Blue Numbers, Green Results
We at Greengineering strongly believe not only in the fairness but even in the necessity to adopt Triple Bottom Line Accounting (TBL) in the long term for the evaluation of the overall performance of an organisation or company.
"People" pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labour and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business. A TBL company conceives a reciprocal social structure in which the well-being of corporate, labour and other stakeholder interests are interdependent and seeks to provide benefit to many constituencies and not to exploit or endanger any group of them.
However, quantifying this bottom line is relatively new, problematic and often subjective. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed guidelines to enable corporations and NGOs alike to comparably report on the social impact of a business.
"Planet" (natural capital) refers to sustainable environmental practices. A TBL company endeavors to benefit the natural order as much as possible or at least minimize environmental impact. A TBL endeavour reduces its ecological footprint by, among other things, carefully managing its consumption of energy and non-renewables and reducing manufacturing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner. "Cradle to Cradle" is uppermost in the thoughts of TBL manufacturing businesses, which typically conduct a Life Cycle Assessment of products to determine what the true environmental cost is from the growth and harvesting of raw materials to manufacture to distribution to eventual disposal by the end user. A triple bottom line company does not produce harmful or destructive products such as toxic chemicals or batteries containing dangerous heavy metals, for example.
Ecologically destructive practices, such as overfishing or other endangering depletions of resources are avoided by TBL companies. Often environmental sustainability is the more profitable course for a business in the long run. Arguments that it costs more to be environmentally sound are often specious when the course of the business is analyzed over a period of time. Generally, sustainability reporting metrics are better quantified and standardized for environmental issues than for social ones. A number of respected reporting institutes and registries exist including the Global Reporting Initiative, CERES, Institute 4 Sustainability and others.
"Profit" is the economic value created by the organization after deducting the cost of all inputs, including the cost of the capital tied up. It therefore differs from traditional accounting definitions of profit. In the original concept, within a sustainability framework, the "profit" aspect needs to be seen as the real economic benefit enjoyed by the host society. It is the real economic impact the organization has on its economic environment. This is often confused to be limited to the internal profit made by a company or organization (which nevertheless remains an essential starting point for the computation). Therefore, an original TBL approach cannot be interpreted as simply traditional corporate accounting profit plus social and environmental impacts unless the "profits" of other entities are included as a social benefit.
Greengineering’s focus on both Profit and Planet
Although we believe that People is an extremely important aspect of TBL, quantifying this bottom line is, as already stated, relatively new, problematic and often subjective.
Quantification and quantitative optimisation of the aspects of “Profit” and “Planet” are far more evolved and use mature frameworks and methods (such as Life Cycle Assessment related to ecological impact).
For this reason, our optimization programs are aimed at two distinct but complementary targets which in the future will become both as important.
First and foremost, we focus on your company’s operational excellence in order to maximize your bottom-line financial results: Blue Numbers!
Complementary, we also want to help you to minimize your company’s ecological footprint, which will become an important differentiator in the marketplace in the near future: Green Results!
This way, Greengineering not only focuses on the aspect of “Profit” to enable companies to reduce their costs and improve their financial results, but also on the aspect of “Planet” in order to help companies to reduce the ecological impact of their products, services and activities.