In elementary school, everyone learned the environmental mantra ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.’ These three Rs ruled our early-childhood school lives. In the business realm, however, the three Ps are stealing the spotlight. Triple Bottom Line management is a concept that emphasizes three core values of business: people, planet, and profit.
This system of management comes from the idea that companies focusing on and improving their social, environmental, and economic standards create greater business value. In the COVID-ruled world, we live in today; it is especially necessary to hold ourselves and businesses accountable. The Triple Bottom Line is a concept that can be used to build stronger, value-based companies that empower people and promote sustainability, in addition to focusing on profit. This method ultimately allows companies to make better long-term decisions, which consequently help the organization financially and will help both businesses and society bounce back despite this monumental disruption.
The first tier of Triple Bottom Line management is the people. This category includes everyone from employees to the community. Triple Bottom Line management urges companies to treat employees well, pay them fairly, provide suitable working conditions, and generally make sure they are empowered members of the organization. In a societal sense, it encourages companies to give back to their community and improve society. According to Forbes, this means going “the extra mile to identify individuals outside your company who may be impacted by your business, and work to develop creative solutions to ensure that this impact is positive.”
Next is the environmental factor. Here, we encourage sustainable management, bringing back that early childhood mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle. Companies who embody Triple Bottom Line management put a strong emphasis on reducing their environmental impact and improving their ecological consciousness. This includes everything from the reduction of consumption and waste, to the use of more renewable energy sources. This business mindset is especially important, as we realize today with a sense of world stillness, how much human life negatively impacts the planet. An environmentally-conscious mindset is paramount for organizations going forward, to increase overall sustainability and global health.
The final factor is profit. Profit is the backbone of an organization's ability to operate sustainably. Forbes notes that “Acknowledging that there’s more to business than profit allows a company to accept social and environmental responsibility for its actions and puts it on track to creating a more sustainable future for everyone.”