One day a friend of mine came to me, telling a story of an awkward situation during a membership interview at one of the most prestigious students NGOs when he was asked to DEFINE the triple bottom line… “.. it’s not my first NGO experience, but I couldn’t tell the interviewer what the heck triple bottom line’s definition is”, said my friend.
One of the most common, daily used, and vital concepts to any work today, whether it’s for profit or non-for-profit, and we barely understand what triple bottom line is all about though!
I believe that we have to understand what is the traditional bottom line in the first place; from business perspective the bottom line is profit or loss, the origin of this term is the very bottom line in the income statement of any organization which reveals the amount of business’ net income, whether it’s profit or loss.
A few decades ago the concept of sustainable business practice has emerged, and according to this concept it’s not enough to consider the financial performance only, disregarding the social conditions of business’ stakeholders and the impact of this business on the environment; From that point on, you don’t have a successful business when you generate billions of net profit, if you sabotage the environment and waste its resources, and your 90% market share is not enough if your employees suffer miserable work conditions; This is how it’s not profits only anymore, now it is Profits, People, and Planet; In other words, Economic, Social, and Environmental factors.
Big corporates consider the triple bottom line, even in their accounting systems, to evaluate the real value of their businesses, to guarantee its sustainability, to protect their business in the long run, and most important to bear their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and no doubt that this philosophy has been proven to be very good for business; On the other side you will find the non- governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profit organizations where financial benefits is not the main goal, and here adopting the triple bottom line approach really makes sense, as this kind of organizations is more likely to measure their performance by the overall impact on their target audience, and this impact cannot be a financial endowment only, because financial support solely doesn’t represent a real change and hence doesn’t represent an effective empowerment.
Triple bottom line simply means considering the relevant social and environmental factors along with the economic one in business practices and consequently in measuring businesses values.
P.S. my friend has been rejected. However, he’s been building a good resume in other organizations ever since
By : Ahmed Boghdady
“Who am I?
I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you forward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed-you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great individuals, and alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am habit.”
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide
By: Sean Covey
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