09 Jul Sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line
Welcome to the first GreenSolutions blog entry! Every week, we’ll explore sustainability and recent trends in the world of green buildings. While most topics will be in the context of the built environment, we will periodically have posts which approach from other angles.
Sustainability is defined as the capability to maintain a certain state or level. Most businesses and projects aim to be sustainable yet it is difficult to qualify whether they are successful. While there are many schools of thought for a framework of sustainability, I subscribe to the Triple Bottom Line approach. Also called 3P, the Triple Bottom Line evaluates sustainability using three equal factors: Social (People), Environmental (Planet) and Economical (Profit).
The environment, the people and the economy; each of these three core elements are important to our worlds progress. If projects do not make profits, then no one will be in the business of building and that would mean a stunted economy. If projects do not protect the environment, then we will not have a world to thrive in. And finally, if projects do not keep the interest of the people at heart, then we will live in a very cruel place.
For projects to be sustainable, they must address each of these three elements without sacrificing one for another. For example, a solution which provides an environmental benefit but sacrifices economic gain would not be viable as no one would invest in it. Similarly, a solution which only provides an economic benefit but sacrifices the environment is incredible irresponsible.
I believe that successful projects are able to find strategies which benefit all three elements at the same time. When all three factors are treated equally, a holistic approach to development is realized and projects are poised for long term success.
Stay tuned, future blog posts will cover real world examples!