A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 29, 2009
Triple Bottom Line

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Triple bottom line
The triple bottom line (abbreviated as ”TBL“ or ”3BL“, and also known as ”people, planet, profit“ ) captures an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological and social. With the ratification of the United Nations and ICLEI TBL standard for urban and community accounting in early 2007, this became the dominant approach to public sector full cost accounting. Similar UN standards apply to natural capital and human capital measurement to assist in measurements required by TBL, e.g. the ecoBudget standard for reporting ecological footprint.

In the private sector, a commitment to corporate social responsibility implies a commitment to some form of TBL reporting. This is distinct from the more limited changes required to deal only with ecological issues.

Definition
In practical terms, triple bottom line accounting means expanding the traditional reporting framework to take into account ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance.

The phrase was coined by John Elkington in 1994. It was later expanded and articulated in his 1998 book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. Sustainability, itself, was first defined by the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations in 1987.

The concept of TBL demands that a company’s responsibility be to stakeholders rather than shareholders. In this case, “stakeholders” refers to anyone who is influenced, either directly or indirectly, by the actions of the firm. According to the stakeholder theory, the business entity should be used as a vehicle for coordinating stakeholder interests, instead of maximizing shareholder (owner) profit.

The bottom lines
The triple bottom line is made up of “social, economic and environmental” the “people, planet, profit” phrase was coined for Shell by SustainAbility, influenced by 20th century urbanist Patrick Geddes’s notion of ‘folk, work and place’.

“People, planet and profit” succinctly describes the triple bottom lines and the goal of sustainability.

The Independent (London)
How green is my company?
The environmentally friendly accountant is here to stay

Roger Adams
Wednesday, 2 July 1997
The growth in interest in corporate environmental accountability seems to parallel the interest that has been shown in corporate governance. Largely unknown at the beginning of the decade, voluntary corporate environmental reporting has progressed considerably in a short space of time to the point where, according to a recent KPMG international survey, three out of four large companies mention environmental issues in the annual report to shareholders, and one in four now issues a separate environmental performance report.
(...)
Corporate governance is a broad canvas which is only partly coloured in at present. With the report of the Cadbury Committee, the accountancy profession in the UK has contributed significantly to the development of a framework for reporting on the financial aspects of corporate governance. The accountancy profession has also been influential in the development of environmental reporting techniques.

Social and ethical issues represent the third element of what John Elkington calls the “triple bottom line” - an overall corporate accountability that is expressed in financial, environmental and social terms.

Working with the newly established Institute for Social and Ethical AccountAbility, Acca hopes to develop a new guidance framework on social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting - a framework which will complete the corporate governance canvas and which will be highly relevant, both for the new millennium and to the drive towards sustainability in its broadest sensen

The Independent (London)
A breath of fresh air at the Co-op
The ‘minority sport’ of social audits is gaining ground, says Roger Trapp

Sunday, 12 April 1998
(...)
But while the Co-op is laying down a challenge to others, it is worth pointing out that this sort of activity is still seen as something of a “minority sport”. The green issue consultancy, Sustainability, says that one third of Britain’s top 350 companies do not publish data on their environmental performance.

And a survey of the forewords to company environmental reports written by chief executives shows that even those organisations that do disclose such information “lack a clear understanding of sustainable development and show virtually no comprehension of the ‘triple bottom line’ agenda of economic, environmental and social value added (or destroyed)”.

The Guardian
Winning with integrity
Called to account Multinationals are waking up to fact that social irresponsibility can hit the share price

Roger Cowe
The Guardian, Saturday 27 November 1999 16.22 GMT
(...)
Chris Tuppen, BT’s social and environmental programmes manager, made clear that profit is still the key element in the bottom line, even if social and environmental issues have crept on to what has been dubbed the “triple bottom line”.

8 February 2001, Financial Times, pg. 8, col. 3:
Industry urged to attend to “triple bottom line”
Oil and pharmaceuticals industries lead the pack and the automotive and chemicals sectors are furthest behind but nearly all companies have a long way to go in accurately reporting their combined economic, environmental and social performance, according to a new report from the United Nations Enviroment Programme.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, June 29, 2009 • Permalink