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Benefits to the Triple Bottom Line Shauna Sylvester. September 2005. The Triple Bottom Line.

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benefits to the triple bottom line shauna sylvester
Benefits to the Triple Bottom Line

Shauna Sylvester

September 2005

the triple bottom line
The Triple Bottom Line

The phrase was coined in the mid- 1990s by a management consulting firm called AccountAbility and later popularized by John Elkington, in his 1997 book entitled Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.

definition of triple bottom line
Definition of Triple Bottom Line
  • captures the spectrum of values that organizations should embrace - economic, environmental and social.
  • Expands the traditional company reporting framework to take into account not just financial outcomes but also environmental and social performance.
slide4
What are the Benefits of Incorporating a Triple Bottom Line Perspective into the way your business or organization operates?
list of benefits
List of Benefits
  • Mission Alignment
  • Operating efficiencies (e.g. aggregates reporting functions)
  • Decrease in some costs (e.g. hydro, electricity, paper)
list of benefits6
List of Benefits
  • Recognition as a good corporate citizen
  • Enhanced brand or public reputation
  • Increased sales and customer loyalty
  • Increased ability to attract and retain employees
critics say
Critics say
  • The the ideas behind social and environmental reporting are too vague
  • Companies responsibilities are maximizing shareholder value
  • A triple bottom line approach is not novel – companies have been doing it for years
  • No-one has defined what a social bottom line is

For further information see:

Wayne Norman, Chris MacDonald “Getting to the Bottom of the Triple Bottom Line” in Press Business Ethics Quarterly, March 2003

tools for incorporating a triple bottom line approach
Tools for Incorporating a Triple Bottom Line Approach
  • Mission
    • Statement of values
  • Leadership
  • Employment Programs
tools
Tools
  • Policies and Procedures
    • Ethical screens
    • Environmental policies and management systems
    • Procurement Policies
    • Personnel Policies
    • Fundraising Policies
tools11
Tools
  • Investments
  • Corporate giving
  • Development of innovative

products

  • Social and Environmental Auditing
slide12
What three things can you do to bring a Triple Bottom Line approach to your business or non-profit organization?
benefits to the triple bottom lines shauna sylvester
Benefits to the Triple Bottom Lines

Shauna Sylvester

September 2005