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The Triple Bottom Line

Triple Bottom Line

I don't have to tell you the economy is in bad shape. The causes of this Great Recession are complex.  One reason is that the business and economic strategies of the last several decades have proven to be unsustainable.  Corporations have put profits above all else at the cost of the national economy and individual standards of living. This has lead business executives and economics to propose a new strategy for micro- and macroeconomic success: The Triple Bottom Line.

The Triple Bottom Line (abbreviated as TBL or 3BL) is a business model which takes into account economics, the environment, and social impact. Or, in short, the "three pillars:" profit, planet, and people. We began to see the Triple Bottom Line implemented in the public sector and non-profit agencies.  As a result of the recent recession, many private corporations have begun to implement the TBL, measuring success in terms of profit and societal responsibility.  

Many leading economists believe having businesses and government economies implement the Triple Bottom Line is the key to economic growth.  Exploitation of resources and a lack of social responsibility, especially in the banking industry, led the economy to plummet.  Use of the Triple Bottom Line gives businesses a competitive edge.  Consumers are fed up with business social selfishness and demand more ethical business practices. Consumers appear to favor businesses that address the societal impact of their actions. In addition, individuals are increasingly more aware of their environmental footprint.  If faced with choosing between to products, one from an organization which advertises environmental sustainability and another product which does not, they are more likely to choose th environmentally-friendly option.  

The need for trained business professionals has grown as a result of the movement towards more sustainable business practices through the use of the Triple Bottom Line. Many Universities, including Presidio Graduate School, Stanford University, Portland State University, The University of Colorado at Denver, and Antioch University of New England, are offering Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and graduate certificates in Sustainable Management, Practices for Sustainable Business, and Green Business.  These programs operate on the Triple Bottom Line (3BL) principles and provide students with the tools for success and economic recovery.

See Also: How to Find a Green Job;  What is a Green MBA?; Online Green ("Sustainable") MBA Programs; FAQ: Green/Sustainable MBA Programs