Fixing the Triple Bottom Line's Fatal Flaw


It requires no great Malthusian intellect to recognise the impossibility of maintaining economic growth at the direct expense of the planet. 

by John Raddall

THE FATAL FLAW IN THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE CONCEPT

Twenty five years ago John Elkington suggested the Triple Bottom Line should incorporate not just profitability, but people and the planet as well. Certainly a step in the right direction but the concept held a fatal flaw. It suggested an equality relationship, but this is patently false.

The planet will survive without people and profits, but people and profits cannot survive without the planet. Far from an equality relationship there is a clear dependency, a master servant relationship where we are not the master.

I enjoy quoting Yuval Harari. "We live in a real world of rivers, trees and lions and an imaginary world of gods, nations and organisations." It requires no great Malthusian intellect to recognise the impossibility of maintaining economic growth at the direct expense of the planet.

For interest I have drafted my own formula for calculating the probability of people not destroying the planet based on an analysis of current global leadership knowledge and corruption levels. The number is less than one percent.

There is only one survival strategy. Every company and country to completely transform their economic and accounting practices to recognise the Real Bottom Line.

Probability of our survival
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