Manufacturing objects by adding material (instead of removing material).
Breaking down biological material in an environment without oxygen. This process is used to generate biogas, which is used as a fossil fuel replacement for electricity and heat generation as well as conversion into gas.
A material that is partially, or entirely made of biomass.
A material which microorganisms can break down into natural elements (i.e. water, biomass, etc.).
Organic materials derived from and developed to re-enter the natural environment.
Organic materials derived from plants or animals.
Taking inspiration from nature to solve human challenges.
Movement for solutions being determined by their local environment characteristics, emphasizing gravity as the primary source of energy.
A material or substance created when processing or manufacturing something else.
Extracting maximum value from a material through alternative uses across value streams.
A perspective in which the economic value of materials is optimized over time. This calls for minimal raw material extraction, reintroduction of materials already in the economy and no waste.
Recycling a product and manufacturing it into the same product again and again.
An LCA in which two or more products or systems are compared.
Additives that allow two polymer resins to bond and stabilize, resulting in an improved final product.
Materials that can be disposed with biological materials and decay into nutrient-rich material.
Treatment process that decomposes organic matter in an oxygenated environment. The result is nutrient-rich fertilizer or soil amendment.
Raw minerals that directly or indirectly finance or benefit armed groups. Minerals most susceptible include the 3TG (tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold) group and those sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A design framework focused on "eco-effectiveness" and positive impact of the product while reducing the negative impacts.
An LCA that evaluates the environmental impacts of a product or process from raw material extraction through manufacturing.
An LCA that evaluates the environmental impacts of a product or process from raw material extraction up through disposal.
Raw materials that are essential to the economy and have high supply risk due to limited quantities, suppliers and access.
Breaking the link between economic growth and natural resource consumption.
Delivering a product using a percentage or none of the mass compared to the conventional product.
The time remaining before a natural resource is completely extracted.
The process of converting polymers back into monomer(s).
Design principle that calls for the end-of-life options of how the product, components and materials can be deconstructed.
Design principle that calls for maximization of a product or service's useful life. Planned obsolescence directly contrasts this design principle.
Design principle that calls for the minimization of negative environmental impacts across a product or service's life cycle.
Design principle (most commonly applied in building design and construction) that calls for use of interstitial space, programmed soft space, shell space, expansion capacity, demountable partitions and mobile or modular furnishings.
Design principle that calls for the end-of-life accounting of how the product will be collected and recycled.
Design principle that calls for products to be manufactured using fasteners, materials and processes that allow them to be easily be fixed.
Design principle that calls for the optimization of environmental and social benefits across a product or service's life cycle.
Conversion of analog or physical products to digital resources.
A product that cannot be retrieved due to how it was dispersed during use (i.e. paint, fertilizer).
Use of secondary materials that results in a lower economic value of that material that cannot be recovered.
Product characteristic that determines the length of time over which it maintains its value or functionality.
Design principle that calls for the minimization of negative environmental and health impacts across a product or service's life cycle.
The economic value of a product or service compared to its natural capital costs.
Disposed electronic and electrical products. These products typically contain hazardous materials and require certified handling and recycling.
The environmental and social impacts of a product, from material extraction through the use phase.
The life cycle stage during which a product no longer has value to its original owner and is then disposed of.
A policy in which financial or physical liability for end-or-life handling is placed on the producer.
A material or substance that is used as an input to a product or process.
A material or substance that is used as an input to a product or process.
Feedstock recycling, also known as “chemical recycling,” is the process of breaking down collected plastics into monomers and other basic chemical elements (“depolymerization”).
The impact of a product or service across its life cycle. One can calculate a product's carbon, water, energy and material footprints, for example. This is similar to an LCA except that footprints typically only evaluate one environmental issue.
Creating syngas from char using extremely high temperatures and minimal oxygen.
Designing chemical products and processes that minimize or eliminate hazardous substances.
Designing products and processes to minimize environmental impacts and protect human health without compromising economic value.
A policy in which governments commit to buying products and services with environmentally-preferable characteristics.
A material or substance that has the potential to harm humans, animals or the environment.
Material recycling that allows for reuse in a comparable function.
Chemical reaction using hydrogen, pressure, heat and a catalyst to create syncrude (liquid and gaseous).
The second phase of an LCA in which environmental impacts are determined.
The third stage of an LCA in which solutions are evaluated for mitigating environmental impacts.
The study of material, energy and water flows through an industrial system and their effect on the environment, economy and society.
The physical and chemical processes taking place in an industrial system.
The mutually beneficial exchange of waste and by-products between three or more parties.
Small businesses and self-employed persons providing material recycling services with little or no legal recognition and low capital investments.
Design approach that convenes different disciplines across the value chain, building on diverse viewpoints early in the process.
Managing solid waste from the point of consumer disposal through collection, sorting, reuse and recycling.
The first stage of an LCA in which the inputs and outputs (materials, energy, water, economic value, etc.) of the system are identified.
A Japanese manufacturing strategy that uses autonomation to increase output while minimizing errors.
Manufacturing strategy to reduce wasted time and resources by providing products or services as they are needed by the next step in the production process.
A Japanese continuous improvement strategy that rests on the following principles: good processes bring good results, learn by seeing, speak with data, manage by facts, identify and correct root causes of problems and work as a team.
The disposal and burying of solid waste. The degradation of the waste results in the creation of local air and water pollution.
A manufacturing strategy that aims to minimize all waste (i.e. time, money, resources) through high quality processes.
A service model in which the customer pays for continuous access to a product over an agreed period of time.
All of the stages that a product goes through in its lifetime: raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, use, end-of-life and transportation.
A method to evaluate the environmental impacts of a product or system over its life cycle. An LCA is typically done in three parts: (1) Inventory Analysis, (2) Impact Assessment, (3) Improvement Analysis.
A method to evaluate the financial impacts of a product or system over its life cycle.
The integration of life cycle thinking into decision-making.
Approach of accounting for economic, environmental and social impacts across all stages of a product or services life cycle.
Product characteristics that lengthen the time over which that product continues to serve its originally intended function.
The risk a company faces when depending on the conventional "take-make-dispose" economic model.
Materials that are extracted and processed within the same region they are being purchased. Specific distances depend on the material, process and objectives.
Situation in which an established design or manufacturing process discourages innovation.
The quantity and rate at which materials move through a system (i.e. city, company, etc.)
A method to evaluate the material flows into and out of a system.
A study of the physical and chemical processes within an industrial system.
An inorganic physical material with a specific chemical make-up.
Consumption that is not in the best interest of the consumer.
Design principle that calls for products to be manufactured using a set of components that can be individually replaced, preventing entire products from becoming useless.
Waste that is generated by households, schools, hospitals and businesses in a given city or region.
The stock of renewable and non-renewable resources (e.g. plants, animals, air, water, soils, minerals) that combine to yield a flow of benefits to people.
Recycling product A and manufacturing it into product B.
Naturally found earth that contains economically valuable minerals.
Packaging in contact with the product (plastic sack holding cereal).
Packaging that contains one or more primary packages (cereal boxes).
Packaging that contains one or more secondary packages (plastic wrap for a palette of cereal boxes).
Service model in which payment is tied to the quantity or quality of service the customer receives.
The environmental limits within which humans can safely live.
Business strategy to shorten the consumer's ownership period in order to increase sales volume. This is accomplished through poor quality manufacturing, an accelerated product succession timeline or compelling marketing campaigns.
A Japanese manufacturing strategy of error-proofing through controls to prevent, detect and abate.
Practice of manufacturing building components and assemblies in a factory and transporting the product to the construction site for installation.
Chemical decomposition of organic materials through the application of heat in the absence of oxygen, creating syngas and liquid fuels.
A group of 17 metals that are economically difficult to extract due to low concentrations in nature.
Crude or virgin materials that are used in product manufacturing or processing.
Discarded materials that are recovered and used in another process or product, requiring only minor alterations and or refinishing.
Process of extracting material, energy or water from the waste stream for reuse or recycling.
Materials that can be recycled.
The portion of a product that is made from recovered and recycled materials.
The collection, sorting and processing of disposed materials for use in another manufacturing process.
Discarded materials or products that are topically repaired, refinished and sanitized to serve their original function.
A design principle that calls for products or services to contribute to ecosystem health.
A scenario in which products and services replenish their own sources of energy, water and materials in a closed-loop system.
Process of recovery, disassembly, repair and sanitizing components or parts for resale and reuse.
Materials, energy and water sources that replenish themselves after human extraction within a finite amount of time.
A percentage of the total resources consumed that make up the final product or service.
The economic value created per unit of resource.
Maximizing the economic value that is created per unit of resource, over multiple lifetimes.
Using a product or material again, either for the same or an alternative function.
Process of collecting and aggregating products, components or materials at the end-of-life for reuse, recycling and returns.
Store that facilitates the exchange of secondary raw materials.
Waste materials that are recovered, recycled and reprocessed for use as raw materials.
Business model based on the sharing of under-used assets as a service.
A method to assess the social and sociological impacts of a product or service across its entire life cycle.
Establishing uniformity across manufacturing processes to minimize errors and save costs.
The total volume or mass of material in a system (i.e. industrial, municipal, organizational, etc.).
A simplified version of an LCA that focuses on the most significant environmental impacts of a product or system.
The manufacturing of an object by removing mass from the original form. Sculpting from a stone block is an example of subtractive manufacturing.
The use of goods and services that address the requirements of today's population without compromising the needs of future generations to meet theirs.
Management approach that calls for the the reduction of environmental impacts without compromising economic productivity or social equity.
The procurement of forestry and agricultural products from suppliers that minimize environmental impacts and protect and enhance nature and biodiversity.
Short for "synthetic crude," syncrude is an oil substance produced via hydrogenation and hydrotreating.
Short for "synthesis gas," syngas is gas mixture produced via gasification of a fuel containing carbon.
An approach that accounts for the interdependence and evolution of system elements.
An initiative to collect used products or materials from consumers and reintroduce them to the original processing and manufacturing cycle.
Man-made materials designed to be long-lasting and reused.
Use of secondary products, components or materials that results a higher economic value of that material.
Process of extracting useful materials from city waste stocks.
See "Electronic waste"
The priority order available for managing wastes, ranked in descending order of preference, based on the best environmental outcome across the lifecycle of the material. (1) Prevention, (2) Reduce, (3) Reuse, (4) Recycle, (5) Incineration, (6) Landfill.
Process of treating waste that creates energy in the form of electricity, heat or fuel.
Spent or used water that contains dissolved or suspended solids.
Program to divert all (at least 95%) waste from landfill. The scope of zero waste may or may not include incineration depending on reference.