What does 'sustainability' mean to you? Is it leading a 'green' lifestyle to do your bit to reduce carbon footprint? Is it supporting businesses that promote the transition towards circular economy? How do we identify greenwashing in our journey to combat climate change? What role does alternative proteins, reducing food waste and food loss, and stakeholder capitalism play in this individual and collective journey? Who are climate migrants and the vulnerable populations amongst us?
Our Sustainability Glossary is an attempt to break down key concepts and trends related to sustainability, which we define as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Check out our glossary and stay informed on your everyday decision-making to contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world!
Today plant-based protein accounts for the largest market share, with 2020 being a record year for plant-based, lab-grown meat, and sustainable protein companies. This increase can be attributed to health and environmental concerns, as well as ethical concerns about animal welfare.
Food Waste & Food Loss
The United Nations’ Environmental Programme differentiates between “food loss” and “food waste”. Food loss is the food that is spilled, spoiled, or wasted, and it normally occurs at the production or processing stage, before the food produce reaches the consumer. Food waste, on the other hand, refers to the food that reaches the consumption stage but is discarded before its consumption due to spoilage. It is estimated that about one-third of the food produced globally for human consumption (approximately 1.3 billion tonnes!) gets lost or wasted. At the same time, world hunger is on the rise and it affects 8.9% of the global population, with 690 million people being undernourished.
聯合國環境規劃署區分“食物損失”和“食物浪費”。 食物損失通常發生在生產或加工階段。在食物產品到達消費者手中之前產生的食物溢出、變質或浪費。 另一方面，食物垃圾是指到達消費階段但由於變質而在消費前被丟棄的食物。 據估計，全球生產的供人類消費的食品中約有三分之一（約 13 億噸！）丟失或浪費。 與此同時，世界飢餓現象正在上升，它影響到全球 8.9% 的人口，有 6.9 億人營養不良。
A plant-based diet is a diet of holistic foods derived from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, oils etc. A person who follows a plant-based diet does not necessarily mean that (s)he does not eat any animal products, but rather that the majority of the food that (s)he consumes comes from the plants.
A plant-based diet covers a spectrum that includes the flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan diets. A flexitarian diet contains small amounts of animal products. A pescatarian diet does not include meat but only fish. A vegetarian diet excludes fish and meat, while a vegan diet excludes all animal-derived products (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey etc.).
However, not all plant-based foods are healthy foods. There are loads of processed and packaged foods that are “plant-based” but not beneficial for our health, such as products that contain refined sugar, white flour, and certain vegetable fats. When planning for a plant-based diet, always include “whole foods”, which are natural, minimally processed, and unrefined.
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emission from daily activities such as electricity consumption, transportation, waste disposal, product import etc. The carbon footprint of each individual, company, or country varies, depending on individual choices on things like the amount of products consumed, the type of energy used etc
Carbon offset is used to reduce the amount of carbon that an individual or institution emits into the atmosphere. Carbon offset schemes are typically favoured by individuals or companies who, instead of devising ways to reduce their carbon footprints, prefer to pay an offset company or invest in environmental projects to balance out their carbon footprints. Examples of carbon offset projects include nature conservation (e.g., planting trees), renewable energy (e.g., increasing access to solar power), waste-to-energy (e.g., building biogas digester). Carbon offset programmes are an issue of debate due to the often lack of transparency and accountability of these projects, which puts into doubt whether the investments are really creating positive social and environmental impact.
A carbon sink is anything that absorbs more atmospheric carbon than it releases. Examples include plants and forests, soil, and oceans. The ocean is one of the biggest carbon sinks thanks to phytoplankton, which absorb as much carbon as the plants and trees on land combined.
碳匯是吸收大氣中碳量大於釋放量的任何物質。 例子包括植物和森林、土壤和海洋。 海洋是最大的碳匯之一，這要歸功於浮游植物，它們吸收的碳與陸地上的植物和樹木的總和一樣多。
Carbon is essential for life on our planet. Carbon flows between different places on Earth. For example, when a plant photosynthesizes, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and when this plant dies, the carbon dioxide that it had absorbed goes into the soil and is then released back into the atmosphere through the process of decomposition. This process is known as the carbon cycle.
碳對我們地球上的生命至關重要。 碳會在地球上不同地方之間流動。 例如，當植物進行光合作用時，它會從大氣中吸收二氧化碳。當植物死亡時，它所吸收的二氧化碳會流入土壤，然後通過分解過程釋放回大氣中。 這個過程被稱為碳循環。
Carbon Dioxide Emissions
A naturally occurring heat-trapping gas, carbon dioxide is released through human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, land-use changes, and other industrial processes, but also through natural processes such as volcanic eruptions. It is the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas that affects the Earth’s radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured and therefore has a Global Warming Potential of 1. See climate change and global warming.
Polluting carbon substances released into atmosphere: carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide produced by motor vehicles and industrial processes and forming pollutants in the atmosphere
Economy & Business
Circular Economy vs Linear Economy
System of production and consumption that promotes the reduction of waste, reuse and repair of materials, and the regeneration of natural resources.
Also known as the take-make-waste model, the linear economic model takes resources from nature to make products for consumption, before they are disposed of as waste. This economic model is one of the main causes of the various social and environmental problems we see today.
循環經濟 vs 線性經濟
Greenwashing is thedeceptive or misleading use of advertising and marketing to overstate or make unsubstantiated claims about an organization’s environmental or sustainable practices. It is a practice used by companies that want to capitalise on the growing consumer demand for sustainable products and services, without having to do the hard work of implementing sustainable business practices, and tracking their actual impact by data.
The Green Premium is the additional cost that consumers pay when they buy a product that emits fewer greenhouse gases. Let’s say that we want to buy a gallon of jet fuel and it costs $2, while the jet biofuels cost $5. The $3 difference between these two is the Green Premium.
Green Premiums can help us measure the progress that we make towards the reduction of carbon emissions. However, calculating Green Premium is not always simple, and the Green Premium does not always reflect the social or environmental costs.
GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. The GDP of a country is highly likely to increase, when the total value of exports to other countries exceeds the total value of imports from other countries. GDP is widely used by policy-makers, investors, and businesses in strategic decision-making.
However, GDP has many weaknesses. First, it does not take into consideration the value of informal economic activities. Moreover, GDP only considers material output and it completely ignores a nation’s development or the population’s wellbeing. For example, a country may be witnessing a rapid growth of its GDP but this growth may be at the expense of the environment and it may lead to a rapid increase of the inequality levels. Furthermore, GDP ignores business-to-business activities as it only considers final goods that are produced and the new capital investments that are made. Additionally, GDP does not take into account the profits that overseas companies earn. In some cases, increases in GDP may not even be a positive thing. For example, after a natural disaster or war, rebuilding activities normally surge, and this can lead to an increase in the GDP, as the GDP views government spending as positive.
The first country to ditch GDP and use an alternative measure is the Kingdom of Bhutan. In 2008, it introduced the “Gross National Happiness Index” that includes mental health, living standards, as well as environmental and cultural resilience. The latest country to adopt a GDP alternative is New Zealand, which introduced the “Happiness Index” in 2019, a metric that puts the prosperity and wellbeing of its citizens at its centre.
GDP代表國內生產總值。當對其他國家的出口總值超過從其他國家的進口總值時，一個國家的 GDP 很可能會增加。 GDP 被政策制定者、投資者和企業廣泛用於戰略決策。
但是，這個標準有幾個弱點。首先，它沒有考慮非正規經濟活動的價值。而且，GDP只考慮物質產出，完全忽略了一個國家的發展和人民的福祉。例如，一個國家可能正在目睹其 GDP 的快速增長，但這種增長可能以犧牲環境為代價，並可能導致不平等程度的迅速增加。此外，GDP 忽略了企業對企業的活動，因為它只考慮生產的最終產品和新的資本投資。其標準不會考慮海外公司賺取的利潤。
在某些情況下，GDP 的增長甚至可能不是一件好事。例如，在自然災害或戰爭之後，重建活動通常會激增，這可能導致 GDP 增加，因為 GDP 認為政府支出是積極的。
第一個放棄 GDP 並使用替代指標的國家是不丹王國。 2008年，它推出了“國民幸福指數”，包括心理健康、生活水平以及環境和文化復原力。最新採用 GDP 替代方案的國家是新西蘭，該國於 2019 年推出了“幸福指數”，該指標以公民的繁榮和福祉為中心。
The function of the GINI index is to measure the distribution of income across a population, and it is frequently used to measure economic inequality. The GINI coefficient has a range of 0 and 1. When the GINI coefficient is 0, it represents perfect equality, while 1 represents perfect inequality.
One reason that the GINI index has been enjoying such popularity as a measurement of economic inequality is that historically, economists held the belief that inequality is merely part of the process of economic development. Today, we can see that isn’t the case. As the rich get richer and the poor poorer, with the latter disproportionately affected in crises and disasters, it is time to rethink our systems.
堅尼系數的功能是衡量整個人口的收入分配情況，它經常被用來衡量經濟不平等。 堅尼系數的取值範圍為 0 和 1。當堅尼系數為 0 時，表示完全平等，而 1 表示完全不平等。
Stakeholder capitalism is a form of capitalism where companies try to serve the interests of all their stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, and the local community. According to the principles of this system, companies should not be focused on maximizing profits and generating value for their shareholders at the expense of other stakeholders. Rather, they should strive to create value for all the stakeholders in the long run. Stakeholder capitalism advocates for the interests of all the stakeholders in society, and focuses on the long-term benefits for everyone involved.
Greenhouse effect is the trapping and build-up of heat in the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface. Some of the heat flowing back toward space from the Earth’s surface is absorbed by water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, and several other gasses in the atmosphere and then re-radiated back toward the Earth’s surface. If the atmospheric concentrations of these greenhouse gases rise, the average temperature of the lower atmosphere will gradually increase. Identified by scientists as early as 1896, the greenhouse effect is a main contributor to global warming and climate change.
溫室效應是地球表面附近大氣中熱量的積累的現象。從地球表面流回太空的一些熱量被大氣中的水蒸氣、二氧化碳、臭氧和其他幾種溫室氣體吸收，然後重新反射回地球表面。如果這些溫室氣體的大氣濃度升高，低層大氣的平均溫度將升高。早於 1896 年科學家就已經鑒定，溫室效應是全球變暖和氣候變化的主要貢獻者。
Climate change refers to any significant long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns.
While climate change can result of natural factors such as changes in the sun’s intensity, human activities have been the main driver of climate change since the 1800s. These activities include burning fossil fuels, deforestation, consumption of coal-powered energy, unsustainable agricultural practices and more.
Climate change is happening, but there is still a window of opportunity for us to prevent global temperatures from rising 1.5oC over pre-industrial levels.
氣候變化是指溫度和天氣模式的任何重大長期變化。雖然氣候變化可能是由太陽強度變化等自然因素引起的，但自 1800 年以來，人類活動一直是氣候變化的主因。活動包括燃燒化石燃料、森林砍伐、燃煤能源消耗、不可持續的農業等等。氣候變化正在發生，但我們仍有機會阻止全球氣溫比工業化前水平上升攝氏 1.5度。
Heat Island Effect
Heat island is the term used to describe urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than outlying areas. This is because structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes such as forests. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1–3°C warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.
熱島是用來描述溫度高於邊遠地區的城市化地區的術語。這是因為建築物、道路和其他基礎設施等結構比大自然更能吸收和釋放太陽的熱量。擁有 100 萬或更多人口的城市的年平均氣溫可能比周圍環境高 1-3°C。在晚上，差異可能高達 22°F (12°C)。熱島可以通過增加夏季高峰能源需求、空調成本、空氣污染和溫室氣體排放、與熱相關的疾病和死亡率以及水質來影響社區。
A hydrocarbon that is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential most recently estimated at 23 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane is produced through anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal wastes, production and distribution of natural gas and petroleum, coal production, and incomplete fossil fuel combustion.
碳氫化合物是一種溫室氣體，具有全球變暖潛力，最近估計是二氧化碳 (CO2) 的 23 倍。甲烷是通過垃圾填埋場廢物的厭氧（無氧）分解、動物消化、動物廢物分解、天然氣和石油的生產和分配、煤炭生產以及不完全的化石燃料燃燒產生的。
Climate migrants are people who are forced to migrate due to the effects of climate change. By 2050, approximately 200 million people will be climate migrants. The vast majority of climate migrants belong to vulnerable groups in rural areas, with their livelihoods dependent on the climate-sensitive sectors of the economy, such as agriculture and fishing. Climate migrants mainly come from countries with low adaptive capacities, vulnerable geographies, and fragile ecosystems. Unfortunately, climate migrants are not legally considered to be refugees and consequently, they are not eligible to apply for asylum in another country.
氣候移民是由於氣候變化的影響而被迫遷移的人。到 2050 年，大約 2 億人將成為氣候移民。絕大多數氣候移民屬於農村地區的弱勢群體，他們的生計依賴於對氣候敏感的經濟部門，例如農業和漁業。氣候移民主要來自適應能力低、地理脆弱和生態系統脆弱的國家。不幸的是，氣候移民在法律上不被視為難民，因此，他們沒有資格在另一個國家申請庇護。
Natural Disasters vs Manmade Disasters
Disasters can be natural or man-made. Natural disasters are earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, volcano eruptions etc. Man-made disasters are war, nuclear explosions, explosions, environmental pollution etc. Man-made disasters can be the result of failing technology, failing modernization or social conflicts between groups of people or between different communities, and they can be caused by human actions, errors, negligence.Perhaps not surprisingly, natural disasters and man-made disasters are intertwined. Due to climate change, which is caused largely by human activities, it is expected that the frequency of natural disasters will increase. For example, increased temperatures are highly likely to increase the risk of drought, the intensity of storms, and lead to a wetter monsoon season for the Asian countries. The loss of natural resources, as a consequence of these natural disasters, is one of the main causes of wars and conflicts in the world today.
天然災害 vs 人爲災害
In response to increasing concern of environmental problems such as ozone depletion and global warming, in 1983, the United Nations General Assembly assembled an international group of environmental experts, politicians, and civil servants, and assigned them the crucial task of coming up with long-term solutions that could potentially promote greater cross-border collaboration. This group of scientists, politicians, and civil servants were known as the “Brundtland Commission”, as it was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the then-Prime Minister of Norway.
In 1987, the Commission published the Brundtland Report, also known as “Our Common Future”, which first introduced the concept of “sustainable development” and set out how it can be achieved. The Brundtland Report defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
In the four decades since the publication of the report, there has been progress and there has been setback. At this critical juncture, everyone and all nations must try harder and accelerate the progress of sustainable development for all.
為應對臭氧消耗和全球變暖等環境問題日益受到關注，聯合國大會於 1983 年召集了一個由環境專家、政治家和公務員組成的國際小組，並賦予他們提出長期解決方案的關鍵任務。有可能促進更大的跨境合作的長期解決方案。這群科學家、政治家和公務員被稱為“布倫特蘭委員會”，由時任挪威首相格羅·哈萊姆·布倫特蘭擔任主席。
Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Sustainability addresses human and natural systems (such as social justice, social values, biodiversity, ecosystem, and lifecycle food chains) as well as economic systems (such as market viability, profits and returns) in order to meet needs and desires without endangering the viability of future generations or endeavors.
A company with a sustainability strategy
Focuses on the sustainability actions to be implemented within its business strategy with the overall aim to create long-term stakeholder value.
Gender inequality is the unequal access to resources and opportunities due to people’s gender. An interrelated term is gender discrimination, which can be defined as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of a person or group of people on the basis of their gender. Generally, gender inequality and discrimination disproportionately affects women, although people who identify with other gender types are also subject to gender-based inequality and discrimination.
can be defined as individuals/groups/populations that are unable to cover their basic needs as they are physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged and therefore are in need of specific/additional assistance. Different factors can contribute to the vulnerability of a specific group of people, such as their ethnicity, disability (physical, psychological or social), citizenship/residential status, age, and sexuality.
The term “vulnerability” can also refer to the level to which an individual/group or population is not able to prepare, deal with, resist, or bounce back from the consequences of disasters such as climate change.
In reference to climate change, vulnerable groups and populations are expected to be hit particularly hard. It is often the case that vulnerable populations are dependent on vulnerable ecosystems. Even though developing countries bear a relatively small responsibility for the global warming, they tend to be more exposed to the consequences of climate change as they do not have the necessary resources to enhance their resilience, and their economy is more likely to be dependent on activities that are sensitive to weather variability.
Human Trafficking is defined by the United Nations as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit”. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery and it can affect everyone regardless of their age, race, gender, or nationality. Annually, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked globally.
There are an estimated 20-40 million victims of human trafficking today, and only about 0.4% of survivors have been identified. The most common types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, forced labour, and debt bondage.
Human trafficking is a hidden crime happening around us, and it is a big global business profiting traffickers US$150 billion a year.
People that are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking are individuals that live in abject poverty, do not have a social safety net, and/or live in countries with political instability. Furthermore, people that are psychological or emotionally vulnerable, have experienced physical or sexual abuse as children, or live in a place that has experienced a natural disaster can be more susceptible to human trafficking.
今天估計有 20-4000 萬人口販運受害者，只有大約 0.4% 的倖存者被確認。最常見的人口販賣類型是性販賣、兒童性販賣、強迫勞動和債役。
人口販賣是我們身邊發生的一種隱蔽犯罪，它是一項全球性的大生意，每年為販賣人口帶來 1500 億美元的利潤。
Soil Erosion & Land Degradation
Deforestation and unsustainable farming practices are common contributing factors of soil erosion. When the depletion of soil health outpaces the time it takes for the soil to regenerate itself, it leads to land degradation. Less able to hold water, degraded land can worsen flooding.
Biodiversity is the term used to describe that vast variety of life on Earth, including plants, bacteria, animals, and humans. There are estimated around 8.7 million species of plants and animals in existence, and only around 1.2 million species have been identified and described so far. Thanks to the complementary nature of each species, we are able to enjoy the essential things to life: clean water, fresh air, and healthy soil. Currently, one in four species are at risk of extinction, mainly due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and exploitation as a result of human activities.
生物多樣性是用來描述地球上種類繁多的生命的術語，包括植物、細菌、動物和人類。據估計，現存的植物和動物約有 870 萬種，而迄今為止僅發現和描述了約 120 萬種。由於每個物種的互補性，我們能夠享受生活中必不可少的東西：乾淨水源、新鮮的空氣和健康的土壤。目前，四分之一的物種面臨滅絕的風險，主要是由於棲息地喪失、氣候變化、污染和人類活動導致的開發。
Renewable energy is defined as energy derived from natural resources (such as sunlight, wind, water flow, geothermal heat, etc.) and whose supply is naturally replenished. If sourced, stored, and used right, renewable energy can drastically reduce carbon emissions, compared to that from coal-powered electricity.
The volume of water used by an entity (both directly and indirectly). It includes the water directly used and the water used to grow food and manufacture products.
GREEN Hospitality has been working with the Jockey Club Water Initiative on Sustainability and Engagement project to educate the hospitality industry in Hong Kong on the concept of water footprint. The project aims to raise awareness of water conservation and drive behavioural change in the sector and the general public.
Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs)—Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs) were created by BEF in 2008. One WRC is equal to 1,000 gallons of in-stream flow restored to a critically dewatered stream, river, or wetland. Organizations can use WRCs to balance or restore their water usage (or water footprint) gallon-for-gallon.
GH 聯同賽馬會水資源倡議可持續發展和參與項目合作中，向香港的酒店業宣傳「水足蹟」的概念。 該項目旨在提高節水意識，推動行業和公眾的惜水行動。
(WRCs)——Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs) 由 BEF 於 2008 年創建。一個 WRC 相當於將 1,000 加侖的河流內流量恢復到嚴重脫水的溪流、河流或濕地。組織可以使用 WRC 來平衡或恢復每加侖的用水量（或水足跡）。
Earth Overshoot Day
Earth Overshoot Day is the approximate date when humanity has used all the natural resources that our planet can generate in a year. In the rest of the year from the Earth Overshoot Day onwards, the natural resources consumed by humanity are considered to be “ecological credit”. The only reason we are able to do that is because we are depleting the Earth’s natural resources. On average, the world’s population is currently using the ecological resources 1.6 times faster than the Earth can regenerate, meaning we are using the resources of 1.6 Earths. Due to the increasing consumption patterns, excessive energy and resource consumption, unsustainable agricultural practices, urbanization, deforestation as well as air and water pollution, the Earth Overshoot Day is getting earlier each year.
地球超載日是人類在一年內使用了我們星球可以產生的所有自然資源的大致日期。在地球超載日之後的一年中，人類消耗的自然資源被認為是“生態信用”。我們能夠做到這一點的唯一原因是因為我們正在耗盡地球的自然資源。平均而言，世界人口目前使用生態資源的速度是地球再生速度的 1.6 倍，這意味著我們正在使用 1.6 個地球的資源。由於日益增長的消費模式、過度的能源和資源消耗、不可持續的農業做法、城市化、森林砍伐以及空氣和水污染，地球超載日越來越早。
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges that the world faces, which has been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Plastic is made from fossil fuels, and its production skyrocketed in the 1950s, due to the material’s malleability, durability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Thanks to plastics, medicine has been revolutionised, space travel has become possible, and access to clean drinking water is made available.
However, the production of plastic has been growing exponentially, with half of the plastics ever produced being made in the last 15 years alone. Products that we use for a few hours (or even minutes!) remain in the environment for thousands of years. Today, just 9% of the plastic that has been manufactured was recycled, while the vast majority of it has ended up in landfills or the natural environment. Recently scientists even found microplastics in the placentas of pregnant women.
塑料污染由於是COVID-19 流感，加劇了這個世界面臨的其中一個最大環境挑戰。塑料由化石燃料製成，由於材料的延展性、耐用性、柔韌性和成本效益，其產量在 1950 年代猛增。 多虧了塑料，醫學發生了革命性變化，太空旅行成了現實，同時也讓清潔飲用水更加普及.
然而，塑料的生產呈指數級增長，僅在過去 15 年就生產了一半的塑料。我們使用幾個小時（甚至幾分鐘）的產品會在環境中保留數千年。今天，製造的塑料中只有 9% 被回收利用，而其中絕大多數最終進入垃圾填埋場或自然環境。最近科學家甚至在孕婦的胎盤中發現了微塑料。