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The Triple Bottom Line

Lesson Summary

Social Impact

The social impact of a business refers to its performance relative to societies and social justice. It ensures that the entire operations of the business are socially responsible and ethical.

Internally, the social impact of a business refers to practices related to employees and employment with the business. It also includes the impact on the local public and social services sector as a result of the business’s activities.

Externally, the social impact of a business refers to engaging with suppliers that are responsible and ethical.

Social impact involves ensuring that policies, practices, products, advertising, logo or mascot, and other aspects of the business are not offensive or disrespectful to clients.



Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of a business refers to its contribution to preserving environmental quality.

Internally, the environmental impact of a business refers to practices related to use of natural resources, waste, toxicity, and pollution. Recycling programs are often part of a sustainable business’s efforts to reduce waste and toxicity.

Externally, the sustainable business also considers the environmental impact of suppliers in terms of services and products as well as transportation of goods.
Many businesses have policies in place to give preferential purchasing to products and services that are most environmentally friendly.


Environmental Impact

A business focusing on their environmental impact will consider their water and energy usage and take steps become more efficient and to reduce them.

Businesses can reduce their environmental impact and save money by switching products and services, recycling, unplugging items, among other things.



Economic Impact

The economic impact of a business refers to indicators that it has positively contributed to local economic growth while maintaining corporate profitability. This can involve paying fair wages, providing positive impacts on the local economy and assessing the effects the business has on local public service systems.

The sustainable business looks at suppliers to ensure they are engaged across the supply chain with other companies that share similar values and practices.

Examples of steps a business might take for their economic impact include providing scholarships, sponsorships and charitable donations.



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