The triple bottom line (TBL) is a business framework that expands conventional business success metrics to include an organization’s contributions to social well-being, environmental health, and a just economy. These bottom line categories are often referred to as the three Ps: people, planet, and prosperity.

The triple bottom line was coined by John Elkington in 1994. Elkington argued that businesses should not only focus on profits, but also on the social and environmental impacts of their activities. He called this approach “the triple bottom line” because it measures a company’s performance on three dimensions:

The triple bottom line is a way of thinking about business that is increasingly gaining traction. Many companies are now reporting their performance on all three dimensions of the triple bottom line. This is seen as a way of providing a more comprehensive picture of a company’s performance and its impact on the world.

There are a number of benefits to adopting the triple bottom line. These include:

The triple bottom line is a valuable tool for businesses that want to measure their performance and impact on the world in a more comprehensive way. By adopting the triple bottom line, businesses can make better decisions, build trust with stakeholders, reduce risk, and increase profits.

The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a business concept that encourages organizations to focus not only on their economic performance (the traditional bottom line) but also on their social and environmental impact. The three pillars of the TBL are often referred to as the “3Ps”: Profit, People, and Planet. This approach recognizes that businesses have a responsibility to stakeholders beyond just shareholders, and that their actions have far-reaching consequences on society and the environment.

1. Profit (Economic Bottom Line) The economic bottom line is the traditional measure of a company’s financial performance, including profitability, revenue growth, and return on investment. While profit is essential for a business to survive and thrive, the TBL concept emphasizes that it should not be the sole driving force behind decision-making.

Best Practices for the Economic Bottom Line:

2. People (Social Bottom Line) The social bottom line considers the impact of a company’s operations on its employees, customers, and the broader community. It encompasses issues such as fair labor practices, human rights, workplace diversity and inclusion, employee well-being, and community engagement.

Best Practices for the Social Bottom Line:

3. Planet (Environmental Bottom Line) The environmental bottom line focuses on a company’s impact on the natural environment, including its use of natural resources, energy consumption, waste management, and carbon footprint. It recognizes the importance of environmental sustainability and the need to address issues such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.

Best Practices for the Environmental Bottom Line:

Integrating the Triple Bottom Line Adopting the Triple Bottom Line approach requires a holistic and integrated approach to business decision-making. It involves balancing economic, social, and environmental considerations and recognizing the interdependence of these three pillars.

Best Practices for TBL Integration:

Embracing the Triple Bottom Line is not just a matter of social responsibility but also a strategic imperative for businesses to remain competitive, resilient, and future-proof. By considering the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their operations, companies can create shared value for stakeholders, contribute to sustainable development, and position themselves as responsible corporate citizens.