The Triple Bottom Line: The Reporting Of Doing Well & Doing Good

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W. Richard Sherman

Keywords

Triple Bottom Line, Sustainability Reporting, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, Triple P

Abstract

Organizations struggle to tell their stories, to communicate the good - and sometimes the bad - they do in the marketplace, in the community, to and for the environment, and in society. Quite clearly, the challenge of telling the companys story is not being met by current corporate reporting practices. In particular, criticism has been directed at the failure of annual reports or other regulatory filings to tell anything about a company's environmental and social performance. Triple bottom-line (TBL) reporting, a term coined by John Elkington in his 1997 book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, aims to remedy this shortcoming by explicitly considering not only the economic performance of a firm but also the companys environmental and social performance as well. This article gives an overview of the TBL concept and how it is changing the way in which corporations tell their story.

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