Triple bottom line - the framework for a more sustainable future?

Triple bottom line - the framework for a more sustainable future?

Around 25 years ago John Elkington created the phrase ‘triple bottom line’. The radical new way of rethinking business was supposed to get brands to stop focusing solely on profits and expand their focus to include improving the lives of people and the health of the planet. 

However, back in 2018, he proposed that the triple bottom line needs to be rethought as he believed that many CFO’s and CEO’s still prioritised their profit targets over their people and planet targets. With the ESG and sustainability impact of today, is this still true? 

So, what exactly is the triple bottom line?

Profit

A successful business = lots of profit, right? 

Does a company’s duty to maximise profit for its shareholders define it? In the past, businesses have only considered how to maximise profits while making decisions. This has led to questionable decisions at the detriment of our planet and its people. However, businesses are now moving in the right direction and are finding ways to maintain / increase profits in a more sustainable way. 

Triple bottom line - the framework for a more sustainable future

People

A successful business = lots of profit, right? 

Does a company’s duty to maximise profit for its shareholders define it? In the past, businesses have only considered how to maximise profits while making decisions. This has led to questionable decisions at the detriment of our planet and its people. However, businesses are now moving in the right direction and are finding ways to maintain / increase profits in a more sustainable way. 

Triple bottom line - the framework for a more sustainable future

Planet

Mitigating climate change 

Also referred to as Environment, it refers to how environmentally responsible a business is. Corporations contribute the most to climate change, but they also have the opportunity to make the most positive impact. Using sustainable energy sources, lowering carbon emissions, switching to biodegradable packaging, and/or ensuring that the suppliers utilised are ethical and do not pose sustainability or ESG issues are some possible strategies.

The brands that are living the triple bottom line values

IKEA

The well-known Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has started using the Triple Bottom Line. The corporation released its 2030 goals, which focused on three key areas under what it dubbed “planet and people positive” times: fairness and equality, circular and climate-positive living, and healthy and sustainable living. This is an example of a company that, if it can achieve its objectives, may have a significant influence because it now consumes 1% of the world’s production of cotton and wood.

Examples of how they are actioning triple bottom line: 

DHL

DHL has a duty to lead by example in their sector and in sustainability as one of the top logistics companies in the world. This entails lowering their carbon impact and establishing the highest norms in society and governance. They have continuously changed logistics over the years, from developing the first green logistics product to becoming the first logistics business to set a goal of having zero emissions. They currently provide the industry’s most complete array of green logistics solutions.

Are you ready to start implementing a triple bottom line within your business?

Sustainability in the environment is crucial. Despite differing degrees of knowledge and commitment to environmental issues, practically everyone agrees with that statement, including your consumers. 

80% of consumers consider sustainability when making at least some purchases. Nearly half of those surveyed believe the responsibility to be more sustainable falls on companies, and 70% said they would change their shopping habits if they discovered that a store or brand wasn’t operating sustainably.

Global trends show that businesses are continuing to make bold commitments to address ESG targets and Net-Zero ambitions. To effectively do this every business needs actionable data to drive progress.

The comprehensive cloud hosted platform brought to you by STAR Index provides you with all the actionable insight you need to manage wider risk in your supply chain.

STAR Index enables you and your supply chain partners to capture, measure, report and improve risk across complex supply chains in any sector.

STAR Specialists

Rick Sanderson

Head of Partnerships

Carl Nancollas

ESG Lead

carl

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