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:
- Profit: This is the traditional measure of business success. It is calculated as the difference between a company’s revenues and expenses.
- People: This dimension measures the social impacts of a company’s activities. It includes factors such as employee well-being, community relations, and environmental sustainability.
- Planet: This dimension measures the environmental impacts of a company’s activities. It includes factors such as pollution, resource use, and climate change.
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:
- Improved decision-making: The triple bottom line can help businesses to make better decisions by providing a more comprehensive view of their impacts.
- Increased transparency: The triple bottom line can help businesses to be more transparent about their impacts, which can build trust with stakeholders.
- Reduced risk: The triple bottom line can help businesses to reduce their risk by identifying and managing potential risks to their social and environmental performance.
- Increased profits: In the long run, businesses that adopt the triple bottom line may be able to increase their profits by building a more sustainable business model.
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.