The Triple Bottom Line – Does it all Add Up? Assessing the Sustainability of Business and CSR – 2004

Author: Edited by: A Henriques & J Richardson
Publisher: Earthscan, London, 2004, PBK,
Pages: 186
ISBN: ISBN: 1-84407-015-8

This is a useful, “no-nonsense, warts and all” explanation and description of Triple Bottom Line and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) thinking which includes some of the top thinkers and doers in the subject.

John Elkington, the coiner of the phrase “Triple Bottom Line”, opens with a brief history and description of the term and this is followed by a thorough review of the literature on the topic. The book then broadens its scope and starts drawing in thoughts and ideas on CSR, sustainability and asking questions about how this all ties in with global governance, including private sector and government angles.

The book then moves on to look at where things went wrong and tackles when the theory does work and how “business as usual” does not work with a new approach.

I like the book because it includes the reality that change is not easy and cosmetic change will not produce the same results as the hard slog of changing the ways of doing business to include social and environmental bottom lines with the financial profits.

This is a must for Managers and Directors and other key company staff who have read the manuals and the glossies but now want the low down. Highly recommended.