Triple Bottom Line: Our Promise to You
At a recent staff away day Whitehill Business Services decided to adopt the so-called "triple bottom line". The term was coined in 1994 by John Elkington and gives a framework for describing and evaluating performance using the "3Ps" - People, Planet and Profits.
Traditionally, businesses have chosen to maintain a strong focus on factors that have a clear and direct effect on their economic performance. This is usually assessed by looking at financial measures such as cost of materials and overheads, quantity of sales and profit margins. However, the successes of maintaining a broader view (particularly examining more internal factors) of business are becoming more and more evident.
Although assessing our economic performance as a business will always be an important tool, the triple bottom line brings fresh, new perspectives that welcomes and encourages positive change. The triple bottom line focuses on three main aspects of sustainability – social (people), environmental (planet) and economic (profit). Sustainability is a balancing act where business decisions must take into account the impact on their surroundings.
We believe social sustainability is one of the most important things to consider in maintaining a business. Social aspects of a business do not just mean our external customers, but our employees also. Social sustainability’s activities focus on maintaining a mutual relationship and understanding between the customers, employees and the community.
These activities tend to bring a positive profile and customer/community support. The Swindon Wildcats, one of Whitehill's major clients, provides a great example of an organisation that understands the importance of social sustainability. Their community-based project, Wildcats in the Community, is an extremely successful scheme that has given young people in the local area the chance to develop and engage with sport in their own environment. At Whitehill Business Services, we're dedicated to our customers and are always trying to find new ways to help our clients. As part of our away day, we've started to develop an action plan for strengthening still further our commitment to our clients and employees.
The second "P" is "Planet", or environmental awareness. Amongst the action points for Whitehill to improve our carbon footprint, for example, is a decision to send Christmas E-Cards this year rather than physical copies. Triple bottom line organisations aim to improve the environment, where feasible, and at the very least reduce their negative impacts on it. There is much more to environmental awareness than reducing pollution and waste – advisors recommend that organisations should look towards building an understanding of the lifecycles and impacts of their products and services.
Thirdly, we come to the traditional bottom line, "Profit". This is an economic awareness that all profit making organisations will be well acquainted with. Traditionally, a business is considered successful if it has made a profit and has generated significant financial return from its investments and activities. Tracking income and expenses is the main focus of our bookkeeping services, which also include credit management and reporting. A sound balance sheet and profit report can also be used to determine the net worth of a business at a given point in time.
In committing to using the "triple bottom line" approach to performance measurement, Whitehill Business Services makes a promise to all our stakeholders - clients, employees, and the wider community - to stand by our values of commitment, engagement and expertise to bring our clients the best possible service. We take full responsibility for our effect on the environment be that social, environmental or economic. We view our entire brand as a promise to our stakeholders, and a commitment to making a difference to the planet we live on..