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What is triple bottom line concept?

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As per Elkington (1998), the tool is the intersection of environmental, social, and economic performance that is a powerful means for an organization to convey about sustainability. The tool can help explicitly directing the managers to identify the activities that can improve performance of the economic situation and direct the avoidance of environmental and social activities that are outside the intersection.

According to Reichel Oczyp (2011, p.52), the triple performance line concept is one of the foundations of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and is a paradigm of sustainable development, based on the balance between economics, ecology and ethics dimensions but Hindle (2008) argued that as per Elkington’s concept, the companies should have three different bottom lines where one is for the “corporate profit”, second one is for “people account” and the third one is company’s “planet” account whereas Krajnc and Glavic(2005) extended the definition and explained that the triple bottom line is “the creation of goods and services using processes and systems that are non-polluting, conserving energy and natural resources, economically viable, safe and healthy for employees, communities and consumers, socially and creatively rewarding for all working people.”

Another explanation has been provided by Andrew Savitz (2006) that the triple bottom line “captures the essence of sustainability by measuring the impact of an organization’s activities on the world… including both its profitability and shareholder values and its social, human and environmental capital.”

As we can see through all the arguments, the common goal for all the explanation is sustainable development.


Elkington, J. (1998). Partnerships from cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st-century business. Environmental Quality Management8(1),
Sachs, J. D. (2015). Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA, 8(2).
Hindle T., 2008, Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus, Profile Books, London.
Krajnc, D., & Glavič, P. (2005). A model for integrated assessment of sustainable development. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 43(2), 189-208.
Reichel J., Oczyp P. (eds.), 2011, Jak uczyć o społecznej odpowiedzialności i zrównoważonym rozwoju. Podręcznik dla nauczycieli,, http://odpowiedzialnybiznes.pl/public/files/Jak%20uczyc%20o%20CSR.pdf.

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