’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


Interfaith Power & Light – a “religious response to global warming”, Interfaith Power & Light works with congregations around the world who see the need to preserve all of creation. Currently serving over 14,000 congregations of all denominations and faiths, IP&L helps create energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste reduction, and community engagement programs around sustainability. See more at

Invasive species – a term used to describe a plant or animal species that has moved beyond its usual habitat, usually with the unintended (or intended) assistance of man. The brown tree snake is a great example of what can go wrong when an invasive species moves into an area. Perhaps coming into Guam in a shipping container at some point, the brown tree snake quickly spread across the previously snake-less island, and eliminated all but a few of the bird species that had evolved on that island for thousands of years without having to adapt to snake predators eating their eggs.

IPCC – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is commissioned by the United Nations as a collaborative group of scientists that was formed in 1988. The group has met regularly and published thousands of scientific, peer-reviewed articles on climate change, and overwhelmingly, the consensus is that man is causing climate change, and that it is getting worse. The IPCC plays a critical role in evaluating how to slow climate change and how to mitigate its effects. When and if you hear of uncertainty in the scientific community regarding climate change, it is typically scientists hired by oil companies that are making claims contrary to what the IPCC is saying. The IPCC is not funded by corporate interests, meaning their research is not hindered by any corporate agenda, and thus, should suggest a higher level of sophistication and trust.



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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