’s green glossary is an ever-growing list of constantly updated key sustainable business terms for sustainability professionals (so don’t mind the date and time stamp above).

If you feel that we’re missing something, we appreciate you letting us know by adding it as a comment at the bottom.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | OP-Q | R | S | T | U-V-W-X-Y-Z


Habitat – the living space occupied by a plant or animal. For instance, grizzly bear habitat usually consists of forested and mountainous areas in the northwestern part of North America.

Hemp – one of the most versatile fibers in the world. Hemp can be a key component of books and other paper products, rope, jewelry, food products, bags, and clothing.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – a processed food product that’s come under fire from many in the health community in recent years. It’s used as a sweetener, but may create unhealthy insulin spikes that have become associated with unhealthy eating patterns.

Hybrid – a term used to describe the technology in which a car is capable of being run on gas or electricity from a battery. The best example and best-selling hybrid car in history is perhaps the Toyota Prius. This technology changed the automotive game, driving up fuel efficiency substantially.

Hydroelectricity – energy that is produced by turbines being turned with water that is passing through a them. Most commonly, hydroelectricity is produced by large dams that back rivers up and create artificial reservoirs, so that a municipality can use the water when electricity is needed. Hydroelectricity is not without its environmental challenges, however, as large lakes can destroy a lot of habitat and actually act as a large producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Hydrofluorocarbons – HFC’s are used in mainly in the semiconductor industry as a solvent or cleaner. They are potent greenhouse gases when released, with estimates by climate scientists that they may be thousands of times more capable of trapping heat than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.


Have a suggestion for a term, organization or concept to add to our glossary? Send it along! Email info at with the subject line “glossary”. Thanks for helping us make this a great community resource!


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About The Author

Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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