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Glossary

Ancillary flow A term applied to certain hidden flows. This is the material that is removed from the natural environment along with the economically useful material, for instance the biomass that is removed from forests to obtain useful wood.
Apparent consumption Production plus imports minus exports of a product or material over a defined time period. This equates to the consumption of that material or product within the region being examined, and consists of additions to stock and direct consumption.
Biofuel A gaseous liquid or solid fuel that is rendered from raw biological material (plants, sewage, dry waste, cane sugar or wood pulp) through combustion or fermentation.
Carbon intensity Carbon intensity is the ratio of CO2 emissions to GDP.
Carbon Responsibility Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are included in the ecological footprint. The National Footprint Accounts include 69% of the CO2 emitted from fossil fuel combustion, and excludes the 31% absorbed by the oceans (Redefining Progress, 2002).
Composting The aerobic process by which biologically degradable wastes are broken down to form a stable material containing organic matter and plant nutrients.
Combined heat & power (CHP) An energy service provided by an on site generator plant (normally with heat recovery).
Conversion factor A co-efficient used, in this case, to convert units to mass.
Degraded land A composite term. Degraded land has no single readily identifiable feature, but instead describes how one or more of the land resources (soil, water, vegetation, rocks, air or climate) has changed for the worse.
Direct energy Energy consumed, as opposed to embodied or indirect energy.
Double counting In a resource flow analysis, double counting can best be illustrated by using paper as an example. Paper will go through many stages of production until it becomes the final product we might read (a book) or use (office paper). Economic data can track these sequential processes and report the financial value of each stage. However, it is still the same paper, and for resource accounting purposes this presents a risk of double counting. For the purposes of this study, only the final product has been counted, all intermediate products have been removed.
Earthshare The average amount of global resources available per person. To calculate an earthshare, the total available land and sea area of the planet is divided equally among the current global population. It is estimated that the current earthshare is 1.9 gha (Loh, 2002). If everyone lived within his or her earthshare, we would achieve 'one planet lifestyles'.
Ecological footprint The ecological footprint is a sustainability indicator which expresses the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The ecological footprint accounts the use of natural resources. It is a 'snapshot' measure and typically refers to average annual consumption.
Embodied (incorporated) When the mass of a material becomes incorporated with another material or materials during a manufacturing process, and becomes a different material or product. Embodied energy in a commodity is the energy used (from all sources: electricity, liquid and solid fuels to provide heat, light and/or power) during its entire life cycle for manufacturing, transporting, use and disposal.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) A measure of the total flow of goods and services produced over a specified time period. It is obtained by valuing outputs of goods and services at market prices.
Gross Value Added (GVA) Measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the United Kingdom. GVA is used in the estimation of GDP, which is a key indicator of the state of the whole economy.
Global hectares (gha) One global hectare is equivalent to one hectare of biologically productive space with world average productivity.
Hidden flow A flow of a material that will not enter the economy. Hidden flows occur at the harvesting or extraction stage of the material cycle, such as dead fish caught and discarded during shellfish harvesting. The hidden material flow has two components: ancillary material flow and excavated/disturbed flow.
Incineration A treatment technology used to destroy waste by controlled burning at high temperatures.
Inert Inert waste is chemically non-reactive, non -combustible, non- biodegradable and non-polluting waste, for example bricks, masonry, rubble, sand, stone and hardcore.
Mass balance A study that quantifies the flow of a material or materials in a defined situation over a period of time. The underlying principle is the fundamental physical law that within a closed system the total mass is constant. There may be movement of mass and transformation of mass into different forms, but it is not created or destroyed, therefore the mass moving into the system should equal the mass moving out of the system.
Material A substance or an object that can be classed as primary production, such as agricultural crops, fishing and mineral extraction.
Overburden (excavated and/or disturbed material flow) The material that is moved or disturbed in order to obtain the useful resource, or the material that is moved to create or maintain infrastructure.
Passenger kilometre One person travelling one kilometre.
Per capita refers to per person or resident of the South West.
Personal transport Transport carrying passengers, as opposed to freight.
ProdCom The European Union (EU) common basis by which industrial production statistics for mining and quarrying and manufacturing (section D of the NACE Rev. 1 (Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community)) are collected throughout the European Union. The ProdCom reports provide import, export and manufacturing sales data for 4,800 products for the whole of the UK by an eight-digit code.
Products Materials in final processed form or created by the combination of two or more different materials. There are two main types of products: Intermediate: A product that is further processed or incorporated into another product before being sold to the consumer. Final: A product that does not require further processing and can be sold in its current form to the consumer.
Proxy A method normally used to compensate for a lack of raw data. It is an estimation derived from an existing data set using a statistical modifier. For example, deriving local water consumption data by using average per capita consumption of a region in which the locality is part.
Recycling The process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating and reconstituting materials that would otherwise become waste, and returning them to the economic stream as raw materials for new, reused or reconstituted products.
Resource flow analysis A systematic methodology used for tracking the flow of materials through a country, region, city or organisation. The outcomes of a resource flow analysis provide an opportunity for a better understanding of how and where to target activities to manage material consumption and minimisation (see Griffiths & Lewis, 2004 and Linstead et al., 2003).
Resources Energy, materials and products, water and land that have a useful purpose to humanity either in their original form or when embodied into a final product.
Reuse The recovery or reapplication of a product for uses similar or identical to its original application, without manufacturing or preparation processes that significantly alter the original product.
SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) SIC was first introduced into the United Kingdom in 1948 for use in classifying business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged. The classification provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data and its use promotes uniformity.
Stock A term used to describe products that are not discarded by a region during the study year. Examples of products that remain as stock could include: addition of resources to the built environment, for example, new buildings, and durable goods that remain in use beyond the timescale of the study year, for example, mechanical equipment.
Wastewater Spent or used water from a home, community, farm, or industry that contains dissolved or suspended matter.
World Carbon Absorption The capacity of world-average forests to sequester carbon. This capacity is estimated by taking a weighted average across 26 main forest biomes (Redefining Progress, 2002).