What Property Managers Should Know About the Triple Bottom Line

Over the past several years, businesses have recalibrated their attitudes toward success, broadening their focus to include both bottom-line profitability and social responsibility. Many apartment complexes and property management companies have followed suit.

This move is a long time in coming, dating back at least as far as 1994, when the author and entrepreneur John Elkington popularized the notion of the “triple bottom line,” or TBL. At the time, Elkington had a simple premise: While businesses have historically focused on profits and shareholder value, today’s companies can also emphasize their impact on culture and on the environment. Crucially, the TBL theory holds that greater social and environmental awareness needn’t come at the expense of revenue or market share.

It’s encouraging to see so many businesses internalizing Elkington’s TBL principles, measuring their success not only by profits and losses but also by their broader impact on the world around them. If your property management company hasn’t yet embraced the TBL model, here are a few considerations to get you started.


The TBL framework requires companies to measure their success according to three basic metrics, all of which start with p: People, planet, and profit.

When companies think about people, it means they’re measuring success by how their business impacts all the human beings in their immediate orbit: Stakeholders and investors, employees, customers, partners in the supply chain, and even future generations who may be impacted by the company’s environmental or social stewardship.

There are a number of ways in which businesses can promote the well being of people, including efforts to advance gender equity, racial justice, or human rights more broadly. This can be done through direct advocacy, but more often, it’s done through business practices that put fairness first. Additionally, a company that wishes to honor its people may encourage volunteerism and community service.


Embracing the TBL ethos means focusing on people, but also on the planet.

This requires companies to practice business in a way that emphasizes sustainability, minimizes the production of non-recyclable waste, and curbs greenhouse gas emissions.

There are plenty of ways in which companies might go about this, whether by investing in carbon offsets, designing waste-free packaging, or ensuring that their resources and raw materials are sustainably sourced.

Remember that, in the TBL model, the three ps are not in tension with each other; to put it differently, focusing on people and the planet doesn’t mean neglecting profitability. Indeed, with more and more consumers expressing an interest in supporting eco-friendly brands, environmental stewardship can actually bolster a company’s reputation and improve their market share.


Businesses that embrace the TBL concept are not asked to neglect the prosperity of their shareholders. Instead, small businesses that shift toward a more socially responsible and environmentally aware framework must do so in a way that allows for continued economic growth, and ongoing value for investors and customers alike.

Curious about how this can be done? One important step is finding the right partner to provide waste management and mitigation. That’s something we’d love to talk with you about. To discuss residential solutions and TBL adoption, contact WasteXperts directly.

Share on :

Related Articles