The Triple Bottom Line
“Is the organization making a profit?” That is what most stakeholders think about when they look at the bottom line. Yet, an organization might be making a profit while dumping toxic waste into the environment, treating employees poorly, or failing to conserve resources. Nonfinancial performance measures such as these can be challenging to measure. The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a framework that incorporates nonfinancial factors in measuring the performance of an organization. In addition to assessing profitability, the TBL approach also assesses an organization’s social and ecological impact.
Today’s socially conscious executive thoroughly grasps the significance of the TBL in terms of organizational and cultural success. TBL, which is sometimes referred to as part of the broader term corporate social responsibility (CSR), is a measure of an organization’s financial health, environmental sustainability, and its furtherance of social justice. One question that can be used to assess if an organization is meeting TBL objectives is whether or not the human experience of all stakeholders is elevated due to its work.
To prepare for this Discussion, “Shared Practice: The Triple Bottom Line,” review the Learning Resources for this week and consider how the Triple Bottom Line is related to and affected by an organization’s performance. Reflect on the meaning of corporate social responsibility and how this might impact your role in promoting social change.
Post by Day 3, the following:
- Predict how the implementation of the Triple Bottom Line would affect your current or former organization’s performance. Be sure to include at least two short term consequences and at least two long term consequences of using the TBL measurement system.
- Provide an explanation of how you view the relationship between corporate profits and social responsibility.
- Describe how you (as an executive) plan to use some of the skills learned in this course to promote social change in your organization now and in the future.