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Glossary - E

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Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)

The management of an activity to achieve an on-going minimization of the activity's environmental harm through cost effective measures assessed against the measures currently used nationally and internationally for the activity. Source: A3

Economic Life

The period from the acquisition of the asset to the time when the asset, while physically able to provide a service, ceases to be the lowest cost alternative to satisfy a particular need.

The economic life is at the maximum equal to the physical life but obsolescence will often ensure that the economic life is less than the physical life. Source: G1

Effective Life

The effective life is the period during which an asset can be used for income producing purposes. The Period is calculated based on the asset's expected use and the assumption that it is maintained in reasonably good order and condition.

Over time the estimated effective life of an asset may become inaccurate and changed if:

  • use of the plant is greater or less vigorous than originally estimated
  • environmental factors change
  • the asset is scrapped due to technology changes, demand changes
  • legislation changes, e.g. EPA. Source: G1


The extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results are achieved. Source: S2 (AS/NZS ISO 9000:2000).

Increasing output quality and level while maintaining input resource levels. Source: A4

The extent to which an activity satisfies the purpose for which it was established. This can be assessed by comparing the activity outcomes with actual achievements. Source: N1


The relationship between the result achieved and the resources used. Source: S2 (AS/NZS ISO 9000:2000).

Maintaining output quality and level while decreasing input resource levels. Source: A4

A measure of resource commitment to the activity per unit of output from the activity. After the fact, this can be assessed by comparing resource input against actual output. Source: N1

Emergency Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance that should be initiated immediately upon detection (e.g. for reasons of health, safety or security). Source: G1

Eminent Domain

The enforced purchase by a statutory authority under powers bestowed by legislation, of all or part of a property from an owner who does not wish to sell, such as for road construction or road widening; also called "resumption". Source: I2

Energy Audit

The determination of actual energy use and potential energy savings in an installation process, or energy using system. It usually involves a periodic survey, measurement, examination, analysis and reporting of results. Source: A4

Energy Management Program (EMP)

A process for setting up and running a program for the management of energy use including the operations, audits, performance, targets and monitoring of results. Source: A4

Environmental Impact Appraisal

An environmental review supporting a negative declaration, i.e., the action is not a major Federal, State, or private sector action significantly affecting the environment. It describes a proposed EPA action, its expected environmental impact, and the basis for the conclusion that no significant impact is anticipated. Source: A4

Environmental Impact Statement

A document required by Federal and/or State legislation for major projects or proposals. It provides information for decision makers on the positive and negative effects of the undertaking, and lists alternatives to the proposed action, including taking no action.

For example, an environmental impact assessment report, prepared by an applicant's experts for a Development Application, identifies and evaluates the environmental impacts of the applicant's proposed development and investigates all feasible alternatives. Source: S1

Environmental Management

The use of procedures that minimize adverse environmental impact during construction and site operation. Source: S2


Apparatus, appliances, devices, fittings, fixture, furniture, materials and the like, used as part of, or in connection with an asset, but that are not permanently attached to, or are removable from, that asset. (An item of major equipment may be an asset in its own right.) Source: D1


The surplus of assets over liabilities. It represents the net financial interest in an agency. Source: T4 (modified)

Equity Analysis

Equity analysis is concerned with the distribution of the costs and benefits of a program or project - who gains and who loses, and by how much. Source: A4

Equity Injection

An increase in the investment of the organization in its equity. Source: T4 (modified)

Equity Return

A ratio of financial earnings to financial equity for a given period of time expressed as a percentage. The ratio is determined by dividing the earnings for a given period - usually a year - as stated in the income statement or equivalent by the total equity of an organization in dollars as reflected on the balance sheet by. Source: T4 (modified)


The full accrual cost of delivering services to the community reported in the Operating Statement.

Controlled expenses include cash costs such as employee costs, supplies and services (consumables), grant expenses, and non-cash costs such as depreciation.

Administered expenses generally relate to grants to non-Government bodies over which the agency does not exercise complete control. Source: T4