Benefit Corporation / B Corporation

A type of corporation designed to be “purpose-driven” and operated in the interests not only of shareholders, but of their workers, their communities, and their environment.  It provides a new type of corporate structure with the objective of allowing companies to work towards societal goals, along with increasing shareholder value, without opening themselves up to […]

Brand Experience

The sensations, feelings, thoughts, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli.  Such stimuli appear as part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.  Put another way, the brand experience integrates brands into people’s lifestyles, adding value to a consumer’s experience of the brand.  Brand experience is about engaging or captivating rather than […]

BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method)

BREEAM is a widely-used environmental assessment tool for buildings.  BREEAM provides metrics for measuring a building’s performance on a variety of environmental factors including sustainable design, energy conservation, indoor environment quality, natural resource conservation and minimizing waste.  BREEAM also incorporates consultants and trainings to facilitate environmentally sustainable design and construction of new buildings. Introduced by […]

Buycott

The inverse of a boycott. When consumers consciously leverage their buying power to throw their support behind companies whose actions and/or goals they advocate. Also referred to as “procot.”

Backcasting

Backcasting is a planning methodology where a desired future is defined using either basic principles (i.e. conditions that must be met within the system) or scenarios (i.e. simplified images of the future). An assessment is then made of the current system and strategic actions are identified, prioritized according to their ability to achieve the desired […]

Biodynamic

Biodynamic farming is an holistic and regenerative farming system that is focused on soil health, the integration of plants and animals, and biodiversity. It seeks to create a farm system that is minimally dependent on imported materials, and instead meets its needs from the living dynamics of the farm itself. It is the biodiversity of […]

Blended Value

A term coined by Jed Emerson at Stanford University to describe social, financial, and environmental value created by all organizations’ activities (whether non-profit or for-profit). When investors acknowledge these value components, they can be more focused about their investments in organizations that create the mix and amount of value that matched their own values. Resources: […]

Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a type of fuel that is highly suitable for diesel engines. More specifically it is derived from a variety of oils such as soybean, corn, algae, and peanut oil, and is distinct from its origin in that it is more easily combustible due to a process of glycerin removal; it can be easily […]

Brown Power

Electricity generated from the combustion of fossil fuels, which generates significant amounts of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Brown power sources include coal, oil, and natural gas. Also, called Brown Energy.

Biomass

Organic, non-fossil material that is available on a renewable basis. Biomass includes all biological organisms, dead or alive, and their metabolic by products, that have not been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum. Examples of biomass are forest and mill residues, agricultural crops and wastes, wood and wood wastes, animal […]

Biofuel

Biofuel is any fuel derived from an organic material that is not fossilized like coal or petroleum. Common sources of biofuel grown for the U.S and European markets are corn, soybeans, flaxseed and rapeseed. Biofuel can appear in solid, liquid, or gas form. It is used to produce heat or electricity, or to power machinery […]

Bio-based Material

“Bio-“ is Greek for life.Bio-based material refers to a products main constituent consisting of a substance, or substances, originally derived from living organisms. These substances may be natural or synthesized organic compounds that exist in nature. This definition could include natural materials such as leather and wood, but typically refers to modern materials. Many of […]

Basic Browns

A selection of consumers defined by the Roper ASW Green Gauge Report as the least interested in “green” or environmental issues. In 2007, this category was renamed “apathetics” and has exhibited a sharp decline (from 33% in 2005 to 18% in 2007). These customers have lower incomes, and believe that their disinterest is common.

Best Practices

A set of learned practices and procedures an organization finds successful in accomplishing its goals. Best practices are most successful when clearly described or codified, part of employee training, and shared throughout an organization. These are sometimes shared with partners and competitors in order to set standards for an industry.

Business Ecosystem/Ecology

A system-level view of the relationships and interdependencies evident in organizations, markets, or industries, including their components, actors, resources, and stakeholders. Inspired from nature, this is a similar approach to understanding biological ecosystems in their fullest sense.

Brand Experience

Often confused with a corporate identity or package design, a brand experience is the total interaction of customers with a company, product, service, or other offering through all senses, media, and touchpoints (such as television advertising, customer service, product use, etc.).

Branding

The process of developing a brand or brand strategy for a product, service, or organization.

Brand

Often referred to as a promise or expectation, a brand is the collective market understanding or perspective of a company, product, or service (either from the perspective of customers, competitors, partners, or peers). A strong brand can have considerable value in the marketplace but this value is only derived in action and does not appear […]

Bottom of the Pyramid

A term developed by Stuart Hart and C. K. Prahalad at the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and now popularized by Prahalad’s book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. It refers to the poorest people in the world. These people tend to pay more for the same food, products, and borrowing than rich people […]

Bootstrapping

A term derived from a German legend about Baron Münchhausen who pulled himself from a swamp by his own shoelaces or bootstraps. It refers to starting a business with limited capital and growing it based primarily on internally-generated profit instead of external investment.

Biosphere

Coined in 1875 by Eduard Suess, the biosphere is that part of a planet’s outer shell—including air, land, and water—within which life occurs, and which biotic processes alter or transform. From the broadest geophysiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with […]

Biomimicry

Applying lessons learned from the study of natural methods and systems to the design of technology. Science writer Janine Benyus articulates nine principles in her 1997 book Biomimicry: 1. Nature runs on sunlight 2. Nature uses only the energy it needs 3. Nature fits form to function 4. Nature recycles everything 5. Nature rewards cooperation […]

Biodiversity

The biological diversity of life on Earth. As human influence spreads, there is concern over the reduction of the total number of species and its effect on economics, medicine, and the ability of ecosystems to remain viable. Some measures of biodiversity loss are the World Wildlife Fund’s Inventory, and the IUCN Red List. WEO Wilson […]

Balanced Scorecard

A process introduced by Robert S. Kaplan and David Norton in 1992 designed to give managers tools for measuring the performance of a business from a: • Financial perspective, • Customer perspective, • Business process perspective, and a • Learning and growth perspective