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Triple Bottom Line

  • By: Robert B. Pojasek
  • In: Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Sustainability, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The phrase triple bottom line (often abbreviated as TBL or 3BL) refers to an expansion of the factors to be considered in evaluating the success of a corporation or other organization. Besides the traditional bottom line of profitability, the 3BL requires accounting for the effects of the corporation's operations on the physical and social environments (sometimes characterized as natural capital and human capital in analogy with the economic capital that is the focus of the traditional bottom line). The notion of the 3BL was developed in the 1990s as an effort to popularize the notion of corporate responsibility in the ecological and social spheres by broadening the accountability of a corporation beyond the economic interests of the shareholders to include societal stakeholders, who might be ...

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