Glossary

The GPT Group fitout. Photo by Tyrone Branigan Photography courtesty of Arup

All terms defined here are marked with an asterisk throughout the report and the Decision Support Tool.


Glossary
Activity Based Working (ABW) Activity Based Working (ABW) is a term coined by corporate real estate professionals and is a result of the management style evolution. ABW focuses on a cultural management style shift away from tight control to flexible management and working arrangements. No longer will your manager expect to see you at your desk to know that you’re working. The workplace of the future will encourage you to roam the office and interact with others.
Adaptation Adaptation consists of actions undertaken to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change, as well as to harness any beneficial opportunities. Adaptation actions aim to reduce the impacts of climate stresses on human and natural systems. Adaptation presents new challenges for business and policy decision-makers: it will take time to build the skills and knowledge on how best to adapt and for implementation of decisions to make a difference.
Biocapacity Biocapacity is the capacity of an area to provide resources and absorb wastes. When the area’s ecological footprint exceeds its biocapacity, unsustainability occurs.
BioRegional BioRegional is an award-winning social enterprise which initiates and delivers practical sustainability solutions through partnerships around the world. We assist and encourage others to achieve sustainability through consultancy, education and informing policy.
British Standards Institution (BSI) BSI (British Standards Institution) is a global organisation that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence.
Brown bag lunches Brown bag lunches are informal staff gatherings. Staff are asked to bring in their own lunch and commit their lunchbreak to a meeting.
Building Energy Efficiency Act 2010 An Act to promote the disclosure of information about the energy efficiency of buildings, and for related purposes.
Building Management Systems (BMS) A Building Management System (BMS) is a computer system that monitors building services such as mechanical ventilation, cooling, heating and lighting systems, and controls when these services should start and stop, how fast motors should run, or when lights should be dimmed. BMSs are an important part of monitoring and controlling energy use in large buildings.
Carbon Disclosure Project Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) works to transform the way the world does business to prevent dangerous climate change and protect our natural resources.
Carbon emissions A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. [1] The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
Carbon footprint A carbon footprint has historically been defined by Championne as “the total sets of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organisation, event, product or person.
Carbon neutral Carbon neutral is a term used to describe fuels that neither contribute to nor reduce the amount of carbon (measured in the release of carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere.
Carbon Offset Watch Carbon Offset Watch independently assesses the quality of products and services offered in the Australian voluntary carbon market.
Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) A Chief Sustainability Officer is the corporate title of an executive position within a corporation that is in charge of the corporation’s environmental programmes.
Commercial Building Disclosure Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) is a national program designed to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings.
C-suite A widely-used slang term used to collectively refer to a corporation’s senior executives. C-Suite gets its name because top senior executives’ titles tend to start with the letter C, for chief, as in chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief information officer. Throughout the report, access to C-suite reflects the need to access Board level decisions.
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Defra is the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on the environment, food and rural affairs.
Diversion Waste diversion or landfill diversion is the process of diverting waste from landfills. The success of landfill diversion can be measured by comparison of the size of the landfill from one year to the next.
eLearning E-learning refers to the use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education. E-learning is broadly inclusive of all forms of educational technology in learning and teaching.
EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH works with clients worldwide to apply the Cradle to Cradle methodology to the design of new processes, products and services. Materials are applied with respect for their intrinsic value and their useful afterlife in recycled or even ‘upcycled’ products, which have value and technological sophistication that may be higher than that of their original use.
FTSE FTSE Group (FTSE) is a world-leader in the provision of global index and analytical solutions. FTSE calculates indices across a wide range of asset classes, on both a standard and custom basis. FTSE indices are used extensively by investors worldwide for investment analysis, performance measurement, asset allocation, portfolio hedging and the creation of a wide range of index derivatives, funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and other structured products.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) was established in 2002 and is a national, non-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable property industry in Australia by driving the adoption of green building practices through market-based solutions. Its key objectives are to drive the transition of the Australian property industry towards: sustainability by promoting green building programs, technologies, design practices and operations; and integration of green building initiatives into mainstream design, construction and operation of buildings.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organisation that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability. GRI provides all companies and organisations with a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world.
Green lease A ‘Green’ lease is a lease containing conditions governing the management and operation of a building or tenancy to encourage environmentally sustainable operation of the building/tenancy, through control of the consumption of energy and water, and management of waste.
Green Star Scheme Green Star is a voluntary, independent rating system owned and operated by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), and is Australia’s mark of quality for the design and construction of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. The Green Star rating tools assess building or community projects against a number of categories.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse gas is a natural part of the atmosphere. It absorbs solar radiation and keeps the earth warm enough to support life. Human activities including burning fossil fuels for energy, land clearing and agriculture have increased the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere through extra emissions.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions. The GHG Protocol, a decade-long partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, is working with businesses, governments, and environmental groups around the world to build a new generation of credible and effective programs for tackling climate change.
Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) IEQ factors include temperature, humidity, air movement, ventilation rates, air quality, daylight, artificial lighting, sound and acoustics. All of these factors interact to determine comfort, productivity and health outcomes for occupants.
Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) ISCA aims to enhance the liveability and productivity of our major cities and our regional communities through advancing sustainability in infrastructure planning, procurement, delivery and operation.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. International Standards give state of the art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective. Developed through global consensus, they help to break down barriers to international trade.
IS Rating Scheme The IS rating scheme for infrastructure is developed and administered by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA).  IS is Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure.
ISO14001 The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management. It provides practical tools for companies and organisations looking to identify and control their environmental impact and constantly improve their environmental performance. ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004 focus on environmental management systems. The other standards in the family focus on specific environmental aspects such as life cycle analysis, communication and auditing.Achieving ISO 14001 accreditation for your business provides an auditable framework within which to continually improve the firm’s environmental performance.  Firms should consider if ISO14001 is a legal requirement to participate in certain projects, will a lack of accreditation result in the failure to win tenders, It is also worth considering if ISO 14001 can be integrated with existing management systems (quality, health and safety etc.) or to what extent to internal systems need to be changed?
ISO14064 ISO 14064-1:2006 specifies principles and requirements at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. It includes requirements for the design, development, management, reporting and verification of an organisation’s GHG inventory.
ISO15686 ISO 15686-1:2011 identifies and establishes general principles for service life planning and a systematic framework for undertaking service life planning of a planned building or construction work throughout its life cycle (or remaining life cycle for existing buildings or construction works).
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organisation.
kWh The kilowatt hour, or kilowatt-hour, (symbol kW·h, kW h or kWh) is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours or 3.6 megajoules. For constant power, energy in watt hours is the product of power in watts and time in hours. The kilowatt hour is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities.
Light shelf A light shelf is an architectural element that allows daylight to penetrate deep into a building. This horizontal light-reflecting overhang is placed above eye-level and has a high-reflectance upper surface. This surface is then used to reflect daylight onto the ceiling and deeper into a space.

Light shelves are typically used in high-rise and low-rise office buildings, as well as institutional buildings.

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry LLC McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) is a global sustainability consulting firm founded in 1995 by world-renowned architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart, the co-authors of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make things.
Mitigation Mitigation involves actions that are intended to reduce the magnitude of our contribution to climate change. It includes strategies to reduce greenhouse gas sources and emissions and enhance greenhouse gas sinks.
National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. Put simply, NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment.
NABERS ratings Accredited NABERS ratings are formal ratings performed by NABERS Accredited Assessors, and certified by the NABERS National Administrator, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

 

NABERS Energy rates the energy efficiency of an office base building, whole building or tenancy by comparing its measured energy consumption against a set of benchmarks developed using actual building performance data.

 

NABERS Waste allows you to compare the waste generation and recycling performance of your office building or tenancy relative to similar premises in the market place and is the first step in reducing your impact on the environment.

 

NABERS Water measures the water consumption of an office building on a scale of one to six stars reflecting the performance of the building relative to the market, from least efficient (one star) to market leading (six stars). Two and a half stars is the current market average.

Publicly Available Specification (PAS) A Publicly Available Specification (PAS) is a sponsored fast-track standard driven by the needs of the client organisations and developed according to guidelines set out by BSI (British Standards Institution).
Reconciliation Action Plan Through the Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program, organisations develop business plans that document what they will do within their sphere of influence to contribute to reconciliation in Australia. These RAPs outlines practical actions the organisation will take to build strong relationships and enhanced respect between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.
Retrofit Retrofitting is the process of modifying something after it has been manufactured. For buildings, this means making changes to the systems inside the building or even the structure itself at some point after its initial construction and occupation.
Return on Investment (ROI) A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment; the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio.
rEvolutions rEvolutions is an internal program that gives staff at Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) a better understanding of what sustainability means in their day-to-day work. rEvolutions is designed as a starting point that encourages our people to think, discuss and apply sustainability principles in their work and projects. A project to ‘maintain momentum’ for those who had already been through the program began before the end of the financial year.<
The SIGMA Project The SIGMA Project – Sustainability – Integrated Guidelines for Management – was launched in 1999 with the support of the UK Department of Trade and Industry. It is a partnership between the British Standards Institution (the leading standards organisation), Forum for the Future (a leading sustainability charity and think-tank), and AccountAbility (the international professional body for accountability).
Smart meters A smart meter is an electronic meter for electricity that has a capability for remote communication. Most small electricity customers (less than 160MWh per year) still have their consumption measured by traditional ‘accumulation’ meters. These meters generally record total consumption over three month period.
Social Accountability International Social Accountability International (SAI) is a non-governmental, multi-stakeholder organisation whose mission is to advance the human rights of workers around the world. It partners to advance the human rights of workers and to eliminate sweatshops by promoting ethical working conditions, labor rights, corporate social responsibility and social dialogue.
Sub-metering Utility Submetering is the implementation of a system that allows a landlord, property management firm, condominium association, homeowners association, or other multi-tenant property to bill tenants for individual measured utility usage.[citation needed] The approach makes use of individual water meters, gas meters, or electricity meters per the relevant utility.
Sustainability charter A sustainability guidance document by which all firm employees abide. The Charter may be extended to other stakeholders such as clients and building tenants.
Sustainability 101 document and induction process? A sustainability 101 document would be used by a firm to provide a basic introduction and overview (particularly new and prospective employees) on the fundamental aim, vision, initiatives and processes for sustainability within that firm.
Third party energy efficiency ratings Independent rating schemes such as: NABERS, Green Star, and GRI.
Unconscious bias Unconscious bias refers to social stereotypes about certain groups of people that are formed outside one’s own consciousness.
Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) formerly the Voluntary Carbon Standard is a quality standard for voluntary carbon offset industry. Based on the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism, VCS establishes criteria for validating, measuring, and monitoring carbon offset projects.
Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) WELS is Australia’s water efficiency labelling scheme that requires certain products to be registered and labelled with their water efficiency in accordance with the standard set under the national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) The WBCSD is a CEO-led organisation of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment.  Together with its members, the council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action.
World Resources Institutes The World Resources Institute (WRI) focuses on the intersection of the environment and socio-economic development. We go beyond research to put ideas into action, working globally with governments, business, and civil society to build transformative solutions that protect the earth and improve people’s lives.
World Wildlife Fund WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world’s leading, independent conservation organisation. Founded in 1961 we are active in over 100 countries and have close to five million supporters internationally.