The term 'triple bottom line', encompassing people, planet and profit, was coined in 1994 by John Elkington, a world authority on corporate responsbility. In 2018, he 'recalled', or revoked, it, having become convinced that it was misunderstood. He explains to Wunderman Thompson Intelligence that the original idea was that businesses will come up with integrated solutions that embrace all three dimensions of value creation.
"I WAS SEEING TOO MANY TRADE-OFFS - TOO MANY PEOPLE SAYING: ‘WE DO THESE TWO, BUT IT’S SAD ABOUT THAT ONE’.”
He says that today “if the triple bottom line is viewed within a regenerative or a generational framework, I’m more than happy.” What that really means is that business must recognise they are of an interconnected, holistic system. This graphic, created by the Future-Fit Foundation, is helpful in showing how. It takes those three dimensions of people, planet and profit (or, here, society, environment and business), often represented as intersecting circles, and nests them. Business is now at the heart of society, which in turn is part of the wider environment. To thrive, business must deliver value for all three, which Future-Fit calls “system value.”
This info is taken from Wunderman Thompson's Regeneration Rising' report and I share it as a message in itself for business and how citizens should view business. It gives business the opportunity for incredible value and citizens the context within which to make good choices. Coming of age in a climate emergency has made generation Z unapologetically outspoken and impatient for change.
If you ever wondered why 72% of Generation Z say they would not work for a company that does not have a good record on sustainability, this image is a good picture of what they are looking for and what every business should be working toward.