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CSR, Triple Bottom Line, and ESG

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#Corporate Social Responsibility #Sustainable Business #terminology #Triple Bottom Line


Doug Fogelson

Behind economic data such as a company’s profit and loss, or a national debt, gross domestic product, etc. are various markets and supply chains deeply correlated with the climate emergency.

Terms like the “Triple Bottom Line” (TBL), “Socially Responsible Investing” (SRI), and “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) are gaining popularity as people call for accountability and change from corporations and also governments that enable climate change through their actions. Despite the financial sounding terminology the three items in the Triple Bottom Line are “People, Planet, and Profit” — very good places to focus our attention.

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is a term the United Nations used beginning in 2005 (in the “Freshfields Report”) that uses a framework to assess companies performance on sustainability and ethical issues. It’s a way to find or evaluate investments that value working to keep emissions and resources in check, safeguard human rights and observe fair labor standards.

Under the shared value proposition inherent in sustainability ESG, CSR, and TBL such standards and practices could become the norm–if we all make it our priority and demand accountability. Benchmarking progress and honest reporting for either the savings of carbon or tracking GHG emissions can be challenging when businesses prioritize doing “whatever it takes” to maximize profits. Pressure from workers and consumers for accountability and transparency at all stages up and downstream is key to changing the paradigm.

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  • Definition
  • According to the European Securities and Markets Authority, on top of the environmental benefits, "ESG generally improves returns and cuts client costs over time."

    True Correct, it is good to save money as well as carbon. False Incorrect, this helps financially for the client as well as the company (and the planet).