Sustainable Vocabulary

Here you will find the most used terms in the area of sustainability and their definitions. Expand your vocabulary, expand sustainability!


Agroforestry is a production system that exercises what nature does regularly, with the soil covered by vegetation and the combination of various types of plants, eliminating the use of any type of poison. Agroforestry aims to make the most of natural resources, such as soil, water and light.


Biocapacity comprises the possibility of a given ecosystem providing natural resources and absorbing debris produced by humanity.


It is any space or environment that is built with social, environmental and economic sustainability in mind, from its conception, construction and throughout its operation.


Biodegradable is the term designed for the natural decomposition of materials in the environment. Products made in a biodegradable way use renewable materials.

Carbon dioxide equivalent

Equivalent carbon dioxide is an internationally accepted measure that represents the amount of greenhouse gases in terms equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide.

Carbon sequestration

It is the process of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It occurs naturally - mainly in forests and oceans - where plants, through photosynthesis, exchange carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for oxygen.

Circular economy

The circular economy is a concept based on the intelligence of nature, where waste is an input for the production of new products.


Compostable packaging has a short period of decomposition and is rich in mineral nutrients, which are released into the soil, making them better for the environment.

Community-based tourism

The idea behind this concept is to promote fairer tourism, which places the local population in the lead at all stages (planning, implementation and monitoring) and takes into account the social and environmental sustainability of the activities.

Ecological footprint

The ecological footprint is an indicator that compares the demand for natural resources necessary for the production of consumer goods with the planet's regenerative capacity.


Segment of the tourist activity that uses, in a sustainable way, the natural and cultural heritage, encourages its conservation and seeks the formation of an environmental conscience through the interpretation of the environment, promoting the well-being of the populations *

* definition created by the Ministry of the Environment

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is the rational use of energy. It is based on using energy efficiently to achieve a certain result.

Family farming

Family farming is the cultivation of land by small rural landowners, with the family nucleus as labor. This concept is opposed to employer agriculture that uses workers hired on medium or large properties as labor.

Global warming

Global warming is the process of increasing the average temperature of the oceans and the Earth's atmosphere caused by massive emissions of gases that intensify the greenhouse effect, originated from a series of human activities.


It consists of an institution's strategy to relate its discourse to the defense of the environment, however, to carry out contradictory actions to this discourse.

Horticultural therapy

Horticultural therapy is gardening used as a therapeutic form. Horticulture, horticulture or horticultural therapy is a technique used as a treatment for centuries and has recognized benefits.

Organic food

Organic foods use techniques that respect the environment and aim at the quality of the food. In this way, pesticides or any other product that may cause damage to the health of consumers are not used.


Permaculture consists of the planning and realization of sustainable human occupations, combining ancestral practices with modern knowledge in different areas, mainly those of agricultural sciences, engineering, architecture and social sciences. All of them approached from the perspective of ecology.

Regenerative agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture consists of promoting the production of healthy foods and the creation of closed cycles for the generation of raw materials from waste and the application of ecologically sustainable practices.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources that are naturally replenished, such as sun, wind, rain and tides.

Reverse economy

Mode of economic and social development characterized by actions designed to enable the collection and return of waste to the business sector, for the purpose of reuse, with an environmentally appropriate final destination.


The term triple bottom line, also called the sustainability tripod, represents the results of an institution based on social, environmental and economic terms.

Triple Bottom Line

The term triple bottom line, also called the sustainability tripod, represents the results of an institution based on social, environmental and economic terms.


Veganism is the way of life that seeks to abolish any means of animal exploitation, not only in food, but also in clothing, tests, commerce, entertainment, work and product composition.