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Glossary: going green initiatives for businesses - more than paperless

As environmental concerns remain at the forefront of international news, businesses are going green to preserve natural resources for the future. Companies recognize the need to take steps to protect the environment for the benefit of concerned consumers. One way to reduce the use of natural resources is going paperless. AP automation makes it possible to maintain a paperless AP department and business.

Going green for businesses matters to stay competitive in an evolving worldwide marketplace. People prefer to do business with companies that show their dedication to environmental issues. Top talent also prefers to work for companies that take environmental responsibility. Companies with green initiatives retain talent and have a greater perceived value to investors and shareholders, who look at this as part of the evaluation of the overall value a business provides. 

The Untapped editorial team has created this green glossary to help businesses navigate and understand the many terms used for going green business initiatives.  

AP Automation

The continued effort of companies to streamline the business process of their accounts payable departments through the use of automation that eliminates paperwork.

Biodegradable Material

An organic compound that can be converted to simpler compounds by natural microorganisms.

Carbon Footprint

The total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gases emitted over the full life cycle of a  service or product.

Carbon  Neutral

The actions of organizations, businesses and individuals acting  to remove the level of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that was put into it.

Carbon Offsets

Action that makes up for carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere..

Carbon Tax

A proposed tax charge on carbon dioxide emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Carbon Dioxide

A greenhouse gas that increases global warming (CO2.

Climate Change

Quick change in global climate due to human behavior.


Natural break down of materials into dirt.


Breakdown of organic wastes by a variety of means.


A self-sufficient environment formed by physical and biological characteristics existing together in one place.


Gases or exhausts produced by human behavior.

Energy Vampires

Electric appliances that keep using energy after they are turned off.


Companies making their products seem to be environmentally sound by putting them in green packages, indicating they are biodegradable (when they are not).


Environmentally-friendly and concerned.

Green Technology

Devoted to the conservation of energy, green building, soil health, smart electricity, and other environmental concerns.

Green Building

Using eco-friendly building materials, and designing energy-efficient homes and businesses. Reliant on solar and wind power.

Green Lifestyle/Living

Considering f life choices that will have consequences on the environment.


The practice of using automation to eliminate the need for paper files.


Material that completed its life as a consumer item and has been discarded for disposal or recovery. Typically paper products such as newspapers and magazines, that have been recycled to make new products.


Material discarded by commercial enterprise for disposal or recovery. Pre-consumer waste often refers to materials recovered from industry and recycled into new products.

Process Automation

The initiatives that enable business processes to be automated and paperless, hence reducing the use of natural resources.

Product Life Cycle Analysis

The inputs and outputs throughout the life cycle of that product, from its birth, including design, raw material extraction, material production, part production, and assembly, then use, and disposal.


The separating, processing, converting, and marketing of waste materials such as glass and aluminium from the waste stream to convert it into a new product.

Renewable Resource

A natural resource that can be replenished naturally at rates near to its rate of consumption.


The use of a material more than once.

Source Reduction

Reducing the weight and volume of waste being generated and consumed by making changes to manufacturing and production practices.

Source Separation

Segregating recyclable materials from other waste products in the home or business for collection and transportation to a recycling facility.


Preserving quality interactions with the local environment, economy and social system.

Touchless Processing

Automated processing and memorialization of business transactions and interactions without the need to use paper files.

Waste Streams

Waste materials from various commercial, industrial or municipal industries.

Zero Carbon Footprint

The goal of carbon neutrality by practicing carbon offsetting.

Businesses are recognizing the benefits of green initiatives, such as implementing AP automation, in the modern business world. Companies protect valuable resources for future generations while boosting their brands and reputations.

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