Title: Critical reflections of the triple bottom line as a schema for reporting: a practitioners' view

Authors: Kaushik Sridhar; Grant Jones

Addresses: Net Balance Management Group, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. ' Australian Catholic University, 8/20 Napier Street, NR House, North Sydney, NSW 2060 Australia

Abstract: Triple bottom line (TBL) reporting has become a way of life in terms of non-financial reporting at major corporations. However, its utility in terms of value-add for these corporations seems to be a mystery at present. This paper aims to look at how corporations use the TBL as a framework for reporting and what limitations key members of these corporations see with the TBL approach. In particular, the motivation behind the employee in charge of conducting non-financial reporting and providing sustainability information has been identified. The paper analyses the results of an empirical investigation into the constructions people put on the triple bottom line framework, and its utility in making sustainability information public, either through standalone reports, annual reports, or online reporting. The main purpose of the analysis was to focus upon issues and factors that drove TBL practices and reporting within a sample size of 40 corporations around the world, considered to be best practices adopters in non-financial reporting.

Keywords: triple bottom line; TBL; non-financial reporting; corporate governance; corporate social responsibility; CSR; integration; institutional theory; stakeholders; legitimacy; leadership; compliance; ranking; benefits; social measurement; reputation; motivation; sustainability information; sustainable development; best practice.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2012.046100

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2012 Vol.13 No.1, pp.64 - 88

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 28 Mar 2012 *

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