Our sustainability glossary

What does sustainability mean? Where does this term come from? What is an emission certificate? We are concerned with these and many more questions when we talk about sustainability. We would like to present a small summary of important and frequently used terms of sustainability and how we at AVISTA OIL define them.


AVIeCO2 is the AVISTA OIL concept for sustainable value creation. This is not a product, but the concept of used oil collection and processing as well as the use of sustainable lubricants in the application.


CO2 equivalents (CO2-eq) are a unit of measurement used to standardize the climate impact of the various greenhouse gases. Every greenhouse gas has an effect on the atmosphere by which it raises the temperature. In order to find a unit of measurement with which the different effects of the different gases on the atmosphere can be compared, one uses the effect of carbon dioxide and puts the other greenhouse gases in relation to this. So we form equivalents to CO2. See also global warming potential.


Term used to clarify that a product, service, process or company does not have a negative carbon footprint. However, this does not mean that the company / process / product does not emit any CO2 or other greenhouse gases, only that the amount emitted has been neutralized, for example by means of compensation certificates.

Emissions certificate

Instrument of the market economy with which the emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are to be reduced and thus the climate is to be protected. The policy determines how many tons of CO2 can be emitted by a group (of companies) in total. Anyone who belongs to the group and heats up the climate with CO2 emissions, requires an emission allowance (= certificate) for every ton of CO2 emitted. These certificates can be bought at state-organized auctions (emissions trading exchange). If CO2 is emitted without authorization, penalties are due.

Global warming potential

Greenhouse gases have different global warming potentials, the so-called "Global Warming Potential" (GWP). The climate impact of carbon dioxide serves as a benchmark (GWP of CO2 is equal to 1), i.e. the global warming potential of other substances is measured relative to CO2. The GWP value / CO2 equivalent indicates the global warming potential of a substance and thus its contribution to the warming of the air layer close to the ground. See also CO2-eq.


Eutrophication describes the accumulation of nutrients in an ecosystem or part of an ecosystem, e.g. Waters. In the modern age, the term is usually understood to mean the human-made supply of nutrients (phosphate, nitrate) from wastewater or through the entry of intensively fertilized agricultural areas into bodies of water. The consequence of these actions is a disproportionately high proportion of nutrients in the soil, water and plants.


The climate is a term from meteorology and describes the composition and changes in the earth's atmosphere over a longer period of time. The climate in turn has an impact on organisms on the earth's surface (precipitation, solar radiation, temperature, etc.). A distinction must be made between climate and weather or weather phenomena, which describe shorter periods of time.

Climate neutral

The bottom line is that the company / process / product / service does not increase the amount of climate-damaging gases in the atmosphere. See also CO2 neutral.

Climate certificate

Confirmation of the concrete saving of greenhouse gases through demonstrable compensation measures in climate protection. See also compensation measures.

Compensation measure

Processes / products / services that are harmful to the climate are balanced out (= compensated) by measures that have a favorable effect on the climate (= reduce greenhouse gas emissions), e.g. investments in reforestation, greening of sealed areas, etc. 

Sustainable / sustainability

Unspecified, non-protected collective term for actions that correspond to the "principle of sustainability". Possibly used in its original form for the first time in forestry to explain how it can be ensured in the long term that the forest will survive. In doing so, no more wood may be removed from the forest than it would be able to regenerate on its own.

Life cycle assessment

Often equated with the term carbon footprint to represent the ecologically relevant properties of a company / process / product. Often only expressed in CO2-eq. However, one needs also to take into consideration the  impact on all areas of ecology, not just those that are greenhouse gas relevant.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH)

PAHs are ring-shaped chemical compounds and result from the incomplete combustion of organic material such as wood, coal or oil. Many PAHs have carcinogenic, mutagenic and / or reproduction-endangering properties. Further properties of many PAHs: poorly degradable and toxic.

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases are those gases in the earth's atmosphere that produce the so-called greenhouse effect (warming of the atmosphere comparable to the conditions in a greenhouse). Most greenhouse gases can have a natural, but also an anthropogenic (man-made) origin. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) should be mentioned here in particular.


"Comperative" of recycling, in which a product is created from waste, which exceeds the original product in terms of its properties. The AVIeCO2 process is a classic example of an UpCycling process.


Many of the man-made emissions in industry, traffic or agriculture emit acidic nitrogen and sulfur compounds (SO2, NHx, NOx) into the air. If these get into the soil, important nutrients are lost. If the nutrients are lacking, plants lose vitality on acidic soils. In addition, the resistance to drought stress or pests decreases. This leads to the death of important constituents in the soil, which in turn affects life in and on the soil.