In this glossary, you will find explanations of terms related to energy and sustainability.  


Biogas is produced from sludge, landfill waste, garden waste, leftover fruit and vegetables, and animal residues such as cow manure, among others. The biogas is then purified and dried and brought to the same quality as natural gas. After these operations, it may be called green gas and is a sustainable alternative to fossil natural gas. (source: Platform Groen Gas – Platform Groen Gas).


Biomass is the biodegradable part of products, wastes and residues from natural products. Natural products include agriculture, horticulture, forests, the sea or industrial and municipal waste. And 'biodegradable' implies that something can be decomposed naturally by mould and bacteria. Eneco uses these biodegradable substances to produce electricity for industry and heat for our heat networks. Eneco applies the rule of thumb that biomass is only used if there are insufficient other sustainable alternatives available.

The biomass we process, trade and/or use meets international sustainability criteria and chain management requirements. These are guaranteed by certificates approved by the European and Dutch governments.  An example of such a certificate is Better Biomass.  

Carbon factor

How much CO2 is emitted when producing energy? This is indicated by the carbon factor. This factor shows the ‘CO2 intensity’ of the electricity produced. And then the electricity produced using our own means of production, for which we have control over the production process (see the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, page 18).  

CO2-offset gas

Actions that companies take to help society avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions outside of their value chain. Offsetting measures are not included in the company's GHG accounting in accordance with the GHG Protocol.

CO2-offset gas

When CO2 emissions from the natural gas consumed are offset by the purchase of CO2 credits, this is called ‘CO2-offset gas’. The websites of Eneco’s energy suppliers contain more information about the purchased CO2 credits. For more information, please see 'CO2 offsetting'.

CO2-free flexible capacity

CO2-free flexible capacity is the technology - flexible renewable capacity - used when the energy produced from fluctuating renewable sources, such as sun and wind, is not sufficient. The flexible renewable capacity can for example be derived from power plants such as EnecoGen, when this power plant, after being converted, uses green hydrogen as fuel.  

Sustainable gasses

Sustainable gasses refers to green hydrogen and green gas.

Sustainable heat source

A renewable heat source is a renewable energy source or a heat source from which we use the residual heat generated during an industrial or commercial process (source: draft Dutch Collective Heat Supply Act in Dutch).  

ESG ratings

How to map out in which way and to what extent a company takes its employees, customers and the environment into account when it comes to management and activities? The 'Environmental Social & Governance (ESG) ratings' is a method to measure and track this. The score shows how Eneco takes factors such as energy consumption, climate, availability of raw materials, health and safety into account in company decisions. The ESG ratings measure whether a company is prepared for possible long-term material risks, i.e. significant changes to these (environmental) factors, to be able to pursue its chosen path.


The European Emission Trading System is a system with which the European Union (EU) aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively in order to achieve climate targets. The EU has set a limit on the total number of allowances a company is allowed to emit annually. When companies are short of allowances, they either have to reduce their emissions or buy allowances. When you have a surplus of emission allowances, you can either keep them for the following year or sell them. This flexibility ensures that emissions are cut where it costs the least to do so. In this way, emission trading between companies is created and a CO2 price is set.

Eneco's gas-fired electricity and combined heat & power plants (CHP) are covered by the EU ETS. Installations covered by the EU ETS must surrender one allowance for every tonne of CO2 emitted. As the number of available emission allowances decrease every year, scarcity is created in the market. This way it pays to emit as little CO2 as possible.

Green gas

Green gas is a gas mixture based on biogenic waste streams, and is therefore classified as 'biomass’. Green gas is produced from renewable sources. Green gas is made by upgrading biogas so it has the same quality as natural gas. Like green electricity, green gas is supplied certified with Guarantees of Origin (GoO). These guarantees are established in accordance with the European Directive On the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources.

Green electricity

Green electricity, also called renewable and sustainable power, is the supply of electricity for which a Guarantee of Origin (GoO) for electricity is debited. A GoO for electricity shows that a certain share or quantity of electricity has been produced from renewable sources (source: European Directive 'On the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources').

Green hydrogen

Hydrogen is an energy carrier, used for various heating purposes (steam, hot water, etc.). Green hydrogen is produced from water using electricity. The electrolysis process causes water (H2O) to split into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2 ). If you use green electricity for this, the process does not release any CO2 at all (source: H2Platform in Dutch). That is why it is called green hydrogen.   

Renewable energy sources

Renewable energy sources are sources that are replenished by nature. These include wind energy, solar energy (solar thermal and photovoltaic), geothermal energy, ambient energy, tidal energy, wave energy and other ocean energy, hydropower, and energy from biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas (source: European Directive ‘On the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources’).

Internal operations

By internal operations we mean the work-related mobility of our employees and the energy used for our premises.

Climate neutral

Climate neutral, also referred to as net-zero. These terms indicate that greenhouse gas emissions do not contribute to climate change along the entire chain (scope 1, 2 and 3 in accordance with the GHG Protocol). This is done by reducing emissions (e.g. through saving energy, generating and supplying sustainable energy) at least according to a 1.5˚C reduction pathway and by neutralising remaining emissions through the permanent removal of CO2eq from the atmosphere (in accordance with SBTi Corporate Net-Zero Standard).  

Eneco cold

Eneco cold is the way in which we use cold water to cool buildings. The cooling of the water comes from various sources, including groundwater or river water. The sources used depend on the location.

Environmentally friendly cooling

Cooling a building with Eneco cold means using cold water that is already available, e.g. from surface or groundwater. It is usually a more sustainable solution than cooling with existing air conditioning units, for example.

Residual heat

Residual heat is heat generated as a by-product in industrial or commercial processes. This residual heat is produced anyway and, without connection to a heat network, would end up unused in the air or water (source: draft Dutch Collective Heat Supply Act in Dutch).  


Scoping, i.e. determining the scope (in the case of Eneco, determining the scope of the CO2 emissions), is done on the basis of the standards of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. There are three types of scopes for three types of emissions:

  • Scope 1 emissions: direct emissions from sources wholly controlled by us, i.e. full authority to set and implement operational policies. Operational decisions are decisions about whether to put a facility into operation, but may also include decisions about maintenance and safety. Emissions from sources with shared ownership and control are allocated based on ownership.
  • Scope 2 emissions: purchased electricity, steam, heating or cooling and consumed by us.
  • Scope 3 emissions: all indirect emissions (as far as not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company.

In other words: a company reports the emissions of self-generated energy (scope 1), the emissions of self-purchased and self-consumed energy (scope 2) or emissions that occurred earlier in the chain and emissions that occur later in the chain, by using the delivered products (scope 3), for example.

Eneco heat

Eneco heat is water that has been heated by heat released from various sources. Via the heat network, this heated water is used to provide buildings with hot water or for space heating. The sources used depend on the location.


The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. This includes variation in genetic, phenotypic, phylogenetic, and functional attributes, as well as changes in abundance and distribution over time and space within and among species, biological communities and ecosystems. Source: biodiversity | IPBES secretariat

Biodiversity positive and Biodiversity No Net Loss or Biodiversity Net Gain

In which the impacts on biodiversity caused by a project (or plan or programme) are balanced or outweighed by measures taken to avoid and minimise the project’s (plan’s or programme’s) impacts, to undertake on-site restoration and finally to offset or restore the residual impacts, so that no loss remains. Where the gain exceeds the loss, the term ‘net gain’ may be used instead. Source: Arcadis, H. van Gossum et al. 10-2022: Biodiversity metric to support Eneco’s positive biodiversity ambition, Part 2: Technical Report.


Refers to the state of ecological systems, which includes their physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and the processes and interactions that connect them. Source: Ecological Condition | US EPA

Carbon Removals

Measures that companies take to remove carbon (equivalents) from the atmosphere and permanently store it within or beyond the value chain. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Direct Air Capture and Storage (DACS)
  • Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)

(source SBTi)


The place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs. Also used to mean the environmental attributes required by a particular species or its ecological niche. Source: habitat | IPBES secretariat

Nature Restoration

The restoration of nature by facilitating the recovery of an ecosystem and its habitats and species that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed. Source: Arcadis, H. van Gossum et al. 10-2022: Biodiversity metric to support Eneco’s positive biodiversity ambition, Part 2: Technical Report.


An interbreeding group of organisms that is reproductively isolated from all other organisms, although there are many partial exceptions to this rule in particular taxa. Operationally, the term species is a generally agreed fundamental taxonomic unit, based on morphological or genetic similarity, that once described and accepted is associated with a unique scientific name. Source: species | IPBES secretariat

Land use

The human use of a specific area for a certain purpose (such as residential; agriculture; recreation; industrial, etc.). Influenced by, but not synonymous with, land cover. Land use change refers to a change in the use or management of land by humans, which may lead to a change in land cover. Source: land use | IPBES secretariat

Migration hierachy

The sequence of actions to anticipate and avoid impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services; and where avoidance is not possible, minimise; and, when impacts occur, rehabilitate or restore; and where significant residual impacts remain, offset. Source: Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI), 2015