A term loosely used to refer to the total of the Earth’s ecosystems. In an even larger sense, it includes not only the natural environment of ecological, biological, and climate conditions (the biosphere), but also the (human) social conditions that support (or not) various forms of life on the Earth. Some schools of thought cast the environmental as “uncontrollable” by individuals, organizations, governments, and societies and, therefore, ignorable. However, human activity affects the environment in many ways and to various degrees, including climate change, biodiversity, and the health and amount of forests, coral reefs, and other ecosystems.
The Dictionary of Sustainable Management [online] Available from: http://www.sustainabilitydictionary.com/ (accessed 8-26-16)