Certified Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Orgs
Since all organizations that intentionally opt into Certified Sustainability Zones (CSZ) necessarily agree to use Triple Bottom Line accounting tools to assess their own performance, they, too, qualify for certification under the CSZ program, but not in the same way. Rather than qualifying as a CSZ per se (which only applies to whole populations or communities), individual organizations within CSZs (or even independent of them for those that are interested) can qualify as Certified Triple Bottom Line Organizations, or Certified TBL Orgs.
A Certified TBL Org is any for-profit, non-profit, co-op, government agency or educational institution that has either (a) explicitly opted into a CSZ program and which therefore has become an intentional user of Triple Bottom Line accounting tools, including the MultiCapital Scorecard, or (b) independently uses such tools and practices in cases where there are no CSZs involved at all. This need not be to the exclusion of other more conventional performance accounting tools, such as income statements, cash flow reports, balance sheets, etc., but must at least be in addition to them. Moreover, a Certified TBL Org will produce an annual Triple Bottom Line report on its own operations for public disclosure, if only at a summary level of analysis.
Receipt of TBL Org certification from the CSZ’s program administrator entitles the receiving organizations to lay claim to and display evidence of such certification, including though use of the Certified Triple Bottom Line Org emblem shown on this page. Unlike other organization-level certifications, such as Certified B Corps or even Benefit Corporations proper, the Certified TBL Org designation signifies the fact that the recipient organizations are active users of context-based Triple Bottom Line accounting tools, including the MultiCapital Scorecard. No other certification program does this!
What this means, of course, is that a Certified TBL Org could also be a Certified B Corp or Benefit Corporation as well – in no way does the Certified TBL program compete with either of these designations. Indeed, they are highly complementary to one another, which is why the owners and administrators of the Certified B Corp and Benefit Corporation programs, B Lab, have explicitly endorsed use of the MultiCapital Scorecard as an approved third-party performance accounting standard for Benefit Corporations.
More information about how businesses and other organizations can become Certified TBL Orgs, including cases in which there may be no underlying CSZs involved at all, can be obtained by contacting CSO’s Executive Director, Mark W. McElroy, PhD.