¶ Triple Bottom Line

The "triple bottom line" is a term coined by British consultant John Elkington to suggest that a business's impact should be measured across three planes: profit, people, and planet. Elkington introduces the notion that an organization should be evaluated not just in terms of the value it yields to shareholders (see the Friedman doctrine), which had been the predominant perspective for decades, but on broader social factors. The triple bottom line is an important idea in business sustainability.

Simon Sinek includes the triple bottom line into his concept of the "infinte mindset," and argues that businesses' purpose includes protecting its people by focusing on the triple bottom line.

Erika Hall has suggested that the triple bottom line can help inform ethical design work.


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Citations

Elkington, John. “25 Years Ago I Coined the Phrase ‘Triple Bottom Line.’ Here’s Why It’s Time to Rethink It.” Harvard Business Review, June 25, 2018. https://hbr.org/2018/06/25-years-ago-i-coined-the-phrase-triple-bottom-line-heres-why-im-giving-up-on-it.

Hall, Erika. “Thinking in Triplicate.” Medium (blog), April 30, 2020. https://medium.com/mule-design/a-three-part-plan-to-save-the-world-98653a20a12f.

Sinek, Simon. The Infinite Game. New York: Portfolio, 2019.


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