Our Glossary of Sustainability Terms offers clear definitions to help you navigate and contribute to a greener future.

Carbon insetting: is the reduction of carbon emissions within the value chain of the sector the company operates in, based on the mass balance approach. For example, within the logistics sector, using sustainable fuels, improving energy efficiency or nature-based projects (regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, renewable energy) are considered insetting solutions.1

Carbon offsetting: is the process of of compensating the company’s carbon emissions by investing in 'offset' projects that reduce emissions elsewhere, usually outside the value chain and the sector in which the company operates. For example, supporting reforestation or tree plantations, GHG capture, renewable energy development or purchasing carbon credits.2

CDP: originally the Carbon Disclosure Project, runs the global environmental disclosure system. Each year CDP supports thousands of companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their risks and opportunities on climate change, water security and deforestation. 3

CEFIC: is the European Chemical Industry Council. Founded in 1972, it is the voice of large, medium and small chemical companies across Europe, which provide 1.2 million jobs and account for approximately 15% of global chemical production.4

Circularity: Reduce Reuse Recycle. Based on cradle to cradle principles circularity means that materials and components can be repurposed- or recycled indefinitely. This makes products “circular” and reduces their environmental impacts.5

CO2 (t): Carbon dioxide emissions tonnes is the dominant greenhouse gas in the world. Carbon dioxide is produced by the combustion of carbonaceous fuels, including all fossil fuels. For a given energy source, the amount of CO2 generated depends directly on the amount of fuel and thus the energy converted. Main indicator of the greenhouse effect.6

CO2 (g) per tkm: Carbon dioxide emitted in grams per tonne kilometre.7

CO₂ equivalent (CO₂-e): is used to measure and compare emissions from the six greenhouse gases, based on their global warming potential (GWP). It is used to evaluate releasing (or avoiding releasing) different greenhouse gases against a common basis.8

CO2e (g) per tkm: Carbon dioxide equivalent grams per tonne kilometre.9

CO2e (t): Greenhouse Gas Emissions as CO2-equivalent tonnes.10

CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility

CSRD: Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive11

GLEC Framework: the Global Logistics Emissions Council’s method for calculating and reporting logistics emissions.12

GRI: Global Reporting Initiative.13

Ecovadis: provider of business sustainability ratings for global supply chains across more than 200 industries and more than 160 countries. Its assessment involves in-depth analysis of a company’s documentation and performance related to four main corporate social responsibility (CSR) themes: environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.14

ECTA: European Chemical Transport Association of which STC is a member.15

ESG: Environmental Social Governance EU ETS: European Union Emissions Trading System.16

Greenhouse gases (GHGs): the six gases listed by the Kyoto Protocol — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) — which absorb the wavelengths of radiation that the planet emits, resulting in the greenhouse effect. GHGs are generated from natural processes and also from human activities, such as combustion of fossil fuels and other industrial activities, which are increasing emission levels resulting in the acceleration of global warming. For more information, watch the videos by ClimatePartner and videos by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

IPPC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.18

International Tank Container Organisation: focuses on a safe, cost-effective, environmental and adaptable modes of transport for liquids and gases.19

Land Use Change: Land use is the total human activities happening in a certain type of land cover type (crop, city etc.) The change of a land use or a natural landscape to another land use type is called land use change. Deforestation, urban growth, agricultural expansion, or afforestation are such examples of land use change driven by human activities. Land retains carbon which through, land use change, is released to the atmosphere and affects the carbon cycle. As such land use change plays a role in reaching the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.20

LSP: Logistics Service Provider

Microplastics: very small solid plastic particles smaller than 5 mm. Microplastics are formed by wear and tear of larger pieces of plastic (car tyres, textiles) or they are added intentionally to products. Once released into the environment, soil, sea, food and drinking water they are not biodegradable and pose risks to the environment and people’s health. In 2023, the EU commission adopted restriction measures. Many companies including the logistics industry are signatories of the Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) initiative aiming to prevent the loss of plastic granules (microplastics) in the supply chain (e.g. transport, manufacturing). For more information you can look at the Q&A here.

Net zero CO2 emissions/Carbon Neutral: Net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are achieved when anthropogenic (that is, those caused by human activity) CO2 emissions are balanced globally by anthropogenic CO2 removals over a specified period. Net zero CO2 emissions are also referred to as carbon neutrality. See also Net zero emissions and Net negative emissions. Net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are achieved when anthropogenic CO2 emissions are balanced globally by anthropogenic CO2 removals over a specified period. Net zero CO2 emissions are also referred to as carbon neutrality. See also Net zero emissions and Net negative emissions.22

Net zero CO2e emissions: Net zero CO2e emissions or net zero greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are achieved when anthropogenic (those caused by human activity) emissions of GHGs into the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period. Where multiple GHGs are involved, the quantification of net zero emissions depends on the climate metric chosen to compare emissions of different gases (such as global warming potential, global temperature change potential, and others), as well as the chosen time horizon. See also Net zero CO2 emissions, Negative emissions and Net negative emissions.23

NFRCD: Non-Financial Corporate Reporting Directive.24

NMHC (kg): non-methane hydrocarbon, measured in kilogrammes is described as a group of reactive gases in the atmosphere that play a significant role in the production and destruction of ozone. They include compounds such as ethane, ethene, acetylene, propane, propene, and isoprene. These are realised into the atmosphere as a result of anthropogenic activities such as chemical manufacturing, vehicle exhaust, food processing, refuse disposal, biomass burning, and energy production.25

NOx (kg): nitrogen oxide, measured in kilogrammes is an air pollutant which is mainly produced in combustion processes in plants and engines. Low emissions also occur in certain industrial processes and in agriculture. Ecological impacts: eutrophication, smog, ecotoxicity, human toxicity.26

Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, on December 12, 2015. It came into force on November 4, 2016. Its overarching goal is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”.27

PMD: Plastic packaging, metal packaging and drink containers

Primary Energy MJ: primary energy measured in megajoules is the energy that has not been subjected to any human engineered conversion process and it can be non-renewable or renewable.28

PM10 (kg): particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometers, measured in kilogrammes, is a solid inhalable particle such as dust or smoke emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles. Such particles have harmful health and environmental effects.29

SO2 (kg): sulphur dioxide, measured in kilogrammes is an air pollutant which is mainly generated during combustion processes of fossil fuels such as coal and oil by oxidation of the sulfur contained in the fuel. Ecological effects: acidification of soil and water, ecotoxicity, humotoxicity.30

SASB: or Sustainability Accounting Standards Board: guides the disclosure of financially material sustainability information by companies to their investors. Available for 77 industries, the Standards identify the subset of environmental, social, and governance issues most relevant to financial performance in each industry.31

SFC or Smart Freight Center: an international non-profit organisation focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from freight transportation. Its goal is to guide the global logistics industry to track and reduce its GHG emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050 or earlier by collaborating with global partners to quantify impacts, identify solutions, and advocate logistics decarbonisation strategies.32

Scope 1 emissions: direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organisation (such as emissions associated with fuel combustion in boilers, furnaces, vehicles).33

Scope 2 emissions: indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling. Although Scope 2 emissions occur at the facility where they are generated, they are accounted for in an organisation’s GHG inventory because they are a result of the organisation’s energy use.34

Scope 3 emissions: these are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation, but that the organisation indirectly impacts in its value chain. Scope 3 emissions include all sources not within an organisation’s scope 1 and 2 boundary. The Scope 3 emissions for one organisation are the Scope 1 and 2 emissions of another organisation. Scope 3 emissions, also referred to as value chain emissions, often represent the majority of an organisation’s total GHG emissions.35

Scope 3 activities: 1. Purchased goods and services, 2. Capital goods, 3. Fuel- and energy related activities (not included in scope 1 or scope 2), 4. Upstream transportation and distribution, 5. Waste generated in operations, 6. Business travel, 7. Employee commuting, 8. Upstream leased assets, 9. Transportation and distribution of sold products, 10. Processing of sold products, 11. Use of sold products, 12. End-of-life treatment of sold products, 13. Downstream leased assets, 14. Franchises, 15. Investments.36

SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals by United Nations (UN).37

SQAS: Safety and Quality Assessment for Sustainability. STC depots, cleaning stations and truckers are SQAS certified.38

TCFD or Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures: develops recommendations on the types of information that companies should disclose to support investors, lenders and insurance underwriters in appropriately assessing and pricing a specific set of risks related to climate change.39

Tonne-kilometer (tkm): represents the transport of one tonne of goods (including tare weights of intermodal transport units) by a given transport mode (road, rail, air, sea, inland waterway) over a distance of one kilometer.40

Transport Performance (tkm): also called transport activity, it is the quantification of freight or cargo moved by transport. Usually expressed in tkm (tonne-kilometers), it characterises the mass (tonnes) transported over a certain distance (km). For example, if a shipment has 30 tonnes and it needs to go 100 km, the transport performance would be 3,000 tkm (30 tonnes x 100 km).41

TTW: stands for "tank-to-wheel” (road and rail transport) or “tank-to-wake” (shipping and aviation) emissions, which are caused by the combustion of fuel during the use of a vehicle.42

WTT: stands for “well-to-tank” emissions which are released during extraction, transport and in the refining process of fuels, or in the production and transport of electricity. 43

WTW: stands for “well-to-wheel" (for road and rail transport) or “well-to-wake” (for shipping and aviation) emissions, which are the emissions released during use of vehicle (tank-to-wheel) and emissions produced during extraction, transport, and in the refining process of fuels or in the production and transport of electricity (well-to-tank). This means well-to-wheel emissions will always be higher than tank-to-wheel emissions.44

UN: United Nations. 45

United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Principles: the ten Principles of the UNGC (of which Stolt-Nielsen is a signatory) are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.46



[1] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/03/carbon-insetting-vs-offsetting-an-explainer/ ; https://www.goodshipping.com/insetting; https://www.dhl.com/globalen/delivered/sustainability/carbon-insetting-freight-forwarding.html

[2] https://www.offsetguide.org/understanding-carbon-offsets/carbon-offset-projects/

[3] https://www.cdp.net/en

[4] https://cefic.org/

[5] https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/video/repair-reuse-and-recycle_V007-0034; https://mcdonough.com/cradle-to-cradle/; https://www.ricoh.com/sustainability/environment/circular_economy/initiative_recycle

[6, 7, 8, 9, 10] https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/ghg-protocol-revised.pdf; https://www.ecotransit.org/en/knowledge-base/glossary

[11] https://finance.ec.europa.eu/capital-markets-union-and-financial-markets/company-reporting-and-auditing/company-reporting/corporate-sustainability-reporting_en

[12] https://www.smartfreightcentre.org/en/our-programs/global-logistics-emissions-council/calculate-report-glec-framework/

[13] https://www.globalreporting.org/

[14] https://ecovadis.com/

[15] https://www.ecta.com/https://www.ecta.com/

[16] https://www.stolttankcontainers.com/News-and-Insights/EU-Emissions-Trading-System-impact-on-Stolt-Tank-Containers-customers

[17] https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/ghg-protocol-revised.pdf; https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/2/2022/06/SR15_AnnexI.pdf ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas

[18] https://www.ipcc.ch/

[19] https://international-tank-container.org/

[20] https://climate.ec.europa.eu/eu-action/land-use-sector_en; https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement

[21]https://echa.europa.eu/de/hot-topics/microplastics; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_23_4581; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_23_4985; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_23_4602

[22, 23] https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/glossary/

[24] https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32014L0095

[25] https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/nonmethane-hydrocarbon#:~:text=Nonmethane%20hydrocarbons%20(NMHCs)%20are%20a,propane%2C%20propene%2C%20and%20isoprene.

[26] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx; https://www.ecotransit.org/en/knowledge-base/glossary/

[27] https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement

[28] https://www.eia.gov/tools/glossary/index.php?id=Primary%20energy#:~:text=Primary%20energy%20consumption%20also%20includes,of%20the%20original%20energy%20source.

[29] https://www.ecotransit.org/en/knowledge-base/glossary/;

[30] https://www.ecotransit.org/en/knowledge-base/glossary/; https://www.epa.gov/so2-pollution/sulfur-dioxide-basics

[31] https://sasb.ifrs.org/about/

[32] https://www.smartfreightcentre.org/en/

[33, 34, 35, 36] https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/2023-03/Scope%202%20Guidance.pdf page 106

https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/standards/Corporate-Value-Chain-Accounting-Reporing-Standard_041613_2.pdf page 5;


[37] https://sdgs.un.org/goals

[38] https://sqas.org/about-sqas/

[39] https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/

[40, 41] https://smart-freight-centre-media.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/GLEC_FRAMEWORK_v3_UPDATED_02_04_24.pdf

[42, 43, 44] https://ce.nl/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/CE_Delft_210506_STREAM_Personenvervoer_2022_DEF.pdf



[45] https://www.un.org/en/

[46] https://unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/mission/principles



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