The Triple Bottom Line concept is gaining awareness and momentum in the market as business leadership seeks competitive advantage and differentiation in the marketplace. It’s not just companies marketing environmental products and services or highly progressive companies that are adopting Triple Bottom Line practices anymore but a broader range of companies who rationally see substantial value to their business and the communities they serve.

Triple Bottom Line concept- the focus on social, environmental, and financial outcomes for business – originated as an accounting framework geared towards establishing a broader set of value drivers for business. By re-conceptualizing the outcomes sought by business, leaders can use Triple Bottom Line concept to drive positive social and environmental impact in addition to the classic financial success metrics. By focusing on Triple Bottom Line outcomes, leaders signal to their organization the values they prioritize which in turn shape decision making, individual conduct, and the overall focus of business activity.

When Triple Bottom Line principles are successfully adopted, the organization can realize tangible benefit through improved team morale and performance, energized recruiting efforts, and stronger community relations. Customer relationships and brand reputation can significantly benefit from positive social, environmental and financial impacts Triple Bottom Line companies produce in the community and the broader marketplace.

A simple example is my personal bank promoting their being recognized as one of the most ethical companies in the US. They have been recognized in this respect for quite a while indicating to me that they have built a strong ethical culture that persists and gains strength over time. It’s very likely they are experiencing a positive feedback cycle where doing the right thing spawns positive social and environmental impacts, producing improved team morale, which in turn creates more positivity and Triple Bottom Line impact.

The economic profit driven business model will always exist and the virtues and drawbacks of that model are well documented. The Triple Bottom Line business value system has emerged as a next generation model that can realize the virtues of the traditional economic profit system while rectifying the drawbacks of the traditional system.

You can learn more about Triple Bottom Line practices here in Southeast Michigan at the “SMSBF: Triple Bottom Line Forum” held on June 28 at Wayne State University in the Student Center Building. Visit SMSBF.org to learn more about this event and other SMSBF activities.


Dave Crumrine, Corporate Marketing Director, US Ecology

Dave is an experienced business professional with 20+ years track record of building businesses. He has led or played a key role in driving $100M+ sales growth multiple times while supporting early stage companies with commercialization, funding, and organizational growth support. His strengths in Marketing & Analytics focused on creating/refining analytics capabilities and using metrics to optimize business performance. He has extensive experience in digital/IT, clean tech, media/publishing and advanced manufacturing sectors. At US Ecology he is focused on Brand management, market development, market research and analysis, and all B2B promotional and communications activities. He recently led their corporate re-branding and website relaunch in support of corporate acquisition. He manages traditional and digital marketing efforts and media relations and communications needs for a national industry leader offering twenty distinct product lines.