Sustainability And The Triple Bottom Line Essay

Sustainability And The Triple Bottom Line Essay

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Sustainability is often defined as managing the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line is a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations, and opportunities. The triple bottom line is also referred to as the 3 P’s (profits, people and planet). Sustainability represents flexibility over time in that businesses create economic value, healthy ecosystems and strong communities. A sustainable business varies depending on the field. For example, in manufacturing, a sustainable business may include waste elimination and greenhouse gas reduction, whereas in retail, experts focus on ways to minimize waste in packaging and ways to facilitate energy use in stores. Sustainability has a variety of meanings. If we are talking environmentally, organizations could be sure to replace natural resources and making sure ecosystems are not harmed. If we are talking in terms of employment practices, sustainability could be making sure employees are paid enough and get benefits. In terms of business practices, sustainability could mean that the overall corporate policies aren’t dangerous to the organization.

As I stated before, sustainability is often referred to as the triple bottom line. John Elkington, the founder of a British consultancy called SustainAbility, first coined the phrase in 1994. He argued that companies should be preparing three “bottom lines”. The first bottom line is the bottom line of the profit and loss account. The second bottom line is that of the company’s people account, which is a measure of how socially responsible an organization has been. The third bottom line Elkington stated is the company’s planet account, which is a measure of how environmentally responsible a compa...


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...y do so because of the cost of it. Which is understandable but in the years to come, not investing in sustainability could hurt in the long run. They could end up going out of business in years to come. In the 21st century, sustainability is emphasized more and more for reasons such as the depletion of fossil fuels and the erratic climate patterns. “Organizations are aspiring to adopt a sustainability philosophy that guides every aspect of business operations” (Cullen., n.d). Sustainability used to be viewed at as cost but now it is being viewed as a source of undergoing value. One goal a company wants to meet is to remain competitive. Transitioning to sustainability will allow them to remain competitive. It may cost to transition the company but it will benefit in the long run. Sustainability is growing. It is being researched more and it is being taught in schools.

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