8 Green Terms That Matter Most to Your Boss


Brush up on your green vocabulary in order to work more effectively with your CSR officer or CEO. Here is a sampling of CSR basics courtesy of Susan Nickbarg, principal at SVN Marketing, which specializes in CSR strategies.

1. Alternative Energy – Naturally generated energy source: any form of energy obtained from the sun, wind, waves, etc., in contrast to energy generated from fossil fuels.

2. Carbon Offset – A carbon offset represents a specific quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions (i.e. a ton of carbon dioxide absorbed or avoided) from a project-based activity, which is purchased in order to negate or diminish the impact of the recipient’s GHG emissions.

3. Energy Efficiency – Occurs when you use less energy to accomplish the same task. Forms the basis for Energy Star appliances.

4. Organic - A labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. Refer to federal agency definitions and guidelines for more specifics.

5. Renewable Resources – Earth’s resources than can regenerate, such as air, water, food crops, fish stocks and timber.

6. Waste Reduction – A process to eliminate the amount of waste generated at its source or to reduce the amount of toxicity from waste or the reuse of materials.

7. Zero Footprint – Having no detrimental impact on the environment, especially pollutants and degraded or consumed resources.

8. Greenwash (ing) - Disinformation, inaccurate or false claims so as to present an environmentally friendly image. Don’t do it. 


PR News subscribers can find more CSR tips and strategies in: "CSR Reporting: Data Is Only a Third of the Communications Equation.
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  • Jason W. Anderson

    Good basic list. You can really capture Points 1, 2 & 3 into a strategy called a “portfolio approach” which you attempt to have an impact on climate change using a blend of all three.

    I’d also add “green economy” which is an emerging term. In its simplest form, it means running your business or national economy based on a system which values the natural services that nature provides: fresh water, climate mitigation, soils and pollinators for crops. When you factor that into a true long term development plan you’ll see that it allows for a healthier growth model.

    Working with an NGO can provide excellent insight into making your company green in a way that protects the environment will still bringing value to your business. http://www.jasonwanderson.com