Glossary fg


Method of collaboration between independent companies by which the first gives to the second the right to use (following a payment) its commercial “know-how” and brand.


The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit international NGO that provides an internationally recognised forestry certification system. The purpose of the certification is to manage forests properly and ensure the traceability of forestry products. The FSC logo guarantees that the product has been made using raw materials from properly managed forests according to the principles contained in the two main standards: forestry management and chain of custody. The FSC certification system is an independent and third party scheme, with inspections being carried out by 17 certification bodies across the world. The certification bodies are in turn accredited by ASI (Accreditation Service International). One of the main activities of the FSC is to draw up standards that are adapted locally by national initiatives.

Global Compact

International initiative by the UN Secretary General that aims to bring together UN agencies, international companies, trade unions and civil society to support universally recognised social and environmental principles.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Multistakeholder initiative begun in 1997 to develop and promote globally applicable guidelines for drawing up sustainability reports, public and credible documents that describe the economic, environmental and social impacts generated by companies and organisations through their activities. The GRI was promoted by the CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) in partnership with the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and with the involvement of companies, NGOs, associations of accountants, business organisations and stakeholders at international level. The most frequently used GRI guidelines are GRI-G3.1, issued in March 2011.

Greenhouse effect

Heating caused by a number of different gases present in the atmosphere (known as greenhouse gases), which tend to block the release of heat from the Earth’s surface. This causes heating of the lower layers of the atmosphere.

GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions

The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O): these occur naturally in the atmosphere but concentrations have increased considerably due to human activities that generate emissions (industrial processes, burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil derivatives). Added to these are chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), halons, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFC), methyl bromide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), the presence of which in the atmosphere is solely due to human activity. The general increase in tropospheric ozone (O3), caused by emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) also contributes to global warming, while aerosols in the atmosphere have a net cooling effect. Greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation released by the Earth’s surface and reflect it back onto the Earth, causing the temperature to rise.