Just in the past decade, there has been a significant change amongst businesses and corporations, with more and more such entities coming to grips with the need for sustainability. While recognizing the need for environmental stewardship is an important step, developing a practical plan for sustainability is far more challenging.
One model that has been put forward as a road map to corporate sustainability is a concept known as the triple bottom line. This is a principle we support here at WasteXperts. But what is the triple bottom line, exactly? And what makes it so notable?
Historically,companies have focused mostly on making a profit; in other words, they have concerned themselves with their own “bottom line.” The triple bottom line principle posits that a company should attend to financial performance but also to social and environmental impacts. Hence, a triple bottom line: Profit, people, planet.
● Companies have always needed to consider their profits, ensuring a robust financial performance for their investors and other stakeholders. The triple bottom line does not eliminate this need, but does expand on it with a focus on social and ecological concerns.
● The second bottom line is people, which reflects a company’s social commitments. Some examples here might include fair hiring practices or encouraging employees to get involved with volunteerism.
● Finally, there is the planet, which denotes a business’ opportunities to minimize their carbon footprint and to promote environmental stewardship.
The triple bottom line model calls on businesses to keep all three of these considerations top-of-mind, and not to make any one of them subordinate to the others.
Some businesses will contend that the triple bottom line is idealistic and naive, and that ultimately the goal of any business is simply to turn a profit. However, many business organizations have proven that, with thoughtfulness and innovation, it is genuinely possible to optimize each of these bottom lines, emphasizing financial performance but never at the expense of social or ecological considerations.
Indeed, the important crux of the triple bottom line is that it does not espouse the idea that social and environmental concerns should be pursued at the expense of profitability. Instead, the triple bottom line encourages businesses to adopt a new strategic mindset, and to embrace the possibilities of maximizing profits by way of greater social and environmental responsibility.
This shift in paradigm is important for companies that truly want to do their part to promote a better planet. With the triple bottom line mindset, decision-makers can rest in the knowledge that social and environmental stewardship are not impediments to their business goals, but instead may be genuinely attractive to investors as well as customers.
Our CEO, Derek Ruckman, sums it up this way: “As a society we are starting to understand the triple bottom line benefits of a circular economy. When compared to a linear business, a TBL business is clearly more sustainable, equitable, and balanced.”
The triple bottom line model hits home with us because, here at WasteXperts, our mission has always been to help our clients save money and reduce waste. Questions about how that can be accomplished? Reach out to us at any time.