Executive Update

The Triple Bottom Line

Andrew Savitz, industry expert on sustainability and author of The Triple Bottom Line identified sustainability opportunities companies have, and can continue to expand on through the triple bottom line:  the economic, environmental and social responsibilities companies are being valued and measured by.

“Many people believe we are at a fork in the road. We can continue to go down the path of creating financial wealth, and working on these issues at the margins, or we can find new ways to create common goals, like generating environmental, social and economic prosperity all at the same time, which is what the triple bottom line is really all about.”

Savitz discussed the increasing demand of corporate accountability and the “sweet spot,” or the overlap between companies being self-serving, and world-serving, which is where the opportunity to increase the triple bottom line lies.

“The most successful companies are embracing their environmental and social responsibilities and finding a way to turn those responsibilities into business opportunities; that is what being a sustainable organization is.”

An example of this is the hybrid car. In the early 1990’s, Toyota bet that the cost of gas would rise, along with people’s concern for the environment, so they began to look at what they had already been doing through the lens of sustainability. Though there was much skepticism when it was first created, Toyota has sold well over one million Prius’ by now and has enhanced their brand to be one of the most successful car companies in the world.

Savitz explained that there are similar opportunities in the food, beverage and CPG industry to become sustainability leaders through innovation, accountability and focusing on the sweet spot.

“Your challenge, and your opportunity, is to make a profit while feeding the world healthier food at the same time.”