In the third leg of our series about the 3Ps of sustainability, we discuss the final stage which is the economic aspect of a company’s growth – or Prosperity. While the previous two legs of sustainability, People and Planet, focused on the impact if the company’s workings at a larger, more ethical state, Prosperity concerns both the company as well as society. As a transformational framework, the Triple Bottom Line ensures that companies continue to make viable profit to stay in business and make its impact on People and the Planet.Topics in this article
Most companies are comfortable with this final leg of the Triple Bottom Line since it is the mandate that has been “the bottom line” for the longest time. The primary goal of any company is to make profit and stay in business. This is also one of the easiest and quickest ways to show stakeholders that the company can deliver services it promises.
This is also the way through which investors ensure that the company is keeping an accurate and transparent record of its finances. It provides an assurance that important issues within the company are being addressed, such as purchasing, manufacturing, and selling, with the money poured in by the investor. It shows that the company has a functional, active, and visible record of its workings.
However, while this may look like ‘Prosperity’ only covers the profitability of a company, it goes far beyond to include all the financial aspects of the company. This is also where confusion occurs, and lines do get blur. ‘Prosperity’ doesn’t only contain ‘profit’. It encompasses the company’s overall impact on global, national, and local economies. For example, if the company resorts to child labor at any stage of production, it is creating a negative impact upon the economy. Similarly, if the company is creating more opportunities for people from various backgrounds, then it is giving back to society on a positive economic scale.
Businesses feel most firm and confident about the Economic Pillar and it is also what they rely on to keep the ship sailing. However, the Economic Pillar isn’t about profit alone but it does form one part of it. In Corporate Sustainability, the Economic Pillar is where the board of directors take and other stakeholders take an active interest in the company’s functions. Their interest is not limited to the income flow but expands to the kind of impact the company makes at every stage of its value chain.
The Economic Pillar is also where the company is compelled to resort to ethical practices. The stakeholders or the board of directors who ensure that the company keeps its books transparent, also warrant that the company does not into any conflict of interests or unduly treatment of certain powerful customers.
The Triple Bottom Line sets the groundwork for companies to facilitate an overall growth and impact which not only benefits the society around them but also has global implications. To enhance on Prosperity, and to distinguish its functions from profit alone, the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN also contain certain prosperity-driven goals.
Two of such prosperity-driven goals set by the UN are:
The definition of a successful business is now evolving more than ever, and it is moving towards a more wholesome, sustainable future. Here profit alone is not considered the ultimate benchmark but only a part of a dynamic structure which is constantly looking to improve the social, environmental, and economic conditions around it.
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Our latest business simulation game, The Triple Connection, engages its participants in implementing a sustainable strategy for a virtual chocolate milk manufacturer. The Triple Connection finds its roots in the cacao industry and follows the path to create maximum value in its sustainable value chain. This kind of value creation requires multiple high-level roles to align on the concept of the 3Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity!
Now you know that the third leg of the Triple Bottom Line – Prosperity – is not just about profit but the overall development of society at large. Through this third leg, companies are compelled to look into their labor policies, employee benefits, societal factors, as well as income revenue. Prosperity takes into account whether the company is making advancement in developing not just business but the financial livelihood of all those involved in the business. It looks through and through the value chain to create transparent processes that is beneficial on a larger scale.
The 3Ps of sustainability – People, Planet, and Profit – enable a company to harness its complete potential and add real value to its business. In a post-COVID world, companies are quickly responding to the need for a greener, renewable and sustainable business strategy which can withstand unforeseen circumstances. Companies have to adapt a perspective where they prioritize multiple stakeholders rather than focusing on only churning revenue. In this series, we will discuss the ‘People’ aspect of the Triple Bottom Line and what it means for a company’s transition to sustainability.
The 3Ps of sustainability – People, Planet, and Profit – enable a company to harness its complete potential and add real value to its business. In a post-COVID world, companies are quickly responding to the need for a greener, renewable and sustainable business strategy which can withstand unforeseen circumstances. Companies have to adapt a perspective where they prioritize multiple stakeholders rather than focusing on only bringing in revenue. In this series, we will discuss the ‘Planet’ aspect of the Triple Bottom Line and what it means for a company’s transition to sustainability.
Inchainge’s game-based learning simulations are in use all around the globe, across more than 700 universities, and by many of the world’s most successful companies. Our immersive business games – The Fresh Connection, The Cool Connection, and The Blue Connection – present an innovative approach to learning that puts participants at the heart of a lifelike simulation.