Glossary de

Direct Marketing

Promotional activities directed directly at the end-user.

Diversity Management

Diversity Management is a conscious approach to managing diversity in organisations, whether it be cultural, ethnic, age or gender related, leveraging it in order to innovate and improve performance.


The remuneration distributed annually to shareholders based on how much they have invested with the company. The dividend is tightly connected to the profit of the period to which it refers. Once the dividend is approved, shareholders are given the right to receive the dividend. Dividends can be paid from the profits of the period to which they refer or from reserves.


Electronic Procurement: web-based procurement system by means of which the company can buy the goods and services required, eliminating stocks or reducing them to a minimum.

Earnings per share

Net profit divided by the number of shares outstanding.


This is commonly understood to be the relationship between all living organisms and the environment in which they exist.

Educational publishing

Textbooks and other materials for schools, colleges, universities, training programs and so on.


The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary environmental and industrial policy tool aimed at promoting continuous improvements in the environmental efficiency of industrial activities. It was introduced in 1993 as a Regulation (761/2001) of the European Communities. The EMAS scheme is consistent and integrated with the ISO 14001 standard, the main difference being the importance given to communication aspects. The environmental declaration required by EMAS, which is validated by an accredited inspector, contains a summary of the undertakings given by the company.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is intended to promote behaviour, working methods and production techniques that use less energy for the same production.

Environmental certification

A certification is a statement guaranteeing that a particular business administration system complies with a specific standard. Environmental certification is a valid tool, even for financial institutions, used to affirm a company’s social accountability.
Various different certification standards exist for environmental purposes: the most important at the moment are the ISO14001 and EMAS certifications.

Environmental footprint

The environmental footprint is a concise index which measures the impact a given population has on an area through consumption. It measures the total surface area of ecologically productive ecosystems – terrestrial and aquatic – needed to regenerate the resources used and absorb all the emissions produced. Because of its ability to integrate a great deal of information into a single index and its communication impact, the environmental footprint has been included in the set of European common indices.

Environmental management system

Part of the overall management system of a company that includes its organisational structure, responsibilities, procedures, processes and resources for defining and implementing its environmental policy, which generally aims to reduce its environmental impact. The main references are the ISO 14000 series of international standards and the EU Council Regulation 761/01 known as EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) which applies in the UE.

Ethical finance

This term covers a whole range of activities and actors (agencies, banks, funds…) with an unconventional concept of finance. These initiatives provide individual savers or investors with the option to choose to invest their money on the basis of moral and ethical principles and values. Individual investors or savers are therefore able to control the non-economic consequences of their economic actions: they are not concerned solely with profit or profitability but want to ensure that their money is used ethically, respecting human rights, the environment and workers.