The Triple Bottom Line Is the Way Sustainability Is Measured Today
This consists of people, planet and profit. It brings a multi-dimensional view to what was previously just a profit-focus.
In 1981, Freer Spreckley, an international development consultant, wrote a book that would pave the way to today's sustainability movement: "Social Audit: A Management Tool for Co-operative Working." In it, Spreckley argued that businesses should "measure and report on financial performance, social wealth creation and environmental responsibility." Put another way, he was stating that companies should have two additional considerations besides profit: people and planet.
Slightly over a decade later, in 1994, social entrepreneur John Elkington, echoing Spreckley's idea, coined the term "triple bottom line." His phrase encompassed the same three prongs that Spreckley identified: social equity, the environment, and economics. Elkington hoped that his new catchphrase would cause a fundamental shift in the relationship between entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and the communities in which they operate.
After decades of percolating, the triple bottom line (TBL) is now, finally accepted as the framework for sustainability. Indeed, the United Nations defines sustainable development as “harmonizing three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.” Notice that these are the same as people, profit, and planet, just in a slightly different order. The UN further describes sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," cementing the meaning of sustainability as a continuous, viable, renewable path for humankind.
A more comprehensive approach to preserving humankind's future is finally here. The triple bottom line covers all the bases—and it's charting the course for businesses to follow.
Lisa agrees with this fact based on:
Triple Bottom Line, Definition, Wikipedia.
The Sustainable Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations.
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