Welcome to the Financial Times Lexicon

Browse thousands of words and phrases selected by Financial Times editors and suggest new terms for the glossary.


Term of the day

carbon footprint

The estimated climate change impact of something, such as a product or service or a company's operations.

It is common shorthand for accounting for all greenhouse gases. Using the example of plastic, so-called ‘indirect’ emissions, such as extracting oil to make the plastic, need to be traced back and included alongside direct emissions, such as producing something with the plastic.

Claiming carbon-neutrality when not accounting for all potential costs can be seen as 'public relations'.