For smaller, unlisted companies with fewer reporting requirements, sustainability goals may seem too hard or beyond reach. However, by putting triple bottom line (TBL) concepts into practice, small‒medium enterprises (SMEs) can gain many lasting, long-term benefits.
Here, the definition of sustainability is based on the concept of the TBL for business which John Elkington conceived in his book Cannibals with Forks, in 1997. Essentially the corporate mandate is to aim for financial wealth. This can be achieved without causing harm to the environment, and by dealing with people in an honest and responsible manner. This three-pronged view that the TBL concept expounds results in mindfulness of the impact of your operations and business. This is the function of TBL thinking and reporting.
By putting TBL concepts into place, SMEs can enhance the image of their brand, broaden their customer base, gain access to new markets, secure a competitive advantage and forge stronger and more lasting relationships with employees, customers and suppliers. All of these components add to the longevity of the business and will contribute to profits.