Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer

The protocol was signed in Montreal, Canada, in 1987, as an adjunct to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.  The protocol has been ratified by all nations recognized by the UN, as a commitment to eliminate products containing halogenated hydrocarbons which are believed to be responsible for the depletion of the […]


The field within financial services in which companies lend capital and provide financial services to low-income groups or individuals who do not typically have access to these services, in order to provide them with opportunity to become financially self-sufficient.

Mission Related Investing

The investment of a foundation’s endowment assets in opportunities that align with its program goals. Some foundations have common under criticism for endowment investments in companies who are seen to cause the very problems their programs seek to remedy.

Market Failure

A market’s inability to create maximum efficiency, by not properly providing goods or services to consumers, not efficiently organizing production, or not serving the public interest. The term does not refer to the collapse or demise of a market, but instead to the unintended and unwanted consequences of decisions made by economic actors. A variety […]


The process of understanding people and markets in order to provide better products and services and differentiate offerings. Marketing consists of both the “inhale” (customer and market research aimed at understanding needs, desires, and cultural contexts as well as competitors), and the “exhale” (the creating of messaging to effectively communicate offerings in appropriate ways). Too […]

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

A UN-funded study of the state of ecosystem services around the world. It is the most extensive and accurate study of its kind. Launched in 2001 and completed in March 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reports on habitat status, fishing, coral reefs, forests, water use, atmospheric carbon and temperature, weather, land use, and population. More […]

Mission (Corporate)

An organization’s ultimate purpose or reason for being. A company’s mission should define the opportunities or needs which the company seeks to address, what the company is doing to address those needs, and the principles or beliefs which guide the company’s work.

Market Segmentation

A business process focused on defining market segments on the basis of customer demographic or psychographic attributes (such as age, location, culture, etc.). Segmentation is best when it uses the same understandings gained from market and user research used in Environmental Modeling and Positioning. Distinct market segments identify customers who require different products and services […]

Multiple Stakeholders

Traditionally, stakeholders in a company have been thought to be limited to stockholders and, possibly, employees. However, stakeholders have come to refer to all people for whom a company or its products and services have an impact, including, customers, governments, organizations, and the environment. Sustainable management requires that these stakeholders’ needs be addressed in the […]


A Japanese word for waste especially through poorly organized systems. Organizations seeking economic, manufacturing, and human efficiency seek to design and/or replace systems to eliminate muda.

Monstrous Hybrid

A term coined by Michael Braungart and William McDonough for a product, component, or material that combines both technical and organic nutrients (such as recyclable paper and poly-vinyl-chloride) in a way that cannot be easily separated, thereby rendering it unable to be recycled or reused be either system. Most monstrous hybrids can only be thrown […]

MIPS (Material Input Per Service Unit) Method

In assessing product life cycle impacts, the total material input of a product system (development though manufacturing through delivery) is measured per these units. More information:


Commonly mistaken for the term process or practices, methodology is actually the study of processes, practices, or procedures.


The biggest source of wasted time in most organizations. Successful, meetings should have: A clear agenda An appointed facilitator or leader An appointed person to track time Attendance limited to only those who need to be involved (and included those who have influence or responsibility over the issues discussed) Clear Focus on the agenda and […]


The deepest level of significance at which an organization’s products, services, or experiences can touch a customer. “Meanings” are the ultimate ideals that explain the significance of our lives. Recently, marketing theory has integrated meaning into corporate strategic development. Meaningful experiences evoke these ultimate ideals in a measurable amount of time, and make them real […]

Materials Audit

The process of investigating the costs and effects of materials used in manufacturing in order to determine more efficient, less costly, less toxic (or dangerous), and more sustainable options.

Manufacturing Capital

One of at least four forms of capital used by people, organizations, corporations, and governments, to build and maintain their livelihoods. Manufacturing Capital includes all material resources and energy used throughout the manufacturing process and how effectively and sustainably these are used. This includes assessing their toxicity. While these all have economic value within a […]