Understanding the triple bottom line is fundamental to understanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but what is it exactly?

The traditional bottom line of business

The main purpose of a business is to generate a profitable income for its shareholders. That’s why traditionally, making a profit is known as the bottom line of business.

However, companies usually leave a negative impact on the environment and communities when they only focus on making money. Because of this, it is important to encourage them to behave more responsibly.

list of the various things to consider in 'people' of the triple bottom line

Sustainability means looking after your surroundings

Businesses operate within communities, and their behaviour has a direct influence on the people and natural surroundings. Therefore, when we measure the success of a business, we should also evaluate the value that it brings to society. This is where the idea of the triple bottom line comes in.

An explanation of the triple bottom line

The triple bottom line consists of the 3Ps (People, Planet, Profit). It is a tool that is used to measure the sustainability of a business. It is important in CSR because it holds businesses responsible for their effect on the people (within and outside the business) and the planet (natural environment).

This suggests that a business should measure its performance by more than just its ability to generate profits. It should also look at the impact it has on the people and the planet.

list of environmental factors of the triple bottom line

Other great explanations from online sources

All businesses must make money. But triple bottom line companies realize that they can do more. This idea has only recently gained traction in the corporate world, but now that it has, the triple bottom line is driving the decision-making of the world’s top brands. – University of Wisconsin

The Triple Bottom Line is one of the main systems being used by businesses to assess the profits they are making through their corporate sustainability solutions. The Triple Bottom Line method asks you to see beyond the traditional bottom line of business to the profits that your business makes socially, environmentally, and economically. Measuring your business using the Triple Bottom Line is one of the best markers of how sustainable your business is, and how profitable it really is. – ERA

list of the economic factors of the triple bottom line, 3ps of CSR

Other Articles Related to This

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Test Yourself

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test yourself question. give a definition of the triple bottom line

test yourself question. Answer, definition of the triple bottom line

NSC Business Studies. Practice Questions. Three pillars of CSR, 3Ps.

NSC Business Studies. Practice Questions. Three pillars of CSR, 3Ps.


ERA Environmental Management Solutions. Sustainability Management System: The Triple Bottom Line. https://www.era-environmental.com/blog/sustainability-management-triple-bottom-line [07/04/2020]

Kraaijenbrink, J. 2019. What The 3Ps Of The Triple Bottom Line Really Mean. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeroenkraaijenbrink/2019/12/10/what-the-3ps-of-the-triple-bottom-line-really-mean/#2fcffbe85143 [08/04/2020]

University of Wisconsin. The Triple Bottom Line. https://sustain.wisconsin.edu/sustainability/triple-bottom-line/ [07/04/2020]