C

Reference categories

LEGEU LegislationECPEC Policy Documents
ECTEC Technical DocumentsORGInternational Organisations (excluding organisations dealing with standards)
AGEAgency Documents (e.g. EEA, US agencies reports and glossaries)STLScientific & Technical Literature
STAStandardsDICDictionaries
OWNBiomass Study own Definition(GLO)Glossary (subcategory only)

Cage [AQU]

ORG (GLO) - Rearing facility enclosed on the bottom as well as on the sides by wooden, mesh or net screens. It allows natural water exchange through the lateral sides and in most cases below the cage.

(FAOa, Glossary of Aquaculture, http://www.fao.org/fi/glossary/aquaculture/default.asp, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Capture fisheries [AQU]

STL - Fishing operations that catch wild fish, either in freshwater or saltwater.

(Delgado, C.L., Wada, N., Rosegrant, M.W., Meijer, S. and Ahmed, M., 2003, Fish to 2020. Supply and demand in changing global markets, Appendix F, WorldFishCenter Technical Report 62, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washinton D.C., World Fish Center, Bayan Lepas, Malaysia.)

 

Carbon debt [ENE]

ECT - The initial emission of biogenic-CO2 from forest bioenergy when it is higher than the emissions from a reference fossil system. It is called debt because the forest re-growth combined with the continuous substitution of fossil fuels may, in time, repay the “debt”.

(JRC, 2014, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IET, Carbon accounting of forest bioenergy : Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Agostini, A., Giuntoli, J., Boulamanti, A., Marelli, L., 2014, EUR 25354 EN, Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2014.)

 

Carbon dioxide equivalent

ORG - The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission that would cause the same integrated radiative forcing, over a given time horizon, as an emitted amount of a greenhouse gas (GHG) or a mixture of GHGs. The CO2-equivalent emission is obtained by multiplying the emission of a GHG by its Global Warming Potential (GWP) for the given time horizon. For a mix of GHGs it is obtained by summing the CO2-equivalent emissions of each gas. CO2-equivalent emission is a common scale for comparing emissions of different GHGs but does not imply equivalence of the corresponding climate change responses.

(IPCC, 2014, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) 'Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change'.)

 

Carbon footprint

ORG (GLO) - The full quantity of greenhouse gases that can be attributed to an individual, a plant, a company, a product or a whole economy.

(IEA, International Energy Agency, Glossary of term, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Carbon neutrality [ENE]

ECT - Net zero carbon emissions to the atmosphere during the energy production process (infrastructures excluded).

(JRC, 2014, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IET, Carbon accounting of forest bioenergy : Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Agostini, A., Giuntoli, J., Boulamanti, A., Marelli, L., 2014, EUR 25354 EN, Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2014.)

 

Carbon pool

ECT ORG - A component of the climate system which has the capacity to store, accumulate or release carbon. Oceans, soils, atmosphere, and forests are examples of carbon pools.

(JRC, 2014, elaborated from IPCC, 2007, see also the definition of reservoir)

(JRC, 2014, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IET, Carbon accounting of forest bioenergy : Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Agostini, A., Giuntoli, J., Boulamanti, A., Marelli, L., 2014, EUR 25354 EN, Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2014.)

(IPCC, 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Fourth Assessment Report: (AR4) 'Climate Change 2007') .

 

Carbon sequestration parity [ENE]

ECT - The moment in time when the bioenergy system has displaced the same amount of fossil C as would be absorbed in the forest if this was not harvested for bioenergy.

(JRC, 2014, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IET, Carbon accounting of forest bioenergy : Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Agostini, A., Giuntoli, J., Boulamanti, A., Marelli, L., 2014, EUR 25354 EN, Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2014.)

 

Carbon stock

ORG - The absolute quantity of carbon held within a pool at a specific time.

(IPCC, 2001, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Third Assessment Report: Climate Change 2001 (TAR))

 

Carotene

STL - An orange photosynthetic pigment important for photosynthesis.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010)

 

Cascading use

ECT - Cascading use is the efficient utilization of resources by using residues and recycled materials for material use to extend total biomass availability within a given system.

From a technical perspective the cascading use of wood takes place when wood is processed into a cradle

In a single stage cascade, the wood is processed into a product and this product is used once more for energy purposes.

In a multi-stage cascade, the wood is processed into a product and this product is used at least once more in material form before disposal or recovery for energy purposes.

(Vis M., U. Mantau, B. Allen (Eds.) (2016) Study on the optimised cascading use of wood.No 394/PP/ENT/RCH/14/7689. Final report..Brussels 2016. 337 pages)

 

Category endpoint [LCA]

STA - Attribute or aspect of natural environment, human health, or resources, identifying an environmental issue giving cause for concern.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Cellulose

STL - Polymer of glucose, constituting the most abundant polymer on earth.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010)

 

DIC - A complex carbohydrate, or polysaccharide, consisting of 3,000 or more glucose units. The basic structural component of plant cell walls, cellulose comprises about 33 percent of all vegetable matter (90 percent of cotton and 50 percent of wood are cellulose) and is the most abundant of all naturally occurring organic compounds. 

(Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015, http://academic.eb.com/, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Cereals

ECT (GLO) - Cereals are herbaceous plants of the graminaceous family (with the exception of buckwheat) cultivated mainly for their grain. The quantities of cereals mixed with dry vegetables are entered in the balances 'dry vegetables'. Whole cereals are used primarily for human consumption and animal feed. They are also used to produce drinks and industrial products (for example, adhesives and starch). They are stored whole and, to a lesser extent, in the form of processed products (especially the products of first-stage processing). They are mostly traded whole. The market for the by-products of the second-stage processing of cereals is in general a different market from the cereal market itself. This applies in particular to products intended for human consumption. The supply balances 'cereals' include both grain (raw product) and the by-products of grain (first and second-stage processing).

(Eurostat a, Eurostat's Concepts and Definitions Database, accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

ECT (GLO) - Cereal includes wheat (common wheat and spelt and durum wheat), rye, maslin, barley, oats, mixed grain other than maslin, grain maize, sorghum, triticale, and other cereal crops such as buckwheat, millet, canary seed and rice.

(Eurostat b, Glossary,  accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

Certification

DIC - Formal procedure by which an accredited or authorized person or agency assesses and verifies (and attests in writing by issuing a certificate) the attributes, characteristics, quality, qualification, or status of individuals or organizations, goods or services, procedures or processes, or events or situations, in accordance with established requirements or standards.

(Business dictionary, http://www.businessdictionary.com, accessed 23 September 2015.)

 

Characterisation [LCA]

ECP - Calculation of the magnitude of the contribution of each classified input/output to their respective impact categories and aggregation of contributions within each category. This requires a linear multiplication of the inventory data with characterisation factors for each substance and impact category of concern. For example, with respect to the impact category “climate change”, CO2 is chosen as the reference substance and kg CO2-equivalents as the reference unit.

(EC, 2013a,  Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210)

 

Characterisation factor [LCA]

STA - Factor derived from a characterisation model which is applied to convert an assigned emission flow to the common unit of the impact category indicator.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Chemical Building Blocks

AGE - Also called "platform chemicals", they are chemicals that form the base form more complex products. For instance, they constitute the monomers (see definition of monomer) that react together to build a chain, called polymer. Examples of chemical building blocks include lactic acid and succinic acid. The polymer of lactic acid is called polylactic acid or PLA.

(US DOE, 2004, Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass. Volume I - Results of Screening for Potential Candidates from Sugars and Synthesis Gas. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington D.C.)

 

CO2 equivalent (CO2-eq)

ECT (GLO) - A metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global-warming potential (GWP), by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential.

(Eurostat b, Glossary,  accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

Co-function [LCA]

ECP - Any of two or more functions resulting from the same unit process or product system.

(EC, 2013a,  Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210)

 

Co-generation (or combined heat and power)

ORG (GLO) - The simultaneous generation of both electricity and heat from the same fuel, for useful purposes. The fuel varies greatly and can include coal, biomass, natural gas, nuclear material, the sun or the heat stored in the earth.

(IEA, International Energy Agency, Glossary of term, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Commodity

ECT (GLO) - Also called primary product or primary good, it is a good sold for production or consumption just as it was found in nature. Commodities include crude oil, coal, copper or iron ore, rough diamonds, and agricultural products such as wheat, coffee beans or cotton; they are often traded on commodity exchanges.

(Eurostat b, Glossary,  accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

Comparative assertion [LCA]

STA - Environmental claim regarding the superiority or equivalence of one product versus a competing product that performs the same function.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Completeness check [LCA]

STA - Process of verifying whether information from the phases of a life cycle assessment is sufficient for reaching conclusions in accordance with the goal and scope definition.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Consequential modelling principle [LCA]

ECT - The consequential life cycle inventory modelling principle is also called “change-oriented”, "effect-oriented", "decision-based", “market-based” and (older and incompletely / misleadingly capturing the issue: “marginal” or “prospective”).

It aims at identifying the consequences that a decision in the foreground system has for other processes and systems of the economy, both in the analysed system's background system and on other systems.

The consequential life cycle model is hence not reflecting the actual (or forecasted) specific or average supply-chain, but a hypothetic generic supply-chain is modelled along market-mechanisms, and potentially including political interactions and consumer behaviour changes.

Regarding modelling the main market consequences, components of general (and in some cases partial) equilibrium models are employed.

Central in modelling market consequences is a quantitative understanding of the markets and how direct and indirect changes in supply and demand of the analysed good or service act in the markets to cause specific changes in demand and supply of other goods and services.

Secondary consequences may counteract the primary consequences (then called 'rebound effects') or further enhance the preceding consequence.

(JRC, 2010, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IES, International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook - General guide for Life Cycle assessment - Detailed guidance. First edition, EUR 24708 EN. Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2010.) 

 

Contaminated land

AGE (GLO) - Any site or region that is damaged, harmed or made unfit for use by the introduction of unwanted substances, particularly microorganisms, chemicals, toxic and radioactive materials and wastes.

(EEA, European Environment Agency, Glossary: Environmental Terminology and Discovery Service (ETDS) , http://glossary.eea.europa.eu//, accessed 19 March 2015.)

 

Co-product

AGE (GLO) - A product produced together with another product.

(US EPA, 2015,  Terminology Services. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://ofmpub.epa.gov/sor_internet/registry/termreg/searchandretrieve/termsandacronyms/search.do, accessed 24 October 2016.)

 

STA - Any of two or more products coming from the same unit process or product system.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.;

ISO, 2006b, EN ISO 14044:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines. July 2006.)

 

Cover crop

LEG - It is the arable land on which plants are sown specifically to reduce the loss of soil, nutrients and plant protection products during the winter or other periods when the land would otherwise be bare and susceptible to losses. The economic interest of these crops is low, and the main goal is soil and nutrient protection. Normally they are ploughed in during spring before sowing another crop, and are not harvested or used for grazing.

(EU, 2009b, Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009 of 30 November 2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics, OJ L329, 15.12.2009, pp. 1-28.)

 

Cradle to cradle [LCA]

STL (GLO) - 'Cradle to cradle' goes beyond 'cradle to grave' and conforms more to the model of the circular economy. In a cradle to cradle model products would be designed in a way so that at the end of their initial life they can be readily reused, or recycled, and therefore avoid landfill altogether.

(Circular Ecology, Glossary of terms and definitions,  accessed 30 September 2016)

 

Cradle to gate [LCA]

ECP - A partial product supply chain, from the extraction of raw materials (cradle) up to the manufacturer’s “gate”. The distribution, storage, use stage and end-of-life stages of the supply chain are omitted.

(EC, 2013a,  Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210)

 

Cradle to grave [LCA]

ECP - A product’s life cycle that includes raw material extraction, processing, distribution, storage, use, and disposal or recycling stages. All relevant inputs and outputs are considered for all of the stages of the life cycle.

(EC, 2013a,  Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210)

 

Crop area

ORG - It is a surface of land on which a crop is grown. In general, the area measured for cadastral purposes includes, in addition to the area cultivated, headlands, ditches and other non-cultivated areas. Such an area can be called gross area as against the net area which includes only the portion of the gross area actually cultivated. For various reasons, e.g. natural calamities or economic considerations, certain areas planted or sown with a given crop are not harvested or are harvested before the crop reaches maturity. Hence the need for the concept of area to be sub-divided into sown or planted area and harvested area. Sown area data are necessary to estimate quantities used for seeding purposes; harvested area, to provide reliable and accurate yield and production data. A peculiarity of permanent crops is that number of trees or plants is reported in addition to or, instead of, the area planted. This is particularly so as regards plants growing outside of compact plantations, which are either interplanted with other crops or are scattered. Both area and number of trees are also divided into productive or bearing and non-productive or non-bearing areas or trees. In most cases, non-bearing refers to young plants that are not yet bearing.

(FAO, 2001, 'Food balance sheets. A handbook, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.)

 

Crop output

ECT (GLO) - Comprises sales, changes in stock levels, and crop products used as animal feedstuffs, or for processing and own final use by the producers.

(Eurostat b, Glossary,  accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

Crop production

ORG GLO - Crop production data refer to the actual harvested production from the field or orchard and gardens, excluding harvesting and threshing losses and that part of crop not harvested for any reason. Production therefore includes the quantities of the commodity sold in the market (marketed production) and the quantities consumed or used by the producers (auto-consumption). When the production data available refers to a production period falling into two successive calendar years and it is not possible to allocate the relative production to each of them, it is usual to refer production data to that year into which the bulk of the production falls. Crop production data are recorded in tonnes. In many countries, crop production data are obtained as a function of the estimated yield and the total area. If such a compilation method of production statistics is enforced by the country, it must be ensured that the total area does not refer to sown or planted area, which would give then the ‘biological production’, but to the actually harvested area during the year.

(FAOc, FAO Statistics Division, http://faostat.fao.org/site/375/default.aspx, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Crop rotation

LEG - Crop rotation is the practice of alternating annual crops grown on a specific field in a planned pattern or sequence in successive crop years so that crops of the same species are not grown without interruption on the same field. Normally the crops are changed annually, but they can also be multiannual. To distinguish arable land from permanent crops or permanent grassland, a threshold of five years is used. This means that if a plot is used for the same crop for five years or more, without in the meantime removing the preceding crop and establishing a new one, it is not considered arable land.

(EU, 2009b, Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009 of 30 November 2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards livestock unit coefficients and definitions of the characteristics, OJ L329, 15.12.2009, pp. 1-28.)

 

ECT (GLO) - Crop rotation on arable land is the practice of alternating annual crops grown on a specific field in a planned pattern or sequence in successive crop years so that crops of the same species are not grown without interruption on the same field. If the same crop is grown continuously, the term monoculture can be used to describe the phenomenon. The rotation of different species of cereals (for example wheat, barley, oats, wheat) is also considered as crop rotation.

Arable land is considered to be out of crop rotation when it is cultivated with the same crop for 3 years or more consecutively and when it is not part of a planned crop rotation.

(Eurostat b, Glossary,  accessed 14 October 2016.)

 

Cropped area

LEG - It is the area that corresponds to the total sown area for producing a specific crop during a given year.

(EU, 2009a, Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 concerning crop statistics and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 837/90 and (EEC) No 959/93, OJ L167, 29.06.2009, pp. 1-11..)

 

Crop yield

ORG GLO - Harvested production per unit of harvested area for crop products. In most of the cases yield data are not recorded but obtained by dividing the production data by the data on area harvested. Data on yields of permanent crops are not as reliable as those for temporary crops either because most of the area information may correspond to planted area, as for grapes, or because of the scarcity and unreliability of the area figures reported by the countries, as for example for cocoa and coffee.

(FAOc, FAO Statistics Division, http://faostat.fao.org/site/375/default.aspx, accessed 23 September 2015.)

 

Cross-flow filtration [ALG]

STL - Method of harvesting microalgae. Liquid flows across the surface of a membrane filtration and liquids and particles smaller than the pores in the filter are removed from the bottom of the filter.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010.)

 

Cut-off criteria [LCA]

STA - Specification of the amount of material or energy flow or the level of environmental significance associated with unit processes or product system to be excluded from a study.

(ISO, 2006a. EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Cyanobacteria

AGE STL - Also called blue-green algae, comprise photosynthetic prokaryotic organisms similar to bacteria. They constitute the largest, most diverse, and most widely distributed group of photosynthetic prokaryotes.

(Richmond, A., 2004, Handbook of Microalgal Culture: Biotechnology and Applied Phycology, Amos Richmond (editor), 588 pp, Wiley-Blackwell.

EEA, 2011, Opinion of the EEA Scientific Committee on Greenhouse Gas Accounting to Bioenergy, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark.)