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What is Triple Bottom Line?

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/6/2010

Triple Bottom Line is the term which measures sustainability of social, economical, financial and ecological aspect of any business

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    Coined by John Elkington, Triple Bottom Line is the term which measures sustainability of social, economical, financial and ecological aspect of any business. To be more precise, it’s a goal driven terminology that makes nature, human beings and philosophy of economy intersect at a point called ‘Business Sustainability’. The Triple Bottom Lines, in fact, stand for People, Planet and Profit. This principle is extremely valuable for those who intend to make their business more environment-friendly or altogether start a new green technology driven business.

    Abbreviated as TBL or 3BL, Triple Bottom Lines make the businesses work on a coordinated marketing platform which boasts of ecological and social imprints on business. TBL is often regulated through stakeholder theory of business entity and avoids the shareholder approach of making profits. In other words, the main intention of this working theory is to inculcate ecological and social values in the businesses which thrive for great profits and more financial returns. Also, TBL lays the foundation for a sustainable business growth for the new players coming in the market by providing them exclusive strategies to do business in eco-friendly manner and help reorienting human resource management positively to work toward productivity. It’s all about making profits through a medium that supports environment as well as human nature.

    Let’ understand it better in terms of People, Planet and Profit.

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    People or Human Capital

    It is that exclusive foundation of Triple Line Bottom model which takes care of varied degrees of human dimensions by providing resourceful communities which help strengthening social structure of the organization by active participation of all the influencers who work toward a common goal – Optimization of Productivity through Labor communities. The important aspect of this model is to create a healthy work environment, eradicate labor exploitation and monitor projects through effective collaboration.

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    Planet or Nature Capital:

    This domain of Triple Bottom Line looks after ecological impact of business. It ensures business sustainability in all the phases of production process. It helps in reducing environmental hazards arising due to the production of goods. Right from the usage of raw materials to the process of estimating production cost and then finally shipping requirements, Planet section of TBL is responsible for regulating business in an environment-friendly manner. It also supports recycling and eco-friendly disposal of e-waste and also provides safer alternatives to various toxic items required in the production of goods.

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    The third domain but number one in priority. It is that particular section which creates a commercialized framework of business sustainability for which every business strives. It’s not the traditional Profit making concept. In fact this Profit section should work in harmony with other two specified domains of TBL People and Planet. It takes care of the economical aspect of the business by incorporating the theories of human capital and nature capital.

    In a nutshell, Triple Bottom Line is a process which helps running a green business by following a simple rule – No Profit without Planet and People.