TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE: THE 3Ps – People, Planet, Profit

THE 3Ps – People, Planet, Profit

The 3P’s concept, originally devised by John Elkington’s arose out of a desire to move away from a purely profit orientated business indicators.

The idea of CSR reporting by companies and institutions has been around for decades; and within that period has had peaks of interest and important. By seeking to review business performance outside of traditional parameters, involving a more balanced and integrated approach to total commercial activities a true overview can be achieved.

People, Planet, Profit

People: Measuring the extent of socially responsible; as a business’ influence on its staff; stakeholders; the local community and taken to the nth degree –

Planet – Evaluating the impact business activities have on the environment, both locally and worldwide.

Profit – Is a familiar metric for all senior staff and is largely a transparent statement of profit and loss. It is auditable with reliable figures.

While profitable is widely understood the other two indicators are less so, and are governed by more nebulous factors. Each organisation will likely need to set their own degree of accountabilities and scope of the audit.


The People element is the most difficult factor to assess and account for. The degree of responsibility needs to be defined prior to any review – does “people” mean directly employed staff, immediate stakeholders, and employees’ families, does it include your suppliers’ workers, wider communities or the entire supply chain.

Items that can be employed are; length of service; appraisal findings; attendance and punctuality; the take up of training; accident trends and sickness records. It is then possible to calculate the impact of initiatives such as Health & Wellbeing campaigns or training courses, by year-on-year examination. Seeking similar data from your supplier’s it is possible to gain a fuller picture of the commercial market your company operates in and compare performance.

Exploring the responsibilities for the Planet is slightly easier, depending how far you reach back into your supply chain. In-house aspects should start with the reduction of waste and energy saving efforts, which will have positive influences on profit and can be accurately judged from bills and invoices. Further, auditable figures can be gleaned from transportation, recycling rates, water usage and office consumables.

The positives of the 3P’s can be summed up as sustainability. Is the business sustainable in all its forms and can it be a force for good across a wide range of imperatives.

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top