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What is the Triple Bottom line?

Studying Business you must have heard the bottom line of companies is to make profit, this is the only thing firms should worry about, right? Well some people think otherwise.

In a whole new school that we call Corporate Social Responsibility academics and professionals believe there is more to business than just profits. This is where the Triple Bottom Line came from.

In 1997 Elkington devised a model he called the Triple Bottom Line whereby companies shouldn't only care about economic bottom lines but also about social and environmental ones, the three bottom lines. Since companies are such big entities that contain a lot of people over different countries and make a lot of money, Elkington (and others) believes they should have a bigger responsibility towards their society and community, be accountable and responsible for their actions.

The field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is in effervescence right now with all the environmental and social problems we are seeing everywhere in the world, and the Triple Bottom Line is an introduction to that School of thought.

What do you think about the Triple Bottom Line? Do you think Elkington was right or should companies only make profit? Do you know a company that has gone out of its way to benefit its social community or environment? Was it a big multinational company like Nike or a small local charity?

And just like that you have applied the concept of the Triple Bottom Line and started thinking about CSR!

Lonie S. IB Business Studies tutor, GCSE Business Studies tutor, A Le...

10 months ago

Answered by Lonie, an A Level Business Studies tutor with MyTutor


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Lonie S.

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Degree: MSc International Business and Emerging Markets (Masters) - St. Andrews University

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“About me:  I am an International Business Master student at the University of Edinburgh and have just graduated from my Bachelor in Management with First Class Honours in June 2015. I have had experience of teaching and tutoring at pr...”

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