WHY PROGRESSIVE BUSINESSES ARE FOLLOWING THE LATEST TREND
What is TBL I hear you ask?
It’s Triple Bottom Line and it’s a theory created by Jon Elkington back in 1994. In 2018 he described it as a sustainability framework that examines a company’s social, environment, and economic impact’
Unlike bottom line, Triple Bottom Line and the 3 P’s (PROFIT. PEOPLE. PLANET) incorporate social, environment and economic influences and the impact they can have on a company.
Organisations around the world are beginning to adopt this framework to monitor their performance on a much larger scale. Being in business today is not just about your financial performance, there is so much more to it and that’s where TBL comes in.
A dilemma many businesses are facing now more than ever is ‘how do we improve our environmental contribution without sacrificing on quality’? Never has that question been asked more than it has been over recent months. The subject of ‘sustainability’ often comes into focus whenever the issue of environmental responsibility is talked about and ideally, every business would have an environmental strategy running within their business model.
So, how do we transition to a more sustainable future?
Also referred to as The Environmental Bottom Line. This examines and monitors both the positive and negative impact an organisation has on its local environment and society. What do they do well? What needs improving? The concept of a company’s carbon footprint and sustainability isn’t a new thing, but the idea of viewing it as a performance metric alongside PEOPLE and PROFIT is really beginning to gain traction.
It’s about looking at the resources used by an organisation and how these can be changed and reduced, but also on the flip side, how that organisation manages its waste products too.
Sustainability means different things to different people. The most common forms of sustainable packaging are recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable; However, it is also possible for reusable and returnable packaging (which are in the main, plastic) to be considered as sustainable too – Controversial?
Well, not really. You see a large proportion of society would find it exceptionally difficult to remove plastic from their lives in its entirety, but they could see a way to being able to reduce it. Plastic bottles could be re-used, a plastic food tray could be repurposed to grow seeds in it, your water bottle could be refilled using the tap!
In fact, many would claim that ‘re-usable packaging’ has the opportunity of being the most sustainable option of all! How is that possible? Because not only are you keeping these items from going into landfill, but you are also reducing raw material use by prolonging the life of those products. Carbon emissions are reduced too as you continue to re-use items you already have.
This is a trend that is set to continue to grow in popularity, with many new start-ups beginning to emerge around the globe offering a delivery and collection service – giving the consumer the option to buy a product in refillable packaging. This service will come at a premium, but early indications are that consumers are willing to spend more if it results in less being left behind!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is all about the impact your company’s environmental policy has on the people in the local community. It is far more than that! This is when a company’s responsibility, first and foremost is to all the Stakeholders involved in the business and not just the Shareholders! The TBL Framework is all about being socially aware of the positive and negative impact your company’s operations and processes have on your employees, their families, your customers, your suppliers, your local communities. Everyone’s well-being is considered, whether that be the space you ask them to work in, the salary you pay them, any added perks (as they used to be referred to as) such as health care, child care, flexible working hours, extended parental leave, extended holiday allowances, a volunteer programme for staff to serve the local community, supply chain code of conduct, flexible payment terms during a crisis, and so many more.
This is quite simply the impact a company has on its local, national and/or international economy whether positive or negative. From creating employment opportunities, paying taxes, and wealth creation to name a few.
So, the question again: Are You TBL Ready?