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( Article Type: Explanation )

The term, 'Triple-Bottom-Line', describes one of the new theories of sustainable development developed by John Elkington and his team at Sustainability Ltd in London (see This theory suggests that true sustainable development in business must consider not just the financial 'bottom line' of prosperity and profit, but also other 'bottom lines' such as environmental quality and social equity. Companies, therefore, when they submit their annual reports, should be looking not just at the 'financial bottom line' of profit but also at the 'Triple-Bottom-Line' of prosperity, environmental quality and social quality. The triple bottom line represents a level of interdisciplinary thinking that is vital to tackle the complex and varied environmental problems that exist today. The Triple-Bottom-Line was developed with the aid of industrialists to meet their needs and also to enable the concepts to be easily translated into the financial contexts of business.