Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms

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A Guide to Corporate Environmental Performance Reporting - Appendix 2

Air Quality Objectives (AQOs)
Objectives set for seven main air pollutants (sulphur dioxide, total suspended particulates, respirable suspended particulates, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, photochemical oxidants and lead) listed in the Air Pollution Control Ordinance.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
A measure of the pollution potential of effluents as measured by the amount of oxygen consumed when micro-organisms oxidize a given amount of the substances in the effluent. A lower BOD measurement signifies a lower pollution potential.

Continual improvement
Process of enhancing the environmental management system of an organization to achieve improvements in its overall environmental performance so as to be in line with the organization's environmental policy.

Environmental aspect
Element of an organization's activities, programmes and policy that can interact with the environment.

Environmental audit
A systematic and documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence to determine whether an organization's environmental management system conforms to the audit criteria set by the organization, and for communication of the results of this process to management.

Environmental groups
Organizations and groups established with the principal aim to defend the interest of the environment. Examples of environmental groups in Hong Kong are the Conservancy Association, Friends of the Earth, Green Power, Green Lantau Association, the Hong Kong Marine Conservation Society and World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong.

Environmental impact
Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization's policy, activities, services and products.

Environmental management system
The part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy.

Environmental objective
Overall environmental goal, arising from the environmental policy, that an organization sets itself to achieve, and which is quantified wherever practicable.

Environmental performance
Measurable results of an environmental management system, relate to an organization's control on its environmental aspects, based on its environmental policy.

Environmental policy
Statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets.

Environmental target
Detailed performance requirement, quantified wherever practicable, applicable to the organization or parts thereof, that arises from the environmental objectives and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those objectives.

Interested party
Individual or group concerned with or affected by the environmental performance of an organization.

Pollution prevention
Use of processes, practices, materials or products that avoid, reduce or control pollution, which may include recycling, treatment, process changes, control mechanisms, efficient use of resources and material substitution.

Sustainable development
The World Commission on Environment and Development describes sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Substances such as gasoline and many hydrocarbons which evaporate at room temperature. VOCs react in the presence of sunlight to form smog.


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