substances or energy into the environment, resulting in deleterious effects of such a nature as to endanger human health, harm living resources and ecosystems, and impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment.

Fuente: European Environment Agency

Recovery operation consisting of testing, cleaning or repair, whereby products or components of products that have become waste are prepared so that they can be reused without further processing and are no longer considered as waste if they comply with the applicable technical and consumer product standards.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

They refer to specific and original information collected through measurements, tests, or direct studies of products or components throughout their life cycle. These data are obtained directly and are not based on estimations or publicly available general data.

Fuente: PEPecopassport

Product category rules are standards on which life cycle analyses for environmental product declarations are based as they ensure consistent criteria for a family of products with equivalent functions. They are published as a technical standard or by a recognised programme and are applicable for product families with equivalent functions.

The obsolescence of an electronic device is the fall into disuse of machines, equipment and technologies caused not by its malfunctioning, but by an insufficient performance of its functions in comparison with new equipment and technologies introduced in the market. Planned obsolescence is the determination of the end of the useful life of a product so that after a period of time programmed by the manufacturer it becomes obsolete, unserviceable or non-functional.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC


Data characteristics that refer to the ability of the data to meet the established requirements. Data quality comprises several aspects such as technological, geographical and temporal representativeness as well as completeness and accuracy of the inventory data.

Fuente: Recomendación CE


The Race to Zero Campaing is a global coalition of governments, businesses, cities, and civil society organizations working together to address climate change. Its goal is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century, which means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to minimum levels and offsetting any remaining emissions through actions that remove or reduce an equivalent amount of emissions. This initiative aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, decarbonized global economy.”

Substance in processed or unprocessed state used as an input for the manufacturing of intermediate or final products, excluding substances predominantly used as food, feed or combustion fuel.

Fuente: Propuesta del nuevo Reglamento de Materias Primas Fundamentales (COM/2023/260 final)

An object is considered recyclable when its components are suitable for recycling. In the case of plastic packaging, there is a defined definition of recyclability established by the Association of Plastics Recyclers and Plastics Recyclers Europe in 2018. To be recyclable, packaging must meet various conditions, including being made from a type of plastic that is already collected and can be recycled through commercial processes that convert it into raw material to be used in new products.

Fuente: La definición de «reciclabilidad» ocupa un lugar central en el proyecto de ley de envases de la UE. Aclima (enlace)

Reconditioning is considered to be one of the stages of remanufacturing a product. It is the phase in which different operations are carried out on the product. Either to adapt it to the new components, or to correct the small defects it may have. It depends a lot on the product, as there are a lot of possible operations. However, the operations are usually very similar to the processes carried out during manufacturing.

Fuente: Guía práctica de tecnologías para el proceso de remanufactura, Ihobe (2018)

Any recovery operation by which waste materials are transformed back into products, materials or substances, whether for the original purpose or for any other purpose. It includes the transformation of organic material, but does not include energy recovery or transformation into materials to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

The remanufacturing process consists of taking a used product (at the end of its useful life) and modifying it to obtain a product that has the same or better characteristics than a new one. The process can be summarised in 7 phases: Collection, disassembly, cleaning, inspection, reconditioning, assembly and testing.

Fuente: Guía práctica de tecnologías para el proceso de remanufactura, Ihobe (2018)

Process of returning a product to an aesthetic state that makes it appear “as new” through its cleaning, polishing, painting, etc; including the repair of damaged components. These products are generally destined for secondary markets.

Ability of a product to be repaired or restored after damage or breakdown.

Any operation by which products or components of products that are not waste are re-used for the same purpose for which they were conceived.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

The process of planning and controlling the return of products from the consumer stage to the manufacturer or distributor for recovery, repair, recycling or disposal.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC


Refer to goals established by an organization or entity that are aligned with scientific findings and recommendations from climate change experts. These objectives are set with the purpose of effectively and appropriately addressing the challenges of climate change and fulfilling commitments established in international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement.

Fuente: SBTi

The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is a global collaboration among leading environmental sustainability organizations such as CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Its primary aim is to assist companies in establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals that are grounded in scientific evidence.

These science-based objectives are critical in the fight against climate change, as they arise from the need to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, as stipulated in the Paris Agreement. SBTi provides guidelines and tools that enable companies to define specific and ambitious emission reduction targets that align with current climate science and make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation. These goals are independently assessed and approved to ensure their rigor and credibility, helping companies align their sustainability strategies with global climate imperatives.

When referring to the carbon footprint (CF) of an organization and the emitting sources analyzed in its calculation, the term scope is commonly used, classified according to the methodology of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) into scopes 1, 2, and 3:

Scope 1: Includes all direct GHG emissions from the organization. For example, emissions from combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles, etc., that are owned by or under the control of the entity in question.

Scope 2: Encompasses indirect GHG emissions associated with the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the organization.

Scope 3: Refers to other indirect emissions not covered by scopes 1 and 2, related to external activities of the organization. This may include the extraction and production of materials acquired by the organization, business travel, or the transportation of raw materials, fuels, and products. The GHG Protocol further divides scope 3 emissions into upstream and downstream emissions, classifying them into 15 different categories.


Input or output data not from direct measurement, but either from published sources, statistics or data sources (e.g. commercial databases and free databases) used to substitute primary data.

Fuente: PEPecopassport

Technique that promotes the sequencing of demolition activities by enabling the segregation and sorting of the components of a built asset at the end of its life. built asset at the end of its life. In this way, it facilitates the recovery and subsequent reuse of materials.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

Process of creating environmental awareness with the objective of achieving a change in behavior towards more sustainable practices and reflecting on the consequences of our actions on the environment.

Systematic procedures to estimate the effects on the outcome of an LCA or environmental footprint study of the chosen options in terms of methods and data.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

Also referred to as “Technical Life”, it is the estimated duration that a product or service can have, correctly fulfilling the function for which it has been created. Traditionally, service life is understood as a single life cycle. The circular economy approach aims to ensure that the useful life does not end with the first cycle, but extends over multiple life cycles.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

Value creation process by adding services to products.

It is a sustainability software for fact-based decisions develeped by Prè Sustainability Company. This software helps to make informed decisions, enpower better choices and reduce the environmental footprint of products and services. The users of SimaPro can determine KPI´s to measure sustainability, perform life cycle assesments (LCA), communicate clearly through fact-based sustainability reports and generate compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPD).

Fuente: Prè Sustainability

Sum of the weighted results of the environmental footprint for all categories of environmental impact. It is measured in Points (Pt).

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021

A product made wholly or partly of plastic and which has not been conceived, designed or placed on the market to complete, within its lifetime, multiple circuits or rotations by being returned to a producer to be refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was conceived.

Fuente: Adaptado de la Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) is a methodology to assess the social impacts of products and services across their life cycle (e.g. from extraction of raw material to the end-of-life phase, e.g. disposal). It offers a systematic assessment framework that combines quantitative as well as qualitative data. S LCA provides information on social and socio-economic aspects for decision making, in the prospect to improve the social performance of an organization and ultimately the well-being of stakeholders.

Fuente: Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of products and organizations 2020. Life Cycle Initiative.

Sustainability that seeks to promote social cohesion and welfare, reducing poverty and inequalities.

Key raw materials identified as relevant for strategic sectors such as renewable energies, digital, space and defense technologies.

Fuente: Propuesta del nuevo Reglamento de Materias Primas Fundamentales (COM/2023/260 final)

In the supply chain, the term “suppliers” refers to two agents “upstream” of the producer: raw material manufacturers and suppliers.

All those parties directly or indirectly involved in satisfying a customer’s request. It differs from the value chain in that the supply chain generally refers to a flow of goods and services from the company to the customer, with a focus on cost reduction and achieving operational excellence.

Fuente: Publicación “Comprometidos con la tracción ambiental en la cadena de suministro” Ihobe

Action taken by a company with tractor power to drive the entire supply chain towards a common goal of environmental improvement. This action is taken both “upstream” and “downstream” of the producer.

Fuente: Publicación “Comprometidos con la tracción ambiental en la cadena de suministro” Ihobe

Principle whereby we try to meet the needs of the present without compromising future generations.

The 17 global development goals for all countries that were established by the United Nations through a participatory process and formulated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which include ending poverty and hunger; ensuring health and well-being, education, gender equality, clean water, energy and decent work; building and promoting resilient and sustainable infrastructure, cities and consumption; reducing inequalities; protecting terrestrial and marine ecosystems; promoting peace, justice and partnerships; and taking urgent action to address climate change.

Source: United Nations

Event designed, organised and implemented in a way that minimises potential negative impacts and leaves a beneficial legacy for the host community and all involved.

Fuente: Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente.

Definition of the included or excluded aspects of the study. For example, regarding a “cradle-to-grave” environmental footprint analysis, the system boundaries include all activities from raw material extraction to disposal or recycling, including treatment, distribution, storage, and use phases.

Fuente: Recomendaciones CE

Set of unit processes with elemental flows and product flows, performing one or more defined functions, and serving as a model for the life cycle of a product.

Fuente: Recomendación CE 2021


Estimated duration in which an object remains functional and operational from a technological and mechanical point of view, correctly fulfilling the function for which it has been created.

Transfer of environmental impacts or environmental loads from one aspect of the life cycle of a product, service or process to another.


It is a recycling process that turns materials into superior quality products.

Indirect impacts from previous (or upstream) activities refer to material and energy use and emissions associated with the provision of goods or services purchased by the company in support of the production of the product catalogue. They correspond to upstream stages in the supply chain with respect to the organisational boundary.

Fuente: Guía metodológica para la aplicación de la huella ambiental corporativa del BEdC (2021)

It is a recycling process that turns materials into superior quality products.

Indirect impacts from previous (or upstream) activities refer to material and energy use and emissions associated with the provision of goods or services purchased by the company in support of the production of the product catalogue. They correspond to upstream stages in the supply chain with respect to the organisational boundary.

Fuente: Guía metodológica para la aplicación de la huella ambiental corporativa del BEdC (2021)


Any recovery operation other than energy recovery and transformation into materials to be used as fuels or other means of generating energy. It includes, but is not limited to, preparation for re-use, recycling and landfilling.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

A combination of a company’s activities that provides value to the customer, considering the customer as the central axis and taking into account his subjective perception of the delivery of a product or service in terms of satisfying his expectations. Unlike the term supply chain, in the value chain the value generated for the customer flows back to the company, focusing on innovation, product development and marketing.

Fuente: Publicación “Comprometidos con la tracción ambiental en la cadena de suministro” Ihobe


Any substance or object that the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment whose materials, components, consumables and sub-assemblies come from both domestic and professional uses. Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) is considered to be electrical and electronic equipment if it requires an electric current or electromagnetic fields to operate, intended for use with a voltage rating not exceeding 1,000 V for alternating current and 1,500 V for direct current, and the equipment necessary to generate, transmit and measure such currents and fields.

Fuente: Informes Sectoriales BEdC

Data characteristics that refer to the ability of the data to meet the established requirements. Data quality comprises several aspects such as technological, geographical and temporal representativeness as well as completeness and accuracy of the inventory data.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Recovery or disposal operations, including preparation prior to recovery or disposal.

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Any operation whose main result is that the waste serves a useful purpose by replacing other materials, which would otherwise have been used to fulfil a particular function or that the waste is prepared to fulfil that function in the facility or in the wider economy. A non-exhaustive list of recovery operations can be found in Annex II (of the Law 7/2022 of 8 April on Waste and Contaminated Land for a Circular Economy).

Fuente: Ley 7/2022, de 8 de abril, de residuos y suelos contaminados para una economía circular.

Metric or metrics used to quantify potential environmental impacts related to water. A water footprint requires the description of the category or categories considered in its assessment, such as “water footprint due to scarcity.” To evaluate it, it is necessary to collect the inputs, outputs, and potential environmental impacts related to water that affect the systems under study.

Fuente: ISO 14046