People, Planet, Profits: True Corporate Responsibility

  April 25, 2014

Today's tip of the day is about how facility managers can help augment their organization's triple bottom line goals.

The "triple bottom line" has gone from business buzzword to best practice. But you don't have to be the Vice President of Facilities for a Fortune 50 company to use the idea of the triple bottom line as a way to judge the success of your facility operations.

But let's back up and define our terms. If you're not familiar, the triple bottom line refers to "people, planets, and profits." John Elkington, a British expert on sustainability and corporate responsibility, first coined the term in 1994. These days, the notion of the "triple bottom line" has become its own cottage industry — there are workshops, conferences, online events, and hundreds of articles about what the triple bottom line is and how executives can understand how to operate a business within its parameters.

The triple bottom line is often discussed within the context of sustainability — "planet" being one of three pillars. It's easy to see why that's the case: Many sustainable operational strategies actually are de facto triple bottom line strategies.

And that's where facility managers come in. Whether you manage facilities for a public school district, a giant health care campus, or a publicly traded company, you're in the unique position to influence sustainable strategies organization-wide. And showing how facility operations contribute to the triple bottom line — saving money, enhancing the physical environment to positively affect those who work and visit your facilities, being environmentally responsible — is a major way facility managers can increase their visibility and influence within an organization.


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