The process of recycling electronic devices.

Early warning system

The set of technical, financial and institutional capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organisations threatened by a hazard to prepare to act promptly and appropriately to reduce the possibility of harm or loss.

Early-Stage Company

Describes a recently founded company that is still developing its initial products/services or a financing round for such a company.

Early-Stage Fund

A venture capital fund that focuses on investing in early-stage companies.

Earth overshoot day

Marks the date each year on which humanity exhausts nature’s ‘budget’ for the year, hence for the rest of the year, we maintain an ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks at rates faster than can be replenished and accumulate increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Earth system feedback

See Climate feedback.

Earth system model (ESM)

A coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model in which a representation of the carbon cycle is included, allowing for interactive calculation of atmospheric CO2 or compatible emissions.

EC Directive 1999/94/EC on the Availability of Consumer Information on Fuel Economy and CO2 Emissions for New Passenger Cars

A European Commission directive requiring information on the fuel efficiency of all new cars to be displayed on the vehicles at point-of-sale and in all marketing materials in specified Member States.

EC Directive 2003/96/EC on Energy Taxation

A European Commission directive outlining minimum requirements and guidelines for Member States to tax various forms of energy production.

EC Directive 2009/31/EC on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide

A legal framework established by the European Commission to ensure the selection of safe and suitable sites for geological CO2 storage and minimise potential human and environmental harm from this practice.

EC Directive 2012/27 on Energy Efficiency

A directive issued by the European Commission requiring the implementation of energy efficiency measures in the EU to help meet initial goals of a 20% reduction by 2020.

EC Directive 2014/95/EU on Non-Financial Reporting

A European Commission directive that requires certain large public-interest companies to publish reports on the policies they implement related to ESG.

EC Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020

A set of guidelines that outline how EU Member States can work toward the Europe 2020 strategy and the 2030 framework of reducing EU GHGs by 20% and 40%, respectively, when compared to 1990.

EC Regulation No. 106/2008 on a Community Energy Efficiency Labelling Program for Office Equipment

A European Commission regulation that applied until 2018, designed to incentivise companies to purchase and use the most energy-efficient equipment in their operations.


The relationship between economic output (product, service, activity) and added environmental impact caused by production, consumption and disposal.


Unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and either widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts.


Labelling systems for food and consumer products. 

Ecological Footprint

The impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.

Ecological Impact

The effect of human activities and natural events on living organisms and their non-living environment.

Ecological Risk

The potential for a given event, action or series of actions to affect an ecosystem.

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