Glossary for the Environmental Benefits of Commercial Recycling

CO2e: Carbon dioxide equivalent is a measure used to compare the global warming potential (GWP) of various greenhouse gases relative to the concentration of CO2 (which is defined as having a GWP of 1). Methane, for example, is 21 times more effective than CO2 at heating the atmosphere and therefore has a GWP of 21. Thus five tonnes of methane is equivalent to 5 × 21 = 105 tonnes of CO2.

Commercial recycling: Recycling that is categorised as either Commercial and Industrial (C&I) or Construction and Demolition (C&D).

Energy or Cumulative Energy Demand (CED): All energy use including fossil, renewable, electrical and feedstock (incorporated into materials such as plastic). CED is measured in terms of GJ LHV (see below). Alternately, CED can also be represented by the amount of electricity consumed in an average Australian household each year (6000 kWh).

GJ LHV: Cumulative Energy Demand is measured in terms of Giga-Joules (GJ) of fossil energy (Low Heating Value) - a Giga-Joule is one billion joules (a unit of energy). One GJ LHV is the equivalent of 178 kWh with the average Australian household consuming 6,000 kWh.

Greenhouse: Refers to greenhouse gases or atmospheric gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour, which trap heat reflected from the Earth's surface.

kL: A kilolitre is a metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 1000 litres.

kWh: A kilowatt hour, is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours or 3.6 megajoules.

Waste: Refers to solid wastes from production and reprocessing.

Water: Refers to net water use - such as potable water, process water, cooling water measured in kilolitre units.