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Why the Triple Bottom Line should be viewed as a new goal for businesses

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Introduction

Question: The triple bottom line should be viewed as a new goal for businesses (Elkington, 1998). Why? Before corporate social responsibility (CSR) became popular many corporations or businesses were not interested or receptive towards the idea of sustainability, which is the framework of what corporate social responsibility is all about. Instead, corporate finance responsibility was the main priority and that happened to be the only bottom line driving force for corporations (Gray et al., 1995). However, evidently today, it is beyond a doubt that most multinational corporations or local businesses are slowly but surely adjusting and adapting to changes toward sustainability. Some have even successfully integrated triple bottom line into their business. Instead of making the main objectives being just about profits like what it used to, most corporations today have steered towards sustainability in the long-term, which then gives corporations a whole new bottom line driving force. This bottom line is known as the triple bottom line (TBL), which generally relates to sustainability mentioned earlier. In other words, TBL as coined by Elkington (2004) was meant in reference to the understanding of measuring and take into considerations three important business aspects such as economic viability, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. In other words, TBL is more or less an expression, a terminology that is goal oriented to achieve a common ground between nature, human beings, and economic philosophies when they intersect (Sauvante, 2002). ...read more.

Middle

However, the care for the environment or otherwise, environmental responsibility is deemed very complex. This is because the environmental responsibility involves more than just compliance with all applicable government regulations. It also covers any initiatives taken towards caring for the environment such as recycling, promoting eco-friendly methods of living or even energy efficiency. With the introduction of this aspect, even supports for eco-friendly disposal of e-waste such as gadgets and devices have surfaced. Newer methods in recycling are discovered which provides a safer alternative to various toxic or hazardous items required in goods production. In addition to that, environmental dimension also involves "a comprehensive approach to a company's operations, products and facilities that includes assessing business products, processes and services" (Jamali, 2006). That being said, the concept and outcome of this 'planet' factor will aid corporations not only internally but externally as well. The 'planet' section is responsible for ensuring that a business is regulated in an environment friendly and safe manner, for everything right from usage of raw materials to the actual process of calibrating production costs and not forgetting, shipping costs. The possibility of corporations that are used to unethical methods of handling in their daily operations have the option to eliminate waste and emissions, maximize the efficiency and productivity of all assets and resources while keeping the practices that might affect the environment in a harmful way to a bare minimum. ...read more.

Conclusion

Van de Bergh too argued that "a balanced adaptive process of change in a multi-dimensional complex integrated system" (Van de Bergh, 1996). A new measure of corporate performance has been made possible and this is achieved through balancing traditional economic goals together with social and environmental concerns (McDonough & Braungart, 2002). As the concept is still being digested by some parts of the corporate culture, many are already enjoying the perks and benefits of the implementation of the triple bottom line. With the triple bottom line framework, it encourages the growth in manufacturing products that not only enhance and maintain the well being of nature and culture but also generating extra economic value. Suffice to say, once the core principles in regards to ecologically intelligent design have been widely applied, the growth potential for both nature and commerce will be off the charts. Though, time and time again, it must be stressed that the co-operation from corporations must be given in full extent for these methods to be successfully implemented. Keeping the environment clean and healthy is everyone's responsibility. The future generation deserves a chance of being a part of this clean and healthy environment. Finally, the phrase 'No Profit without Planet and People' is the perfect rule to abide by in the context of triple bottom line and to conclude this essay. ...read more.

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