Wednesday, September 21

Triple Bottom Line Responsibility

Following on from my earlier posting on Ethics in Business it’s interesting to note the continued changes in emphasis that's occurring within the corporate world.

Triple bottom lime reporting is the latest buzzword. What’s meant by that is an acknowledgement of the responsibility to three different stakeholders,eg: shareholders and employees, the community and the commitment to sustainability in perpetuity for future generations.

It’s refreshing to think we can identify a work commitment to enterprises that espouse these standards of triple line bottom line reporting. That’s in stark contrast to recent events, as we witness previous CEO’s sentinced to long prison terms following convictions for fraud in a climate of greed where the very idea of sustainability never entered into the corporate culture. Corporates also have responsibilities to their local communities or countries in which they operate. The sort of organisation that needs to make sudden huge reductions in staffing is not only failing their local community, it’s also a sign of very poor management that failed to act to earlier warning signals.

It’s interesting to note recently in Australia local institutions actively discouraged investment in a US property group for ethical reasons. Whey was this? The large US property group, was in a lock out negotiations to reduce the conditions for their security employees to exclude holiday pay benefits. Leave the rate the same but take away the holiday benefits so that that amount the employees earn is a lousy annual salary of $20-$25K a year. That company in the US will be struggling to have others invest in their future property development as it’s on the nose? So hopefully investors will be interested in investing in companies that are fair to their workforce and are serious about a commitment to triple bottom line responsibility.

I have noticed in most Annual Reports these days specific mention to these 3 aspects and particularly on the question of long term sustainability. Interestingly enough, judging by results it’s also good for business. Being proud of your enterprise and liking what you do makes good business sense, just as it applies to investors. And we are all investors either directly or indirectly through super or pension funds.

But on the question of sustainability we need to press down hard on the accelerator for change as in Australia and particularly in the USA emissions are the highest per person in the world.

Click on the link lank to see how AGL is making renewable energy available to its customers to help reduce greenhouse gases.


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