Orbify Glossary

Here we cover all the key terms you need to know to elevate your understanding of satellite technology and its applications in carbon markets, EUDR compliance, and climate risk assessment.

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Additionality is a fundamental principle in carbon offsetting, denoting that greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions achieved through a project are considered additional only if they would not have occurred in the absence of a market for offset credits. This concept is crucial for ensuring the integrity of carbon offset credits, as purchasing offsets that do not represent genuine emissions reductions can undermine efforts to combat climate change.


Afforestation is the planting of trees where forests never existed before or have been absent for centuries. This process involves establishing new forested areas in landscapes that were previously devoid of tree cover. Afforestation plays a crucial role in environmental conservation and ecosystem restoration by promoting biodiversity, mitigating soil erosion, enhancing water retention, and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It contributes to combating deforestation and land degradation while providing habitats for wildlife and enhancing overall landscape resilience.

Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation (ARR) project

Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation (ARR) projects focus on establishing new forests or restoring degraded land by planting trees or reintroducing vegetation. These projects aim to increase forest cover, enhance ecosystem services, and mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Afforestation involves converting non-forested land into forested areas, while reforestation involves replanting trees in areas that were previously forested but have been cleared or degraded. Revegetation involves reintroducing native plant species to degraded ecosystems to restore their ecological functions and biodiversity.

Baseline setting

Baseline setting is the pivotal process of establishing a benchmark against which emissions reductions or performance targets are evaluated in carbon market mechanisms like crediting and penalty schemes. In crediting mechanisms, the baseline signifies the expected emissions levels in the absence of the project, serving as a reference for determining the eligibility of emission credits.


Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth, encompassing all living organisms, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and their interactions within ecosystems. It encompasses genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity, occurring at different levels, from genes to entire ecosystems. Biodiversity is essential for maintaining the health and resilience of ecosystems, providing ecosystem services such as clean air and water, pollination, and climate regulation. It is considered vital for the sustainability of life on Earth and is often regarded as important and desirable for ecological stability and human well-being.

Blue Carbon

Blue carbon refers to the carbon captured and stored by the world's oceanic and coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes. It's a critical component in the fight against climate change, helping to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Blue Carbon Projects

Blue carbon projects focus on conserving and revitalizing crucial marine and coastal ecosystems like mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses. These areas are incredibly efficient at storing carbon, often outperforming terrestrial forests in carbon sequestration. Mangroves, for instance, are especially valuable in these projects due to their high carbon storage capability and the cost-effectiveness of their restoration.

Carbon Credits

A carbon credit is a tradable permit that allows a country, company, or organization to emit a specified amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses. It represents the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and can be bought, sold, or traded on carbon markets. Carbon credits are used as a mechanism to incentivize and finance projects that reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere. These projects can include renewable energy initiatives, reforestation efforts, energy efficiency improvements, and more.

Carbon footprint

A carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases, predominantly carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted directly or indirectly as a consequence of human activities, products, services, or events. It encapsulates the environmental impact of these activities in terms of their contribution to climate change and global warming. Measured in units of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to standardize emissions across different greenhouse gases, the carbon footprint encompasses both direct emissions from burning fossil fuels for energy or transportation and indirect emissions generated throughout a product's lifecycle, including manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal.

Carbon Markets

Carbon markets are unique financial markets designed for the buying and selling of carbon credits. They serve as specialized markets where entities can trade permits that authorize specific levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Operating within diverse regulatory frameworks, such as cap-and-trade systems or voluntary programs, carbon markets play a pivotal role in facilitating emissions reductions. They provide a mechanism for incentivizing sustainable practices and fostering the transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Carbon Monitoring

Carbon monitoring involves systematically tracking carbon dioxide (CO2) or methane (CH4) emissions from specific sources over time. The Carbon Monitor initiative provides real-time estimates of CO2 emissions, aiding stakeholders in monitoring progress towards emission reduction goals and informing climate policies.

Carbon Offsetting Platforms

A carbon offset platform is an online marketplace where individuals, companies, and organizations can purchase carbon credits to compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions or support climate action initiatives. These platforms provide a convenient and transparent way for users to invest in projects that reduce or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, such as renewable energy projects, reforestation efforts, or methane capture initiatives. By purchasing carbon credits through these platforms, users can effectively offset their carbon footprint and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.

Carbon positive

Carbon positive refers to a state where an entity or activity not only reduces or offsets its carbon footprint but also makes additional positive contributions to the environment. In other words, it involves going beyond carbon neutrality by actively sequestering more carbon dioxide than is emitted or by engaging in actions that enhance ecosystem health, biodiversity, and overall environmental quality.

Carbon Projects

A carbon offset project is a verified initiative aimed at environmental conservation, energy efficiency, or renewable energy deployment. These projects are designed to reduce, avoid, or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the mitigation of climate change. Examples of carbon offset projects include reforestation and afforestation efforts, renewable energy installations like wind farms or solar parks, methane capture from landfills or agricultural operations, and energy efficiency improvements in buildings or industrial processes.

Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration refers to the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), thereby reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and mitigating global climate change. Carbon sequestration plays a crucial role in offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions and helping to stabilize the Earth's climate by reducing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere over time.

Carbon stock assessment

Carbon stock assessment is a process used to quantify the amount of carbon stored within specific ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, and soils. It involves measuring and estimating carbon stocks in various biomass pools, including aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, deadwood, litter, and soil organic carbon.


Decarbonisation is achieved by switching to the usage of renewable energy sources and implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices. This includes transitioning away from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which release carbon dioxide when burned, and instead utilizing clean energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal power.


Deforestation is the removal and destruction of forests or stands of trees from land, leading to the conversion of forested areas into non-forest land uses. This process often involves the transformation of forested land into agricultural fields, pasture for livestock grazing, urban areas, or industrial sites. Deforestation is driven by human activities such as agriculture, logging, infrastructure development, and urbanization.

Disaster risk assessment

Disaster risk assessment is the process of evaluating the potential hazards, exposure, and vulnerability to natural disasters. It combines qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze the risks posed to people, property, infrastructure, livelihoods, and the environment by various natural hazards.

Earth Observation (EO)

Earth Observation (EO) involves the use of remote sensing technologies, such as satellites, to collect data about the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans. These satellites are equipped with sensors and cameras that capture images and other measurements, providing valuable information for various applications. EO helps monitor changes in the environment, such as deforestation, urbanization, and climate patterns, enabling scientists, policymakers, and businesses to make informed decisions about resource management, disaster response, and environmental conservation.

Emissions Trading System (ETS)

Emissions Trading System (ETS) is operating on the principle of 'cap and trade' to curb greenhouse gas emissions effectively. Covering a vast array of sectors and countries within the EU and EEA-EFTA states, the ETS sets a cap on emissions, progressively tightening it to align with ambitious climate targets. By requiring companies to hold allowances for their emissions and facilitating trading among them, the ETS encourages emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.


ESG or Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance, refers to criteria used to evaluate a company's sustainability and social responsibility practices. It assesses how a company impacts the environment, treats its stakeholders, and manages its operations and leadership.


The EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) is a regulatory framework established by the European Union (EU) to address deforestation and forest degradation resulting from EU consumption and production activities. It sets stringent regulatory requirements for companies seeking to import products associated with deforestation into the European market or export them. The regulation mandates due diligence measures to ensure that products comply with sustainability standards and do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation.

Feasibility study

A feasibility study for carbon projects summarizes the necessary requirements, financial aspects (including costs and revenue), and anticipated benefits of undertaking a carbon project. Its primary purpose is to evaluate the viability of the project by assessing factors such as technical feasibility, market demand for carbon credits, potential revenue streams from carbon offset sales, upfront investment costs, and anticipated returns on investment. By conducting a feasibility study, project developers and stakeholders can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the project based on its economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Forest Monitoring

Forest monitoring involves systematically observing and assessing forests and land cover to collect data on parameters like forest extent, biodiversity, and carbon stocks. It helps countries understand forest status, identify threats like deforestation, and make informed decisions for sustainable forest management and climate goals.

Geospatial data

Geospatial data refers to information that is associated with specific geographic locations on the Earth's surface. This data is often represented as coordinates (latitude and longitude) and can include various attributes such as land cover, elevation, population density, and infrastructure. Geospatial data can be collected from various sources, including satellites.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol

The GHG Protocol is a globally recognized initiative that sets standardized frameworks for measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It provides guidelines and methodologies that enable both private and public sector organizations to quantify and report their emissions accurately and transparently. These frameworks cover various aspects of emissions, including those from operations, value chains, and efforts to mitigate emissions. By adhering to the GHG Protocol standards, organizations can effectively track their carbon footprint, identify emission reduction opportunities, and develop strategies to mitigate their impact on climate change.

Internal carbon pricing

An internal carbon price refers to a monetary value that companies assign to greenhouse gas emissions produced by their operations. This price is used internally within the company to account for the environmental cost of emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. By incorporating an internal carbon price into their financial planning and decision-making processes, businesses can better assess the financial implications of their emissions and prioritize investments and initiatives that reduce their carbon footprint.

Leakage area analysis

Leakage area refers to the phenomenon where changes or intensification in land use occur outside the designated project boundary but within the same country, often as a consequence of forest creation initiatives. In the context of carbon sequestration projects, if such leakage is anticipated, a thorough assessment is required to evaluate its potential impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. I


Mangroves are forests located in tropical regions, known for their dense root systems and abundant organic matter, making them highly efficient carbon sinks. They play a crucial role in coastal protection by mitigating storm surges and preventing erosion.

Natural Based Solutions

Nature-based solutions are strategies aimed at protecting, managing, or restoring natural ecosystems to address various societal challenges, including climate change, human health, food and water security, and disaster risk reduction. These solutions harness the benefits of natural ecosystems to provide both human well-being and biodiversity benefits in an effective and adaptive manner.

Paris Climate Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a landmark international treaty on climate change that aims to combat global warming and its impacts. It was adopted by 196 Parties at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris, France, in December 2015. The agreement sets out ambitious goals to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also outlines targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing climate resilience, and providing financial and technological support to developing countries.

Protected areas

A protected area, also known as a conservation area, is a designated location that receives legal or formal protection due to its recognized natural, ecological, or cultural significance. These areas are managed and regulated to preserve their environmental, biodiversity, or cultural values. Typically, human activities such as resource extraction, development, or habitat destruction are restricted or regulated within protected areas to ensure their conservation for future generations.

Redd+ project

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus conservation, sustainable forest management, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) is a United Nations-supported framework designed to combat climate change by addressing deforestation and forest degradation. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by incentivizing developing countries to conserve and sustainably manage their forests. REDD+ programs provide financial incentives for countries to reduce deforestation rates, enhance forest carbon stocks, and promote sustainable land-use practices. By preserving forests and enhancing their capacity to sequester carbon, REDD+ contributes to global efforts to mitigate risks while also supporting biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is a method of observing and studying the Earth's surface from a distance using specialized sensors on satellites or aircraft. These sensors capture images by detecting the radiation emitted or reflected by the Earth's surface. Remote sensing enables researchers to gather valuable information about various physical characteristics of the land, such as vegetation health, land use patterns, and environmental changes, without needing direct contact with the area being studied.

Satellite Imagery

Satellite imagery refers to images of the Earth's surface captured by satellites orbiting the planet. These images are obtained using sensors onboard the satellites that detect different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, such as visible light, infrared, and microwave radiation. By capturing and processing data from these sensors, satellite imagery provides detailed and high-resolution pictures of the Earth's surface, which are widely used in various applications, including environmental monitoring, urban planning, agriculture, and disaster management.

Satellite-based environmental insights

Satellite-based environmental insights is the use of satellite technology to gather data and provide valuable information about various aspects of the environment. This could include monitoring changes in land use, assessing carbon levels, tracking biodiversity, analyzing water quality, and more. By leveraging satellite imagery and advanced analytics, this approach enables researchers, businesses, and policymakers to gain a better understanding of environmental conditions and make informed decisions for conservation, sustainability, and resource management.

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)

The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) aims to promote sustainable and responsible corporate behavior, integrating human rights and environmental considerations into business operations and governance. The directive requires companies to identify, mitigate, and account for negative human rights and environmental impacts in their operations and value chains. It also mandates certain large companies to align their business strategies with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) effective since January 5, 2023, expands the scope of reporting obligations to approximately 50,000 companies, including listed SMEs and some non-EU companies operating in the EU market. By enforcing European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), developed by the EFRAG, the CSRD ensures uniformity and transparency in reporting practices, facilitating stakeholders' assessments of companies' impacts on society and the environment.

The European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP)

The European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) adopted in March 2020, serves as a cornerstone of the European Green Deal. This strategic framework, integral to achieving the EU's 2050 climate neutrality target and addressing biodiversity loss, aims to alleviate pressure on natural resources while fostering sustainable growth and job creation. By targeting product design, promoting circular processes, encouraging sustainable consumption, and minimizing waste, the CEAP outlines both legislative and non-legislative measures to maximize the EU's circular economy potential.

The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal represents a visionary roadmap towards reshaping the European Union into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. It pledges to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, signaling a bold commitment to combatting climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) aims at reducing harmful industrial emissions and safeguarding human health and the environment. It covers approximately 52,000 installations across the EU, ensuring that they operate in accordance with permits granted by Member States, which set conditions based on the principles of the directive.

The Nature Restoration Law

The Nature Restoration Law proposed by the European Commission represents a pioneering effort to rejuvenate ecosystems across the continent, addressing urgent biodiversity loss and climate change challenges. With over 80% of habitats in poor condition, the law aims to restore wetlands, rivers, forests, grasslands, and marine ecosystems, leveraging their capacity to enhance biodiversity, regulate climate, and mitigate natural disasters. By setting ambitious targets, including covering at least 20% of the EU's land and sea areas by 2030 and achieving full ecosystem restoration by 2050, the proposal seeks to secure long-term ecological resilience and contribute to global climate goals.

The Renewable Energy Directive (RED)

The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) serves as a pivotal framework within the European Union's efforts to transition towards a more sustainable energy future. Since its inception, the directive has played a pivotal role in significantly increasing the share of renewable energy sources in EU energy consumption. From 2010 to 2022, this share surged from 12.5% to 23%, marking a substantial leap towards a greener energy landscape.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD)

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to maintain and restore the health of EU water bodies. It sets out rules to achieve good status for rivers, lakes, and groundwater, focusing on reducing pollution and ensuring adequate water supply for both human needs and wildlife. The WFD, established in 2000, guides an integrated approach to water management, regulating pollutants and establishing standards.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a multilateral treaty established in 1992. It was adopted shortly after the first assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990. The primary goal of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system. In essence, it serves as the foundational framework for international cooperation on addressing climate change and its impacts.

Verra Methodology

Verra methodology refers to the standards and guidelines established by Verra, a leading organization in the carbon market, for the calculation and verification of emission reductions or removals from carbon projects. These methodologies provide a framework of parameters, criteria, and operations necessary to accurately quantify the environmental benefits of a carbon project over its lifetime. Carbon project developers can choose to adopt existing Verra methodologies or develop new ones that comply with Verra's standards.

Verra Registry

The Verra Registry serves as the central hub for the implementation of Verra's standards programs. It functions as the primary database housing all relevant information and documentation pertaining to Verra projects and units. By maintaining the registry, Verra ensures the distinctiveness of projects and credits within the system, providing transparency and accountability in the management of carbon offsetting initiatives.

Voluntary Carbon Market

The voluntary carbon market (VCM) serves as a supplementary platform alongside the compliance market, offering organizations and individuals a means to address their carbon emissions. Through participation in the VCM, entities can assume responsibility for their carbon footprint by engaging in climate projects and procuring Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) via trading mechanisms. This approach to carbon offsetting operates within the regulatory framework established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER)

Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) or Verified Emission Reductions are carbon offsets traded in voluntary carbon markets. They represent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from projects like renewable energy or reforestation. VERs undergo a certification process to ensure their legitimacy, making them credible for individuals or companies looking to offset their carbon footprint voluntarily.

Zero carbon

Zero carbon refers to a state in which no carbon emissions are being produced from a product or service. This means that the activity or process involved does not release any carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Examples of zero carbon activities include generating electricity from renewable sources like wind or solar power, or using energy storage systems such as batteries to deploy electricity without emitting carbon. The goal of achieving zero carbon is to reduce the impact of human activities on climate change by minimizing the release of greenhouse gasses.






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