There is a new concept in corporate culture that adds corporate social responsibility to the business mix.
The Triple Bottom Line, also called the 3-Ps for People, Profit and Planet, brings together traditional accounting concepts with sustainability and corporate responsibility. The concept is best explained in a book called Triple Bottom Line by Andrew Savitz, a former Partner in charge of the Environmental and Sustainability Services group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).
A healthy Triple Bottom Line (“TBL”) refers to a strong financial profit, effective environmental practices that help the planet and positive corporate principles that improve society.
Some big corporations are implementing this idea and showing the world how it’s done. Here are some great examples.
The shipping giant has nearly a half million employees and $60 billion in revenue. To balance its TBL, DHL has implemented its GoGreen solutions that lower the company’s carbon impact and strives to a climate neutral business. GoGreen uses simple, logical transport solutions, like taking the shortest route from one place to another to compound savings over its millions of transactions. Some of their TBL solutions need to take money from one column to make another healthy. Recently, DHL upgraded all of their delivery trucks so that they are hybrid, fuel efficient or alternative.
By their nature, seals and O-rings are designed to keep the dangerous stuff away from the environment. O-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber has taken this to the books by bettering their 3Ps with eco-friendly workspaces for their employees and sustainable materials for their products. One small but telling offering to their TBL is the new employee gazebo made of their own out of spec rubber and using maintenance free materials so nothing leaches into the soil.
The Honest Company
Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company developed its entire business plan around the best possible TBL. The Honest Company, currently valued at $1.7 billion, started as a mom and pop diaper and baby supply company but grew to natural, non-toxic health and beauty products. Unlike many companies that have adopted strong social responsibility platforms in retrospect, The Honest Company started with this in mind and has not deviated from the plan.
The coffee vendor with a shop on every corner is renowned for being good to the planet and its employees. According to Glassdoor, Starbucks offers some of the best employee benefits in the nation. They include health insurance for part-time employees, stock purchase plans and college reimbursement. Add to this a fun environment and an eco-friendly, biodegradable product for one of the best TBL’s around.
The airline that is known for cheap but fun flights actually reports its Triple Bottom Line directly, using that terminology. They break down each aspect so that customers and investors can see how their 3-P philosophy matches their company’s activities. Take a look at their financial statements to get an idea about how to do the Triple Bottom Line right.
Which companies do you think have a healthy TBL?
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.