I have to admit that before this series of blog posts, I hadn’t heard of the phrase “Triple Bottom Line”, or TPL/3BL. For a long time, though, I’ve felt that the monetary cost that one pays when purchasing items or services does not fully reflect the accurate environmental cost. Instead it only focuses on the exploitation of the difference between paying as little as possible when obtaining items and charging as much as possible when selling them.
This inherent flaw in the current economic system forces participants to ignore any other factors related to the procurement of products other than getting it as cheap as possible, monetarily. We call this “cost”, but that is a misnomer. A true cost includes qualitative as well as quantitative factors.
This is the idea behind Triple Bottom Line. The question is “How can we make the true cost of something be relevant to people in their everyday lives?” One answer may be through the use of Triple Bottom Line.
What factors need to be included in a “true cost”?
According to Wikipedia:
1. People (human capital)
2. Planet (natural capital)
3. Profit, (the current focus)
How does this affect you and what you buy/use?
1. Research fair trade food and see how buying fair trade takes social and human workplace quality into account in the price of the product. Some of the coffee you drink may already be fair trade without you even realizing it.
2. Ink saving fonts that, when printed, use less ink thus saving you money and lessening waste of materials and the energy used to produce those materials.
3. Watch a few videos on the 3BL (Triple Bottom Line) YouTube channel for a behind-the-scenes look at how popular companies do their work.