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Triple Bottom



Definition

A triple bottom is a chart pattern used in technical analysis of stocks, commodities, currencies, or other assets. It indicates a possible reversal of a long-term downtrend. It is characterized by three distinct dips or ‘bottoms’ at a similar price level, before breaking out into a new upward trend.

Phonetic

The phonetics of “Triple Bottom” would be: “ˈtrɪpəl ˈbɑtəm”

Key Takeaways

Main Takeaways About Triple Bottom Line

  1. Sustainable Development: The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a framework that integrates three dimensions of performance: social, environmental, and financial. This differs from traditional reporting frameworks as it includes ecological (or environmental) and social measures that can be difficult to assign appropriate means of measurement.
  2. Enhanced Business Perspective: The TBL dimensions are also commonly called the three Ps: people, planet and profits. We are looking beyond the traditional mode of the single bottom line of profit to the triple bottom line which includes the impact on community and the environment. This enhances the business accountability and increases transparency.
  3. Measurement and Reporting: The TBL metric offers clearer understanding of a business’s performance concerning its social and environmental impact. It demands that a company’s responsibility be to stakeholders rather than shareholders. These stakeholders can be anyone who is influenced, directly or indirectly, by the actions of the firm such as employees, the community, and environment itself.

Importance

The finance term, “Triple Bottom Line (TBL)” is important because it offers a broader perspective on a company’s performance beyond just financial metrics. It incorporates three different areas of performance: financial, social, and environmental. Financial relates to profits and monetary growth of a company. Social (or people) refers to the company’s impacts on society, such as job creation, diversity, and the well-being of employees and the community. Environmental (or planet) pertains to sustainable practices and the company’s impact on the environment. By using Triple Bottom Line as a measurement method, a company can demonstrate a commitment to a comprehensive performance assessment that creates value for stakeholders and society as a whole. This not only enhances the company’s reputation but also makes it more sustainable in the long run.

Explanation

The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a progressive concept in business that encourages companies to focus not only on financial profitability, but also on social and environmental factors. The idea is that businesses should aim for a balanced approach to success; one that not just helps them earn profits, but also allows them to contribute positively to the society and the environment in which they function. This concept is gaining significant traction, especially in today’s conscientiously aware business landscape as it allows businesses to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective and work towards sustainability.The Triple Bottom Line essentially consists of three Ps: Profit, People and Planet. Each of these components addresses different concerns. The ‘Profit’ component represents the traditional measure of corporate profit—the bottom line of the income statement. ‘People’ refers to fair and beneficial business practices towards labour and the community in which a corporation conducts its business. ‘Planet’ refers to sustainable environmental practices, implying that profits should not come at the cost of the environment. This encourages businesses to take a more comprehensive approach to measuring and managing their corporate performance and societal impact. Ultimately, the purpose of the Triple Bottom Line is to promote sustainable business practices that recognize both the short-term and long-term needs of all stakeholders.

Examples

1. The Body Shop: The popular cosmetics company, The Body Shop, is well-known for its adherence to the principles of the triple bottom line. They prioritize social and environmental aspects, not just profits. For example, they source ingredients responsibly, ensuring fair trade for suppliers. They also carry out several campaigns about important social issues and remain committed to recycling and reducing waste.2. Patagonia: Patagonia, an outdoor apparel company, shows commitment to the triple bottom line in numerous ways. Financially, the company is successful, and with the profits, they give back to society and the environment. Patagonia donates a portion of its profits to environmental organizations and uses organic and recycled materials in most of its products. They also launched a venture capital arm, which supports environmentally friendly start-ups.3. Interface: Interface, a carpet tile manufacturer, follows a ‘Mission Zero’ strategy with a goal to eliminate any negative impact the company might have on the environment by 2020. They aim for 100% renewable energy use in their manufacturing processes and focus on recycling and reusing materials. They also invest in initiatives to educate and empower their workers and support local communities, thereby fulfilling the social aspect of the triple bottom line.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Triple Bottom?

The Triple Bottom line is a strategy used in business finance and sustainability that measures a company’s performance against three criteria: social, environmental, and financial.

How does a company implement the Triple Bottom line?

A company can implement the Triple Bottom line by tracking and improving their social, environmental, and financial performance. This can be done through various ways like reporting their carbon footprint, investing in the community, improving labor practices, etc.

What does the social aspect of the Triple Bottom line refer to?

The social aspect considers the impacts of an organization on the social systems within which it operates. This can include aspects like fair and beneficial business practices toward labor, the community, and the region in which a corporation conducts its business.

How is the financial aspect of the Triple Bottom line evaluated?

The financial aspect is the traditional measure of corporate profit—the bottom line of the income statement. It simply denotes the profits a business makes after deducting all expenses, like cost of goods sold, depreciation, interest, and taxes.

What does the environmental aspect of the Triple Bottom line entail?

The environmental aspect of the Triple Bottom line refers to sustainable environmental practices. It involves a company’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint by managing its energy use, waste generation, resource consumption, and more.

Is the Triple Bottom line crucial for businesses?

Yes, the Triple Bottom line is considered crucial for businesses as it allows them to look beyond just profits and towards sustainability. It provides a broader view of the company’s performance by considering social and environmental impacts.

Are there any criticisms of the Triple Bottom line?

Yes, some critics argue that the triple bottom line can be difficult to implement as it can be challenging to measure social and environmental impact in the same units as financial profits. Additionally, not all companies prioritize social and environmental responsibilities, focusing more on financial gain.

What businesses usually employ the Triple Bottom concept?

Businesses of all sizes and industries can employ the Triple Bottom line concept. However, it’s typically more common in companies with strong corporate social responsibility values or advance sustainability practices. It’s also more likely to being employed by companies that operate in industries with a significant environmental impact, such as manufacturing or energy.

Related Finance Terms

  • Sustainability
  • Social responsibility
  • Economic Profitability
  • Environmental Impact
  • Corporate Responsibility

Sources for More Information


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