The Balancing Act
The people, profit, and planet accounts shouldn’t be assessed in isolation. After all, Elkington explains that “the TBL wasn’t designed to be just an accounting tool. It was supposed to provoke deeper thinking about capitalism and the future, but many early adopters understood the concept as a balancing act, adopting a trade-off mentality.”
Referring to the TBL Venn diagram, adopting a trade-off mentality may result in three types of imbalance.
The most common is profit account imbalance: performing well on the profit account but poorly on the people and planet accounts. This may result in negative consequences like labour exploitation and deforestation. Indeed, many organisations that aren’t aware the TBL exists may be guilty of this.
The second type is people account imbalance: performing well on the people account but poorly on the profit and planet accounts. This may result in negative consequences like underemployment and deforestation.
The third type is planet account imbalance: performing well on the planet account but poorly on the people and profit accounts. This may result in negative consequences like labour exploitation and underemployment.
Only by performing well on all three accounts can an organisation achieve balanced sustainability that benefits people, profit, and the planet simultaneously.
Our view at Apex is that sustainability isn’t just environmentalism. It’s a three-dimensional concept that balances people, profit, and the planet simultaneously.
To understand more about Apex Evolution’s application of sustainability across IT product and services please contact the team on [email protected]