00 electricity tariff An electricity supply profile type for individual sites that have a maximum demand of 100kW or more at any one time during three months in the last 12-months. If you are on an 00 tariff, your meter data will be recorded and sent off automatically every 30 minutes, and this 30-minute consumption data will be available to you via a website upon request from your electricity supplier. To find out your profile number, look at the rectangular code box on any of your electricity bills - profile types range from 00 to 08. The profile number is the top left number to the right of the letter.
30-minute consumption data Electricity meter data that is automatically recorded and sent off every 30-minutes. Any organisation with an 00 electricity tariff can view their 30-minute consumption data online upon request from their electricity supplier.
5 A Day The Government's healthy eating campaign -
5 minute volunteering Volunteer opportunities that are quick to do. A good example of a sustainability 5 minute volunteering project would be taking part in a planting initiative.
Acid Rain Rain that has mixed with a range of industrial pollutants to become more acidic than is natural. During the 1980s, acid rain was a serious problem in Scandinavia, where whole forests and aquatic ecosystems were effectively destroyed.
Alcohol Impact Alcohol Impact is NUS's behaviour change programme that embeds social norms of responsible drinking on our campuses, changing attitudes towards alcohol, and building healthier, safer, more productive student communities. You can find out more here |
An Inconvenient Truth An Inconvenient Truth is an American documentary film about global warming presented by former United States Vice President Al Gore. The film was released on DVD on 21 November 2006.
Aqua Stewardship Council (ASC) The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) manages standards for responsible aquaculture. Products bearing the ASC label come from fish farms that have met these standards. The on-pack label demonstrates to consumers that their seafood comes from farms that limit their impacts on the environment and the community. For more information, visit
audio-conferencing A conference call is a telephone call in which the calling party wishes to have more than one called party listen into the call. You can use conference calls daily to meet with remote parties, both internally and outside of your organisation. Conference calling is viewed as a primary means of cutting travel costs and impacts and allowing workers to be more productive by not having to go out-of-office for meetings.
Available supply capacity (kVA) Available supply capacity is the amount of electricity you reserve, so you are guaranteed supply during your periods of maximum demand. It typically costs around £1 per month per KW reserved. Not all energy supply contracts have an available supply capacity - usually only large energy users.
bee hotel Making bee hotels is a useful way to help bees – as well as sowing bee-friendly
seeds, and providing water – and one that you can do at home.
A bee hotel provides space for solitary bees to nest in. There are around 220
species of wild bees in the UK, called ‘solitary’ because they make individual
nest cells for their larvae. It is these solitary rather than bumble bees that will be
attracted to the bee hotel we describe here. Some solitary bees are very small and
black so they may not even look like what many of us think of as bees
Better World Books A book reuse scheme that enables simple and effective reuse of books whilst also raising money for Read International (an almost entirely student-volunteer-led organisation delivering collaborative, student-led initiatives to improve access to education across the world and increase youth participation in the global community) as well as the donating organisation. Better World Books pays for all the necessary supplies and logistics to collect books. For more information email
Biodegradable When a substance can be readily broken down by natural organisms in the natural environment. Biodegradable materials tend to be made of organic materials, rather than synthetic materials.
Biodegradable cellulose sticky tapes A sticky tape that is made from cellulose making it biodegradable. Sellotape is the best known brand made from cellulose. Many other brands are made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene or polyester.
Biodegradable poly-wrap Biodegradable poly-wrap is made from cellulose from wood pulp making it biodegradable. The majority of poly-wrap used commercially is made from synthetic polythene and is not biodegradable.
Biodegrades See biodegradable
Biodiversity The variation of life forms within a given species, ecosystem, or an entire planet. It is used as a meaure of health of an ecosystem.
Biodiversity area An area that can support / protect a key habitat or endangered species. A good resource is
Blackout Blackout is about demonstrating the positive impact of tackling energy wastage, on a campus-wide, collective scale. It gives hundreds of staff and students are coming together to turn off everything across the entire campus. Too often, staff and students leave campus for the weekend, leaving lights on, appliances plugged in, monitors on standby, and dozens more examples of needless energy wastage. The University of Southampton found that Blackout led to a 6% decrease in electricity consumption over the weekend they carried out the mass switch off. This is the equivalent to the energy needed to power five family homes for an entire year. It saved £1,600, and 7 tonnes of carbon.
BMS See Building Management System
borehole A deep, narrow hole made in the ground, esp. to locate water.
BUAV The British Union Against Vivisection is the lead campaigning organisation against animal testing in the UK.
Building Management System A Building Management System (BMS) is a system of programmable automated controls that switch on and off key equipment services such as ventilation, air conditioning and heating.
Building Management Systems See Building Management System
bulbathon An event where individuals get together to plant lots of bulbs!
Bunded The oil should sit in a container that can catch any possible spills.
Calorie Walking Map This resource provides you with details and calorie counts of useful walks around Liverpool. You can find the University of Liverpool's Calorie Walking Map here:
Carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (CO2) acts as a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. The gas is generated through the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide also contributes to ocean acidification. Most organisations contribute to global warming directly through transport, and indirectly through buying electricity and gas.
Carbon footprint A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, usually measured in tonnes of Carbon dioxide equivalent. For an individual it typically includes the per-person electricity and gas used at home, the fuel used in a car and any air travel. For all of these the values there is an attributable amount of carbon released per unit (e.g. KWh electricity, M3 gas, miles driven in a car, miles travelled in a plane). There are many conversion websites to help you calculate your carbon footprint, such as A typical carbon footprint for an individual in the UK is 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
Carbon footprinting The process of calculating the carbon footprint of a person, organisation or activity.
Carbon neutral Carbon neutral is the point at which the carbon dioxide emissions from a defined activity or series of activities have been balanced through being carbon offseting or sequestered. An example of sequestration is photosynthesis, where C02 is absorbed from the atmosphere by plants.
Carbon offsetting Usually involves making a payment to an organisation to become carbon neutral. Note that the Government has backed a Gold Standard scheme for credible carbon offsetting schemes - For best practice, it is better to reduce C02 emissions rather than offset them.
Carbon sinks A carbon sink captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The main natural carbon sinks are: absorbtion of carbon dioxide by oceans; and photosynthesis by numerous plants such as jungles.
Carbon Trust The Carbon Trust provides free, practical advice and resources to business and public sector organisations in the UK to help reduce energy use.
Certified organic Organic farming practices produce less pollution, they are better for wildlife, and have high animal welfare standards. To prove that a product has been produced organically it must be certified by an independent body. The main organic certification body in the UK is the Soil Association - Other sustainable food links include MSC freedom food and free range
Certified sustainable sources Where a material is guaranteed to have originated from a sustainable source. There are two main certified sustainable source schemes in place for timber-based products. The first is operated by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which has developed a system of forest certification and product labelling that allows consumers to identify wood and wood-based products from well-managed forests. Over a million hectares of forest and woodland in the UK are now FSC certified. The second is the scheme run by the Tropical Forests Trust (TFT). TFT aims to expand the area of natural tropical forest that is Forest Stewardship Council certified, helping to ensure that forest management is environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.
Chemical waste Chemical waste is a waste that is made from harmful chemicals. Chemical waste may fall under regulations such as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) in the UK. Chemical waste may or may not be classed as hazardous waste.
Children's Resource Centres The network of Children's Resource Centres collects waste materials suitable for creative play from businesses. Organisations such as arts groups, special needs schools, and scouts groups use the materials for collages, art projects, games, etc. The centres often collect materials free of charge, especially if there are large quantities available. Items that can often be donated to CRCs include: paper used on one side only, bottle tops, wine corks, bubble wrap and other packaging materials, card, plastic crates or trays, banners, etc.
Cistern volume adjuster Cistern volume adjusters typically save 16% of water used by toilets and urinals, but are only suitable for pre-2000 (greater than 7 litre) cisterns. Cistern volume adjusters available include self-swelling water hogs, hippos or pigs, special bottles, plastic bricks or cistern dams (which work by retaining a proportion of the water in the cistern behind a dam made of a flexible compound fitted between the front and back wall). Cistern volume adjusters are usually available free of charge from your water provider.
Clinical waste See hazardous waste.
Compact fluorescent (energy efficient) See Compact fluorescent (energy efficient) bulbs
Compact fluorescent (energy efficient) bulbs A compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), also known as energy saving light bulbs, are fluorescent lamps that screw into a regular light bulb socket. CFLs work in much the same way as a fluorescent strip light: the inside is coated with a phosphor that gives off the light and there is an electronic ballast to start the lamp operating. In comparison to tungsten filament bulbs, CFLs have a longer rated life and use less electricity. Typically, CFLs save enough money in electricity costs to cover their higher initial price within about 500 hours of use.
Compact fluorescent bulbs See Compact fluorescent (energy efficient) bulbs
Computer Aid A UK charity that sends computers to developing countries.
Consignment note The transfer documentation for hazardous/special waste is referred to as a consignment note. Also see Environmental legislation - Solid waste.
Consignment notes See Consignment note
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health COSHH is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health to prevent or reduce workers' exposure to them and risk to the environment.
COSHH See Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
CRT monitor A Cathode Ray Tube monitor is a large TV-type monitor that used to be the screen of choice for PCs. These are now typically replaced with more energy efficient LCD screens.
Dairy-deck fridge A fridge without a door - typically used in shops for chilled product such as soft drinks or sandwiches. These fridges are usually fitted with blinds that can be shut to help increase efficiency when the shop is closed.
Dairy-deck fridges See Dairy-deck fridge
DEC A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) is an A3 sized certificate, valid for one year and accompanied by an advisory report valid for seven years. It rates a building's energy usage from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). A DEC must be displayed prominently at all times in public buildings.
Defra The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs -
Degrees Cooler NUS's two-year Defra-funded behaviour change programme was delivered at 20 English universities from 2009-2011.
Diameter Diameter is the distance from one side of a circle to the other measured through the centre.
Disposable drinking vessels Drinking vessels that are designed for one use only. In bars, these are usually made of a clear plastic called polypropylene.
Domestic air travel Defined as any domestic flights from a UK mainland airport to a UK mainland airport, excluding flights to or from Northern Ireland and any flights over 400 miles one way. For mileage calculations use the route planner at
dry mixed recycling Whilst it may be convenient, many organisations put all their rubbish into one bin which contaminates recyclable materials and resigns millions of tonnes of waste to landfill each year. Up to 90% of this waste could be recycled into new products at a fraction of the cost, both financially and environmentally. instead, Dry mixed recycling allows the recycling of many types of waste by collecting them all together rather than segregating them. Provided it is not contaminated by other waste, especially food, it can be converted into reusable commodities.
Dual-flushing toilet A toilet with two flushing settings - half flush and full flush.
Dual-flushing toilets See Dual-flushing toilet
Duplex Printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.
Duplex print A printer that can print on both sides of a sheet of paper.
Duty of care A requirement that a person acts toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If a person's actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent, and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence.
Earth Hour Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.
EAUC See Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges
eco come dine with me A competition to put on the best sustainable lunch similar to Channel 4s Come Dine With Me programme.
Ecological or plant-based detergents Cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients such as lemon juice. Examples include the Delphis range which is suitable for commercial cleaning needs and is available through NUS Services.
Education for Sustainable Development Sustainability isn’t just doing the recycling properly. We need an education system which creates graduates who meet the challenges of the century ahead, not repeat the mistakes of the century behind us.

Education for Sustainable Development focuses on ensuring that graduates have the knowledge and understanding, skills, and attributes needed to contribute positively to social responsibility and sustainability by integrating it into their curriculum.
Efficient technology list For energy, see
Efficient technology lists See Efficient technology list
Electrical leakage The electric power consumed by electronic appliances while they are switched off or in a standby mode. Often caused by power adapters on computers or mobile phone chargers. Numerous devices can be used to reduce electrical leakage including the Intelliplug or Powerdown (, Bye Bye Standby ( and seven day timer plugs.
EMAS The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary industry standard that allows organisations to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance. Following full implementation of the EMAS regulation, an independent verifier certifies compliance. The organisation then has to make specific environmental information publicly available. This last point is the main difference between EMAS and ISO 14001.
Employer-supported volunteering scheme Allows employees to spend a set number of days each year supporting a local charity during work time whilst on full pay.
EMS See Environmental Management System
Energy champion An employee that actively champions energy efficiency within their department or the whole organisation.
Energy champions See Energy champion
energy efficient bulb There are two main types of energy efficient light bulbs available in the UK. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
Energy Saving Trust A not-for-profit organisation that seeks to achieve the sustainable use of energy and cut carbon emissions.
Energy Technology List A list of energy-efficient equipment that qualifies for the Government's Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme.
Environmental aspect An element of an organisation's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment. An example would be a boiler producing carbon dioxide, or an event producing waste bar glass.
Environmental aspects See Environmental aspect
Environmental Assessment Process of estimating and evaluating significant short-term and long-term effects of a program or project on the quality of its location's environment. It also includes identifying ways to minimize, mitigate, or eliminate these effects and/or compensate for their impact. An environmental impact assessment is prepared on the basis of an EA. Also called environmental evaluation

Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges EAUC is the membership organisation that champions the environment and sustainability within further and higher education in the UK.
Environmental impact Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organisation's environmental aspects. Using the examples under environmental aspects, above, an environmental impact of the boiler would be a contribution to global warming, whilst an environmental impact of the event producing waste bar glass might be the environmental problems associated with landfill.
Environmental impacts See Environmental impact
Environmental legislation Legislation relating to the protection of the natural environment. A full list of UK environmental legislation can be found at or The main legislative instruments are listed in the seven sub-categories below:
Environmental legislation - Air pollution The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Clean Air Act, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regulations 2002 SI 528, Ozone Depleting Substances (Qualifications) Regulations 2009 SI 216, The Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2009, Climate Change Act 2008, Climate Change Levy (General) Regulations 2001 SI 838 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2007 SI 465.
Environmental legislation - Animals, plants and habitats The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Act 1991, Environment Act 1995, Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994 SI 2716.
Environmental legislation - Contaminated land The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Environment Act 1995, Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Contaminated Land Regulations for each country.
Environmental legislation - Hazardous substances The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006, Pesticides Act 1998, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Environmental Protection (Controls on Ozone-Depleting Substances) Regulations 2002 SI 528, Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Regulations 2009 SI 261, Ozone Depleting Substances (Qualifications) Regulations 2009 SI 216 and the Reach Enforcement Regulations 2008 SI 2852.
Environmental legislation - Noise The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Control of Pollution Act 1974 Part III (as amended), Environment Act 1995, Environmental Protection Act 1990, Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 and the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993.
Environmental legislation - Solid waste The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 c.14, Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations SI 1991/2839, Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 SI 507, Controlled Waste (Amendment) Regulations 1993 SI 566, Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2004 SSI 204, Packaging (Essential Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 SI 1504, Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 SI 413, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2007 SI 3454, End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005 SI 263, End-of-Life Vehicles Regulations 2003, SI 2635, and the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.
Environmental legislation - Water discharges The main instruments applicable to the UK are the Water Industry Act 1991, Environmental Liability (Scotland) Regulations 2009, Environmental Damage Regulations 2009 (England), Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) Regulations 2009, Environmental Liability (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009 SR 252, Water Resources Act 1991, Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001 SI 2954 and the Water Environment (Oil Storage) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 SSI 133.
Environmental Management System A formal, site specific, documented system which enables an organisation to manage the environmental aspects of its operation in a manner that is proactive, continuing and systematic. EMAS and ISO14001 are examples of accredited environmental management systems.
Environmental Management Systems See Environmental Management System
Environmental performance The efficiency at which an organisation uses resources, such as electricity, gas and water. The more efficient an organisation, the better its environmental performance.
Environmental policy A written document that outlines the procedures and actions that an organisation, and all its employees, will implement in an attempt to reduce the organisations negative environmental impacts.
Environmentally-friendly kettle Kettles that only boil the amount of water required. For examples see here.
Environmentally-friendly kettles See Environmentally-friendly kettle
Envirowise Envirowise offers UK businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.
EPC An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) contains information about how much energy is used in a home or business premises, along with details of how much the energy used actually costs.
Ethical investment criteria Investments that meet set ethical or socially responsible criteria. Ethical investment funds usually either guarantee that there are no investments in unethical industries or organisations (negative screening) or proactively invest in companies that embrace ethical principles and practices (positive screening).
Ethical or environmental issue Ethical issues usually refer to the compromise of ethical values, such as infringements of rights, discrimination, unfair exploitation, or abuse. Examples of ethical issues include the use of 'sweatshop' working conditions in areas of low human development, the use of child labour, the testing of cosmetics on animals, etc. Environmental issues tend to relate to the damage of the local or global environment and the organisms that live within it. Examples of environmental issues include, global warming, deforestation of natural forests, oil spills, etc.
EU energy label By law, the EU energy label must be shown on all refrigeration and laundry appliances, dishwashers, electric ovens and light bulb packaging. The label rates the products from A (the most efficient/least energy used), down to G (the least efficient/most energy used). To see an illustration of this label please follow this link
Expanded polystyrene Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is best known in its expanded form, as the white foamy product used for packaging and fast food containers.
Unexpanded polystyrene takes the form of a clear plastic, sometimes used for disposable drinking cups in water coolers.
F-gas See fluorinated gas
Fairtrade The Fairtrade Mark guarantees that a minimum price has been paid to the independent grower that has grown the product, or part of the product, displaying the Mark. A guaranteed price helps address the negative implications for small growers of fluctuating commodity prices on the world market, as well as preventing unscrupulous middle men from exploiting small growers. All Fairtrade products also carry a small social levy that allows growers to invest in their communities and businesses, contributing to sustainable livelihoods. Fairtrade products commonly available include tea, coffee, sugar, cocoa, fruit, wine and chocolate. For more information, visit
Fairtrade Fortnight Fairtrade Fortnight brings together consumers, retailers, producers and campaigners nationwide to promote awareness of Fairtrade products and campaign on issues of trade justice. It is usually held in March or April each year. For more information visit
Fairtrade Foundation The Fairtrade Foundation manages the promotion of Fairtrade products in the UK and the Fairtrade University accreditation.
Fairtrade University A Fairtrade Foundation accreditation. To gain the accreditation, an Institution and its Students' Union need to be able to demonstrate that they meet five basic criteria that support Fairtrade. In September 2008 a total of seventy Universities and Colleges had gained the accreditation.
False ceiling False ceilings usually comprise of a suspended metal framework covered with expanded polystyrene tiles, effectively lowering the ceiling. False ceilings are often installed in offices to bring lighting lower, and to reduce heating or air conditioning costs.
False ceilings See False ceiling
Feed in Tariff The Feed in Tariff (FITs) scheme guarantees a minimum payment for all electricity generated by the small scalre renewable energy system, as well as a separate payment for the electricity exported to grid. These payments are in addition to the bill savings made by using the electricity generated on-site.
Fluorinated gas Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are man-made gases that can stay in the atmosphere for centuries and contribute to a global greenhouse effect. There are four types: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).
food bank A place where stocks of food, typically basic provisions and non-perishable items, are supplied free of charge to people in need.
Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent non-governmental organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. It provides standard setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services for companies and organisations interested in responsible forestry.
Fossil Free People and Planet's campaign aimed at encouraging universities to pull their investments out of the fossil fuel industry. For more information about the campaign please click here.
Fossil fuels Naturally occurring combustible resources such as crude oil, natural gas and coal. When burnt, fossil fuels provide energy and carbon dioxide (a contributor to global warming). On a global perspective, the majority of the power stations currently run on fossil fuels. However, fossil fuels are finite, meaning that our reserves of them will eventually run out (see renewable energy).
Free range eggs Free range eggs are from hens that have continuous daytime access to outdoor runs. These chickens have higher welfare standards than barn and battery hens that are more intensively reared and do not have outdoor access.
Free-range Free range is a certification that animals or hens have had continuous daytime access to outdoor runs. These animals have higher welfare standards than barn and battery reared animals that are more intensively reared and do not have outdoor access. Other sustainable food links of interest may be MSC freedom foods and certified organic
Freedom Food Freedom Food is the RSPCA's farm assurance and food labelling scheme. It is the only UK farm assurance scheme to focus solely on improving the welfare of farm animals reared for food. Other sustainable food links of interest may be MSC free range and certified organic
Fresher Freshers NUS has teamed up with Homebase to run an innovative project to get students growing their own environmentally-friendly food. For more information visit
Fridge saver plug A fridge saver plug works on the basis that when a fridge is running, its compressor is not fully loaded all the time. The plug senses this and cuts out power to the motor in rapid short bursts without changing the operation of the fridge, saving considerable amounts of energy. For more information, visit:
FSC See Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)
give it a go A coordinated event, usually held at the beginning of the acacdemic year, giving students the opportunity to try out lots of different new activities without making any commitment to continue.
Global warming Greenhouse Gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, trap the Sun's heat in the upper atmosphere causing a warming of the Earth's atmosphere. Although this 'greenhouse effect' is a natural phenomenon, it is now widely accepted that this process is being sped up by humans, primarily as a result of the burning of fossil fuels, leading to an increase in the overall temperature of the atmosphere. As our atmosphere warms, it is predicted that global sea levels will rise (through thermal expansion and through the melting of polar ice) causing flooding, and changes to established weather patterns including more severe weather.
Global warming potential Global warming potential (GWP) measures the influence a greenhouse gas has upon the 'greenhouse effect'. Carbon dioxide has a GWP of 1 and all other greenhouse gases are measured against this. Other greenhouse gases have a much higher GWPs than carbon dioxide (e.g. methane has a GWP of around 21) but because their concentration in the atmosphere is much lower, carbon dioxide is still the most important greenhouse gas.
Good Money Week The Good Money Week campaign encourages everyone to consider green and responsible investment and finance options and is run by UKSIF. For more information click here.
Green Gown Award Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the tertiary education sector. The awards are organised by the EAUC. For more information visit:
Green Gown Awards See Green Gown Award
Green Impact Universities and Colleges NUS Services' version of this project aimed at greening university and college departments through local students' unions. Visit
Greenhouse gas Natural greenhouse gases include: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour and ozone. There are also a range of man-made greenhouse gases including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which can be thousands of times better at absorbing heat than carbon dioxide (see global warming potential). Despite CFCs being banned because they were found to destroy the ozone layer they will remain in the atmosphere for at least another 50 years. Their replacements, HCFCs and HFCs, whilst being relatively harmless to the ozone layer, are equally potent greenhouse gases. The amounts of these gases are increasing in the atmosphere contributing to global warming.
Greenhouse gases See Greenhouse gas
Ground source heat Heat that is taken from the ground and used as a way of heating buildings. The deeper you go the warmer the soil and the more heat can be extracted. For more information visit
Hazardous waste Some wastes are harmful to human health or to the environment, either immediately or over an extended period of time. These are called hazardous wastes. If your department produces hazardous waste you have a duty of care to make sure it's disposed of properly.
Hazardous wastes See Hazardous waste
HE Higher education (HE) primarily describes post-18 learning that takes place at universities, as well as other colleges and institutions that award academic degrees, professional qualifications and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules.
Healthy eating Healthy eating involves managing your diet to improve or maintain good health. This usually involves consuming nutrients by eating the appropriate amounts from all of the food groups, including an adequate amount of water. For people in the UK the main dietary issues relate to obesity. The NHS runs the 5 A DAY campaign to encourage healthy eating.
Heat exchange system A system that can be fitted to dairy-deck fridges to take the waste heat away from the units and dispose of it outside. You can often tell if a fridge is fitted with one by the presence of a insulated pipes leaving the fridge and going to a remote condensing unit outside. Fridges with heat exchange systems should not give out any heat in to the room from the back of the fridge.
HFC-free fridge HFC-free fridges are also labelled as 'CFC & HFC-Free', or 'hydrocarbon fridges'. They do not contain HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), greenhouse gases with a global warming potential of around 3,200 times that of carbon dioxide.
High loading Some machinery uses the same amount of energy whether full or empty. A high loading means that it is full or almost full, which saves on energy rather than running the machine many times when almost empty. For example, dishwashers, drying ovens or autoclaves.
Instant water boiler A type of water heater that boils on demand rather than boiling a fixed amount of water. Instant water boilers use less energy than conventional hot water urns or kettles, such as Zip hydroboils (
Instant water boilers See Instant water boiler
International Labour Organisation The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the UN specialised agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognised human and labour rights. The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of conventions that set minimum standards of basic labour rights (see below for the core conventions). For more information, visit
International Labour Organisation's nine core conventions 1) Employment is freely chosen; 2) Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected; 3) Working conditions are safe and hygienic; 4) Child Labour shall not be used; 5) Living wages are paid; 6) Working hours are not excessive; 7) No discrimination is practised; 8) Regular employment is provided; 9) No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
Investing in Volunteers Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. The Standard enables organisations to comprehensively review their volunteer management, and also publicly demonstrates their commitment to volunteering.
Investors in People The Investors in People Standard is an accreditation for delivering business improvement through people.
ISO 14001 As with EMAS, ISO 14001 is a voluntary industry standard that provides a framework for organisations to manage their environmental issues. The standard focuses on organisational processes, and specifically how to manage and control a organisational system so that it continually improves the environmental aspects of its operations. ISO14001 differs from EMAS in that there is no requirement to make information publicly available.
ISO14001 See ISO 14001
Issues related to Responsible Futures ‘Issues related to Responsible Futures’ is the overarching phrase used throughout the workbook to encompass all related topics, to ensure that the variations in language at individual institutions is included. This term includes, but is not limited to, the following: environmental sustainability, social responsibility (ethics, well-being, social justice, global citizenship, moral responsibility), social and environmental responsibility, education for sustainable development, and sustainability learning. Also see 'SRS'.
Items suitable for creative play See Children's Resource Centres.
LCD monitor A Liquid Crystal Display monitor is a very thin TV-type screen that uses less energy than the equivalent CRT monitors. The technology was developed for laptop computers but is now the standard monitor supplier with new PCs.
LCD monitors See LCD monitor
LED bulbs LED or Light Emitting Diode bulbs are a new low-energy technology that have an excellent bulb life expectancy, typically over 50,000 hours. Not to be confused with plain LEDs which have a variety of uses and are often found in Students' Union nightclubs.
Lighting and equipment responsibility plan A written plan stating which individual is responsible for ensuring that specified lighting and electrical equipment is not left on unnecessarily. The plans are usually organised by building layout and cover all significant areas lit by artificial lighting (bars, shops, individual offices, washrooms, etc.), as well as electrical equipment that has a high energy consumption (air conditioning, ventilation equipment for bars, heating, CRT or cathode ray tube PC monitors, etc.).
Mains voltage Mains voltage is the voltage that the electric power supply is delivered into homes and most businesses. In the UK this is around 240 volts (compared to 220 volts on the continent). Some appliances in homes and businesses run on low voltage, meaning that a small transformer on the plug or cabling reduces the voltage to around 20 volts so that if there is an electrical fault any electrical shock will not be life threatening. This is typically the case for items that are regularly handled, such as laptops, printers, and mobile phone chargers, and also lights in bathrooms where contact with water could create an electrical shock. Voltage transformers use energy consistently when they are plugged in to a switched on socket and are a major cause of electrical leakage.
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) are a global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood. The MSC certification and ecolabelling program is for sustainable seafood. Look for the blue MSC ecolabel when shopping or dining out. For more information, visit
Maximum demand Maximum demand (often referred to as MD) is the largest amount of power supplied to a building over a given time. If a Union was to switch on all of its lights and electrical appliances at the same time, it would create a high maximum demand. In a non-air conditioned building, the greatest maximum demand often occurs at 9am on a particularly cold winter Monday morning when staff switch on lights, supplementary electric heaters and boil the kettle. Depending on your electricity contract and tariff, the larger your maximum demand, the more you will pay for your available supply capacity.
Millennium Development Goals The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) arose from the United Nations Millennium Declaration in 2000 committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015. There are eight MDGs: end poverty and hunger; universal education; gender equality; child health; maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS; environmental sustainability; global partnership.
Mixed paper There are several types of paper such as glossy magazines, newsprint, white office paper, and brown envelopes. Mixed paper refers to a combination of different paper types, rather than any one type.
Modern slavery There are an estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world today. Purposes of exploitation can range from forced prostitution and forced labour to forced marriage and forced organ removal. Here are the most common forms of modern slavery:

- Forced labour: Any work or services which people are forced to do against their will under the threat of some form of punishment.
- Debt bondage or bonded labour: The world’s most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.
- Human trafficking, involves transporting, recruiting or harbouring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.
- Descent-based slavery where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.
- Child slavery: Many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. Whilst child labour is harmful for children and hinders their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
- Forced and early marriage when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.
MSC See Marine Stewardship Council
mulching Mulching is the process of using materials to cover the soil’s surface, including bark chippings, leaf mould, well-rotted farmyard manure or crushed shells to provide nutrients for plants, lock in moisture, form a barrier against weeds and can help to insulate the roots of vulnerable plants from winter cold.
NAPM This certification is no longer in operation. Please see PEFC
National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM) This certification is no longer in operation. Please see PEFC
Natural pot plant Defined as all the plants growing in a single pot or container.
Nine core conventions See Nine core conventions of the International Labour Organisation
Nine core conventions of the International Labour Organisation 1). Employment is freely chosen; 2). Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected; 3). Working conditions are safe and hygienic; 4) Child Labour shall not be used; 5). Living wages are paid; 6). Working hours are not excessive; 7). No discrimination is practised; 8). Regular employment is provided; 9). No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
NUS sustainability skills survey Every year, we ask students about their attitudes towards sustainable development. We know that students care about sustainability. We see it from the actions thousands are taking on their campuses and in their communities.

This research makes it even more clear how much students care about sustainability. We’re now in the sixth year of conducting this research and results have stayed the same year-on-year - students care.

Research like this is part of the reason NUS does the sustainability work it does. It’s important to students, so it’s important to NUS – and we’ll continue to embed sustainability across campuses, curriculums and communities because that’s what students want.

For more information visit
NWUPC framework agreements The NWUPC provide us with a breakdown of consortia spend, so if there is an increase this has criteria has been successful.
Occupancy sensor Sensors that detect movement. Occupancy sensors (also known as motion sensors) are often used to ensure that lighting in communal areas only comes on when it is needed.
Occupancy sensors See Occupancy sensor
One Water An ethical water listed by NUS Services that raises funds for water projects in Africa. When you buy a case through one of our wholesalers you have already contributed a cash donation to the project.
Organic Organic materials are made in a way that limits the use of synthetic materials during production. Under organic production the use of harmful pesticides, insecticides and herbicides is restricted.
Organic foods See Organic
Ozone See Ozone layer
Ozone layer The ozone layer in the stratosphere blocks out the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Depletion of the ozone layer is being caused by emissions of man-made chemicals containing chlorine and bromine, specifically chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1 trichloroethane, halons and methyl bromide. As a result, holes in the layer have appeared over polar regions.
Partnership The Partnership is the collaboration between the institution (college or university) and their respective students’ union.
Patio heater Any type of gas or electric heater or heating system that is used to provide heat in a non-enclosed outdoor space. Heaters using 100% waste heat through a heat exchanger are not classed as patio heaters.
Patio heaters See Patio heater
PEFC The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) through independent third-party certification. PEFC UK was established in 2000 and is the member of PEFC International. PEFC International is an umbrella organisation that endorses national forest certification systems developed through multi-stakeholder processes and tailored to local priorities and conditions.

PEFC works throughout the entire forest supply chain to promote good practice in the forest and to ensure that timber and non-timber forest products are produced with respect for the highest ecological, social and ethical standards. Thanks to its eco-label, customers and consumers are able to identify products from sustainably managed forests.

For more information visit:
People & Planet People & Planet is the largest student network in Britain campaigning to alleviate world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. The People & Planet network consists of over 55 groups at universities and colleges; sixth form groups; individual campaigners; a support office.
Percussion taps The flow of water from a percussion tap is activated by pressing down on the top of the tap. Once the tap has been activated, water flows for a set period of time, after which it will automatically shut off.
PET PET or Polyethylene terephthalate is a clear, strong plastic that is commonly used for soft drink, water and beer bottles. It can be identified by polymer identification code number 1 (see picture). For more information on plastics recycling see
PIR system A passive infrared (PIR) sensor is an electronic sensor that measures infrared light radiating from objects in its field of view. It can detect movement of people in a room to automatically activate a lighting system when there are people present.
Planogram A planogram is a diagram of fixtures and products that illustrates how and where retail products should be displayed, usually on a store shelf in order to increase customer purchases. Planograms are available to members of the Retail Opt-In Group.
Poly-wrap Poly-wrap is the clear material often used as an alternative to envelopes.
Pool bike system A workplace pool bike system provides bikes, which are well-maintained and safe to ride, and safety equipment for employees to use. Pool bikes can be offered to employees for any kind of journey, but are typically used for work related trips, such as local meetings, travel between sites and visiting clients. Generally pool bikes are kept in a central location and can be booked out by any staff member who is competent to cycle safely on public roads.
Poster Fatigue Poster Fatigue occurs when posters start to blend into the background and thus lose their effectiveness.
pot plant Defined as all the plants growing in a single pot or container.
Pot plants Defined as all the plants growing in a single pot or container.
Power-saving mode A setting that causes a computer (or other electrical equipment) to enter a low energy use mode after a set period of time. Computers with a Windows operating system usually have the settings for power saving modes alongside the screensaver options, accessed by right mouse clicking on the desktop.
Primary research Primary research is new research, carried out by the union (or partners in the institution) to answer specific issues or questions. It can involve questionnaires, surveys or interviews with individuals or small groups. This is defined as opposed to secondary research which makes use of information previously researched for other purposes and/or that which is publicly available.
Pro-environmental behaviour change project A behaviour change project supports a step change in behaviours that can be measured, using a baseline from before the project starts and monitoring through out - i.e. using electricity meter data to measure a reduction in electricity use in a building as a result of a project designed to raise awareness of energy saving actions that changes building user activity over time.
Product category Categories containing Fairtrade options are classed as follows: Biscuits; Cakes & brownies; Cereals & cereal bars; Clothing; Chocolate; Coffees; Dried fruits; Drinking chocolate and cocoa; Fresh fruits; Fruit Juices and Soft Drinks; Honey; Ice Cream; Rice; Sugar; Sweets; Teas; Wine.
Rainforest Alliance The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Those businesses that meet the standards for their field earn access to the Rainforest Alliance family of marks, which distinguish their products and services in the marketplace. These marks make it easy for consumers to identify a legitimately sustainable product or service and support those businesses that are acting responsibly.
For more information visit:
rainwater harvesting Rainwater harvesting allows you to capture the rain in a water butt or other device to use for your garden or other activities. This is a more environmentally friendly way of sourcing water as it is naturally transported to you and requires no energy for extraction.
Red Tractor A quality mark and product certification programme that compromises a number of farm assurance schemes for food products, animal feed and fertilizer. The mark is licensed by Assured Food Standards, a British organisation that promotes and regulates food quality. For more information, please visit:
Renewable energy Renewable energy is energy that is derived from an inexhaustible (wind, sun, sea) or replaceable (waste products, crops) source.
Reporting period A reporting period should cover a complete calendar year. For the purposes of the Green Impact Students' Unions the start date of the reporting period does not matter. i.e. It doesn't matter whether it is from June to June or January to January, so long as it is a full calendar year.
Responsible Futures Responsible Futures is NUS's externally-assessed accreditation mark to assist all institutions in helping students to gain the skills and experience they need to thrive as global citizens. You can find out more about the programme here |
Retail Opt-in Group Retail Opt-In Group is a student focused promotional programme available through NUS Services. It is designed to support Unions who want to develop their retail outlets and compete effectively with the high-street. Members of Retail Opt-In Group have access to a number of industry standard retail activities which are proven to drive footfall, increase sales, encourage loyalty and maximise profitability.
Return to supplier Some companies offer 'return to supplier' schemes for old equipment (primarily WEEE), where they take back to old equipment when they deliver new equipment. Often it is recycled or reused for parts. Similar options are also often available for packaging, where the supplier will take back unwanted packaging after delivery of a piece of equipment. Also known as a take back scheme. The government now has a WEEE Distributor Take back Scheme (DTS) that companies can join instead of taking the waste back themselves.
Reusable plastic drinking vessels Plastic drinking vessels that are manufactured from toughened unexpanded polystyrene. They are shatterproof, have thick walled construction for durability, reinforced rims and bases and are usually dishwasher safe to withstand in excess of 100 cycles at 100oC.
Reuse scheme Any charitable or community project that makes use of items that would otherwise go to waste. Examples include the Children's Resource Centre network (, Community Repaint ( and Computer Aid (
Roller towels A towel with the ends sewn together, hung on a roller. These are provided and serviced by a number of national organisations, such as PHS.
RSPCA Assured RSPCA Assured, previously Freedom Food, is the RSPCA’s ethical food label dedicated to farm animal welfare. This label makes it easy to recognise products from animals that have been reared and treated according to the RSPCA's animal welfare standards. It is the only UK farm assurance scheme to focus solely on improving the welfare of farm animals reared for food. For more information visit
SBA Stands for Sustainable Behavioural Assistant, this is a dedicated individual and resource who coordinates Green Impact within the organisation to achieve maximum outreach and overall impact for the programme.
School Switch Off Inter-school energy saving competition.
Scope 3 Emissions Are indirect emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, or transport-related activities.
Screen-printed See Screen-printing
Screen-printing Clothing that has been printed with logos or motifs. For our members this is typically t-shirts and hooded tops printed with university branding for resale in Students' Unions shops. NUS Services supplies Fairtrade screen-printed clothing through Epona ( and Certified organic screen printed clothing through Orotoro (, which is available through T-Print.
Seasonal produce Growing fruit and vegetables in season requires lower levels of artificial inputs like heating, lighting, pesticides and fertilisers than at other times of the year. Therefore seasonable produce has a lower environmental impact.
Separately metered A building or unit that has its own metered supply. This can be for electricity, gas or water.
Seven-day timer plug Timer plugs can be programmed to switch the power supply to appliances on and off at set times. Seven-day digital timer plugs, such as the Timeguard ETU17, are particularly useful for switching off office appliances that are not needed overnight and at weekends, such as tea urns and laser printers. The plugs have battery back-up for power cuts. It is best practice to set the plugs to come on at least an hour before required, and to go off at least an hour later than required so that you do not have to reset them when the clocks go forward or backwards.
seven-day timer plugs See Seven-day timer plug
Skype A webpage that allows you to make free calls from your computer to other people on Skype. You can find out more at
Slow Food Slow Food is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. For more information visit
SMART action plan A written action plan that contains targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, resourced and timed.
Smart meter A smart meter is an advanced meter (usually an electrical meter) that records consumption in intervals of an hour or less and reports or communicates the information.
Smart meters See Smart meter
SMART targets Targets that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resourced and Timed.
Snap it Off See Snap It Off!
Snap It Off! NUS's competition catalysing students to reduce energy waste through photos uploaded to the website.
Solar gain Solar gain (also known as solar heat gain or passive solar gain) refers to the increase in temperature in a space, object or structure that results from solar radiation. In summer, solar gain resulting from light coming in through the window may mean air conditioning has to work harder to maintain a cooler temperature.
Sound Ethical Choice NUS Services reward scheme for its most ethical and environmentally responsible suppliers. Unions with retail outlets can sign up to the scheme for free, and will receive a point of sale kit once a year to help promote the Sound products in their shops.
Split air conditioning The most common residential split-system air conditioner is an air conditioning unit made up of two units — an outside unit, the compressor, and an inside air outlet unit, usually referred to as the “wall hung head unit”. The two units are connected by pipes that carry refrigerant. It can be used for cooling or heating. You can find out more here.
Split air-conditioning See split air conditioning.
Split system air conditioning See split air conditioning.
Split system air-conditioning See split air conditioning.
Spray heads A shower-type tap head. These are especially useful for Unions with high water pressure as they reduce the volume of water let through taps (also see percussion taps). Spray heads might not be suitable for Unions that have problems with lime scale deposits caused by hard water.
SRS SRS stands for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. We use it when we talk about the SRS issues (e.g. climate change, poverty, Fairtrade, etc.), rather than the educational issues relating to them (education for sustainable development, etc.), which we typically cover with the phrase 'issues related to Responsible Futures'.
Student Eats Student Eats is a project led by the NUS, supporting institutions across the UK in cultivating their own student-led growing sites for fruit and vegetables. As more and more students become interested in growing their own produce, as well as being conscientious of the ethical and environmental impact of their food choices, Student Eats is a great opportunity to grow, eat and share food which is organic, nutritious, fresh, local, low-carbon and – most importantly of all – delicious!For more information visit the Student Eats website.
Student Switch Off Student Switch Off is a campaign that encourages students to save energy in their halls of residence.
sustainability champion A sustainability champion is an employee that actively champions sustainability within their department or the whole organisation.
Sustainability Support Package The Sustainability Support Package offers a bundle of services and programmes. For more details please visit NUS' sustainability website.
Sustainable local food Sustainable local food covers a number of elements; locally produced food, seasonal food, supporting certified produce and eating less meat. Although eating food from a long way away doesn't automatically mean it has a bigger carbon footprint than locally produced food, it is generally a good way to reduce carbon emissions. Eating seasonally means that less energy (e.g. through heat, light or refrigeration) has been used in its production and storage. Buying food grown outdoors, locally and in season can help reduce emissions, because it doesn't need heated greenhouses. Food certification schemes can help you identify food products that are less harmful to the environment (e.g. LEAF, Freedom Foods, Organic, Marine Stewardship Council). Meat and dairy foods have a much bigger effect on climate change and the environment than most grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables. For advice on what foods are in season at what times, please see
T12 tubes T12 tubes are the most inefficient type of fluorescent tube and are noticeably thicker than T8 tubes. Although they come in various different lengths, they all have a diameter of 38mm.
T5 tubes The 'T' number refers to the diameter of the tube. The lower the 'T' number, the more modern and efficient the tube is. T5 is simply a collective term for 16mm diameter fluorescent light tubes. T5 tubes are the most efficient light tubes currently available for office lighting (there are T2 tubes available, but these are not used for office lighting), and are not very common yet. T5 tubes are noticeably thinner than T8 tubes.
T8 tubes T8 tubes are the most common fluorescent tube in use in Students' Unions. Although they come in various different lengths, they all have a diameter of 26mm (1 inch). T8 fluorescent tubes typically provide 40% energy savings with no loss of light over T12 tubes.
Take back scheme Similar to a return to supplier scheme for packaging. The government has a Distributor Take back Scheme (DTS) that companies can join instead of taking the waste back themselves.
Teleconference A teleconference is a phone call comprising three or more participants on separate lines. You do not need a special phone to join a teleconference, you just need to dial a pre-arranged number also given to other participants.
Teleconferencing See Teleconference
The Age of Stupid The Age of Stupid is a drama-documentary-animation hybrid in which Pete Postlethwaite stars as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watching ‘archive' footage from 2008 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance? For more information visit: or
Thermostatic radiator valve A thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) is usually located on the pipe work at the top or bottom of your radiator. It gives you greater control over the heat from each individual radiator. Each TRV can be set to a temperature to suit you, so you can have different temperatures in different rooms. If one room warms up quickly (such as if the sun is shining in to the room), the TRV will reduce the flow of hot water to the radiator and prevent the room from being overheated.
Thermostatic radiator valves See Thermostatic radiator valve
Timer plugs Timer plugs can be programmed to switch the power supply to appliances on and off at set times. Seven-day digital timer plugs, such as the Timeguard ETU17, are particularly useful for switching off office appliances that are not needed overnight and at weekends, such as tea urns and laser printers. They can also be used to switch off bottle chillers in bars that are used only occasionally, but are used on the same evenings on a regular basis. The plugs have battery back-up for power cuts. It is best practice to set the plugs to come on at least an hour before required, and to go off at least an hour later than required so that you do not have to reset them when the clocks go forward or backwards.
Travel Plan A travel plan is a package of actions designed by a workplace, school or other organisation to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options. By reducing car travel, Travel Plans can improve health and wellbeing, free up carparking space, and make a positive contribution to the community and the environment.
TRV See Thermostatic radiator valve
Tube adaptor A small adaptor fitting that allows you to fit an efficient thin T5 tube into an existing wider T8 or T12 fitting. For information on how to fit these visit this website: For an example of a British manufacturer selling tube adaptors follow this link:
Tungsten filament bulbs An electric light in which a filament is heated to incandescence by an electric current. Tungsten filament bulbs are much less efficient than compact fluorescent bulbs. Halogen downlights/spotlights are a type of tungsten filament bulb.
Unbreakable plastic drinking vessels Plastic drinking vessels that are manufactured from polycarbonate to withstand in excess of 500 uses. These include all of the features of the re-usable plastic drinking vessels with the added benefit of withstanding in excess of 300 dishwasher cycles.
Unregulated urinals Urinals that flush at a regular interval regardless of whether the urinal has been used. Unregulated urinals waste significant volumes of water by flushing unnecessarily.
upcycling Upcycling is taking the act of taking something no longer in use and it a second function and a new lease of life.
Vegetable-based inks Some of the pigments used in ink contain metallic substances, such as cadmium, lead and mercury, which are harmful to the environment. Conventional printing inks are petroleum-based used with alcohol-based solvents leading to the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are an atmospheric pollutant reacting with nitrogen oxides to create ozone pollution and smog. Vegetable-based inks are made from plant products and have lower rates of VOC emissions, are biodegradable and are easier to remove from paper for recycling.
Vehicle Excise Duty band All new cars are classed in one of six bands based on their fuel efficiency (bands A to F, with A being the most fuel efficient). These bands have been used to create a Fuel Economy Label for all new cars similar to the European Energy Label.
Vehicle Excise Duty bands See Vehicle Excise Duty band
Video-conference A video conference is a televised meeting held over two locations. Each meeting site has a video camera and a large TV screen so that each party can see the participants from the other site. You need special video-conference facilities to hold a video-conference. A cheap version of video-conferencing is using webcams and Skype, but this is only really suitable for meetings with a small number of participants.
Video-conferencing See Video-conference
Voltage optimisation A term used to describe the reduction of voltage. The lower the voltage the dimmer your tungsten filament bulbs and the slower your electric motors will run, therefore saving energy. Voltage can be reduced in two ways: 1) If your voltage is in excess of 240v and you are supplied through a dedicated transformer you may be able to get your energy supplier to tap down your transformer to 240v. 2) Alternatively you can fit a voltage optimiser to your input cable - such as a Powerperfector - and reduce it down as far as you want (216v is a recommended level) although these typically cost around £10,000.
Volvic 1L-for-10L For every 1 litre bottle of Volvic sold, Danone will generate 10 Litres of drinkable water in Africa. In Partnership with World Vision, Danone have committed to building and mechanising wells in Ghana, Malawi, Mali & Zambia. In addition to safe drinking water, the project impacts on many other aspects of daily life in these villages including health and sanitation, education and irrigation. The wells will be operational for at least 10 years with local people trained to use and maintain them, leaving a long lasting sustainable legacy. World Vision estimates that in the first year of the project 98,000 people benefitted.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive came into force fully on 01 July 2007 and puts the responsibility for disposal of electrical equipment with the manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, requiring them to dispose of unwanted items in an environmentally-friendly manner. There are 10 different categories of equipment defined as WEEE: Large household appliances; Small household appliances; IT and telecommunications equipment; Consumer equipment; Lighting equipment; Electrical and electronic tools; Toys, leisure and sports equipment; Medical devices; Monitoring and control equipment; Automatic dispensers. For more information on how this directive may affect your organisation please follow this link:
Waste hierarchy The waste hierarchy states that it is better to reduce than reuse, to reuse than recycle, to recycle than to dispose.
Waste office paper Office paper that has been separated to ensure that it is only good quality white paper - such as copier paper, letter paper, etc. Other paper types, such as glossy magazines, newsprint and brown envelopes have been segregated.
Waste transfer note A waste transfer note is a document which must be completed and accompany any transfer of waste between different holders.
Waste transfer notes See Waste transfer note
Wastes A waste is any substance which constitutes a scrap material or an effluent or other unwanted surplus substance arising from the application of any process. There are four categories of waste: Directive Waste; Controlled waste; Special waste; and Hazardous Waste.
Water saving device Flow restrictors are devices that restrict the flushing of cisterns. Flush control valves ensure that urinal cisterns are only topped up when hand basins are used, meaning that flush frequency is proportional to use. These are often made by a Cistermiser.
Water saving devices See Water saving device
Water saving valve Water saving valves can cut water flow by 70%, and will have associated heat savings for hot water. They are especially useful for Unions with high water pressure. The CP961 water saving valve is produced by Cottam and Preedy
Water saving valves See Water saving valve
Water Technology List A list of water-efficient equipment that qualifies for tax-breaks through the Government's Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme
waterless offset printed see waterless offset printing
waterless offset printing A new printing technology that does not use a fountain solution, thus not using the vast quantities of water used in conventional printing. Visit or
Waterless urinal A special fluid is held in the trap of the urinal that allows urine to pass through but continuously seals the drainage from the atmosphere, preventing any odours from emerging. The absence of water flushing saves substantial volumes of water.
Waterless urinals See Waterless urinal
WEEE WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. In 2006 the government introduced regulations surrounding this items to ensure that producers are required to take financial responsibility for the environmental impact of products they place on the market, especially when
those products become waste. For more information please visit:
Whole lifecycle costing A method of determining the costs associated with a given product over the expected lifecycle of that product. Whole lifecycle costing is especially useful in justifying investment in high efficiency or high quality technology. The method can include examining any direct running costs, indirect costs, administration costs, and costs of disposal. For more info, visit
Whole lifecycle costings See Whole lifecycle costing
Wildlife-friendly milk Milk from farms that actively sustain and encourage biodiversity. Examples include White and Wild ( and Waitrose Select Farm Milk (
Workers Rights Consortium The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is an independent, labour rights monitoring organization. It conducts investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. They aim to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who make apparel and other products.
Wormery A Wormery is a plastic or wooden container that contains composting worms. A compost worm differs from a normal garden worm in that it eats and lives on the decaying foods on the surface, whereas a garden worm burrows deep into the ground.
Zip Hydroboil A type of water heater that boils on demand.
Zip Hydroboils See Zip Hydroboil