Introducing Certified Triple Bottom Line Organizations
For all of the talk of sustainability in business, it is still the case that very few organizations actually measure, manage or report their performance in ways that are truly Triple Bottom Line (TBL) in scope. They may prepare separate reports, perhaps, but rarely in an integrated form, and certainly not in a way that reports sustainability performance per se.
This has to change, because if what we want is a world in which business and commerce – and non-profit sectors, too – are sustainable, it simply will not happen until or unless managers in organizations are using tools, methods and metrics that provide them with a full view of their performance and not just part of it. As Donella Meadows once said, “People can’t respond to information they don’t have.”
This is where the Certified TBL program comes rushing into play – the world’s first certification for Triple Bottom Line accounting. Unlike any other program in place today, the Certified TBL Org designation recognizes organizations that are at least measuring, managing and reporting their performance in Triple Bottom Line terms, whether their actual performance is fully sustainable or not. Thus, it is a practice-level certification grounded in the view that correct practices must come first.
The Certified TBL program was jointly launched in 2019 by the non-profit Center for Sustainable Organizations (CSO) and SustainAccounting LLC. The program is owned and operated by the latter, with CSO providing methodological, instructional and assurance support for organizations that choose to pursue TBL Org certification.