A social term based upon the idea that the human species is divided into distinct groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioural differences.

Race to Zero Campaign

A global campaign, led by the United Nations, to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

Racial Equity and Human Rights Audit

An audit a company’s policies, practices, products, services and efforts in order to identify whether and how those components have a discriminatory effect and/or disparate impact on people historically subject to discrimination.


The oppression of people of colour based on a socially-constructed racial hierarchy that gives privilege to one group over another.


Energy transfer in the form of electromagnetic waves or particles that release energy when absorbed by an object.

Radiative Forcing

What happens when the amount of energy that enters the earth’s atmosphere is different from the amount of energy that leaves it.

Rare Earth Mineral

A mineral that contains one or more rare-earth elements.

Rational Self-interest

A behavioural assumption that economists make about how people act under different economic conditions. Acting in an economically rational way entails taking actions that reduce costs and increase benefits for the individual.

Reasonable Assurance

An auditing concept by which the auditor, applying a high level of engagement, accumulates evidence as part of an iterative, systematic process.

Reasons for Concern (RFCs)

Elements of a classification framework used by the IPCC to facilitate judgments about what level of climate change may be dangerous.


An action taken by an individual, shareholder or company to attempt to remedy a legal difficulty.

Recovered Material

Waste material and by-products that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, excluding materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, the original manufacturing process.

Recovery rate

The percentage of capture of a substance or material sought to be reused to minimise its negative environmental impact.


Any item that is of sufficient quality or grade to be collected, processed, and reused, either for its initial purpose or as a material or component in the manufacture of another item or product.


The process of re-using material for the production of new goods or services on the same quality level.

Recycled content

The portion of materials used in a product that have been diverted from the solid waste stream.


A framework created by the UNFCCC to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the sustainable management of forests.

Redefining Value

One of six programs at WBCSD that target the realisation of the Sustainable Developments Goals to achieve systems transformation.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (the ‘Three Rs’)

The three basic principles of waste reduction used in environmental education and communication. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is also known as the three Rs.

Reference period

The time period for which statistical results are collected or calculated and to which, as a result, these values refer.

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