Sustainability And Triple Bottom Line Reporting

1961 words - 8 pages

Today’s world is extremely complex in the sense that it is constantly changing. Not only is the world itself changing, but societies and the environment are consistently growing and developing. This constant fluctuation between these two categories is affecting all types of organizations, especially businesses. Due to the constant changes in today’s world, shareholders and stakeholders expect information about the financial, operational and investing activities of a business. Businesses are either flourishing or failing, but all the businesses that are most successful do not only owe their success to the products or services that they provide but also dedicate a portion of that success towards their understanding of the world around them. Every organization is concerned with the success of their business but the prospering businesses handle the day to day operations very sufficiently and focus on the longevity of the organization. The successful business understands the concept of sustainability and sustainable development. Due to the competition in the various markets, businesses must not only be concerned with well-being of the organization but are encouraged to look at their business from the entire perspective in order to see their impact on the world around them.

Sustainability is being considered by an increasing number of businesses due to the increase in environmental awareness, which is the concern for the conservation and improvement of the environment. By definition, sustainability “is a business strategy that drives long-term corporate growth and profitability by mandating the inclusion of environmental and social issues in the business model.” (DWDG). Not to be confused with corporate social responsibility, which is the belief that organizations must be responsible for all of its actions and what those actions may have affected in the past, sustainability “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED).

Developing sustainability along with measuring and reporting it can be quite difficult. As previously stated sustainability does not deal with the past but instead focuses on the future. An organization that desires sustainability must take proper action and have an understanding of what is needed in order to require it. Reaching true sustainability requires input from internal and external sources, social progress that takes into account the needs of all people, protecting the natural environment, using natural resources carefully and efficiently, and increasing the level of economic growth and employment within the organization (APD). These requirements build the foundation for any organization seeking sustainability and will lead to more success in the longevity. The key concept behind measuring and reporting sustainability is triple bottom line. In the mid 1900’s, John Elkington wanted to measure sustainability with a different kind of framework, to...

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