Triple Bottom Line

Posted on May 14, 2010 by


The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) expands the concept that an organization’s success should be measured solely in terms of monetary profit. In addition to the bottom line of financial performance, two more bottom lines are added—that of social and environmental.  The phrase originated from British environmentalist John Elkington, who is an active advocate of corporate responsibility. Although it is not as easy to measure an organization’s social and environmental success as it is to measure its financial success, according to the TBL these are to be valued as well. Although there are many implication of adopting a TBL approach, examples include that the organization should not be exploiting its workforce, endangering a species as it gathers raw materials, or creating products that are toxic to the environment. The concept can also be applied to selecting and managing projects on the basis of more than just financial considerations.