The ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) concept is increasingly being used by organisations to report on how they are responding to sustainability issues under the headings of environmental, social and economic performance. Through the development of sustainability-related objectives under these headings and matching each objective with an appropriate indicator, organisations are able to monitor and evaluate their actions thereby improving their capacity to respond. However, the predominant way in which the TBL concept is used has its problems. Actions related to the economic dimension are frequently restricted to the organisation’s financial performance rather than its effects on the broader economy. Similarly, it can be difficult for organisations to find ways to contribute to broader social sustainability issues beyond what it does for its own employees. Probably the greatest challenge is to facilitate decision-making where trade-offs across the TBL dimensions are necessary. This paper evaluates the usefulness of the TBL concept drawing on experience with Murrumbidgee Irrigation and a review of other case studies in the literature. We argue that TBL reporting can enable organisations to better manage their response to the sustainability challenge when TBL reporting is approached as an iterative learning cycle.
|Title of host publication||5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers|
|Subtitle of host publication||making a difference|
|Place of Publication||Thurgoona, Australia|
|Publisher||Charles Sturt University|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
|Event||Australian Stream Management Conference - Albury, New South Wales, Australia, Australia|
Duration: 21 May 2007 → 25 May 2007
|Conference||Australian Stream Management Conference|
|Period||21/05/07 → 25/05/07|
Mitchell, M., Curtis, A., & Davidson, P. (2007). Can the ‘triple bottom line’ concept help organisations respond to sustainability issues? In 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers: making a difference (pp. 270-275). Charles Sturt University.