Triple Bottom Line
What is the meaning of Triple Bottom Line?
Sustainability depends on finding and maintaining harmony between the built environment, the natural environment and the society. To create and preserve that harmony, organizations and individuals strive to achieve a balance between the SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL and ECONOMIC aspects of sustainability. An organization’s social bottom line is affected by how the facility impacts employees, suppliers and the community at large. Its environmental bottom line depends on its ability to avoid harming the environment and to preserve scarce resources for the future generations. The organization’s economic bottom line will benefit according to the value created by the organization after deducting the cost of all inputs. The activities of facility management touch on all three of the aspects of the Triple Bottom Line.
From a social perspective, the Triple Bottom Line focuses the Facility Manager’s attention on areas such as community involvement and the occupant wellbeing. This includes: practicing fair labour relations; creating a safe, comfortable and productive work environment for the people of the organization as well as monitoring all vendors for fair labour practices. From an environmental perspective, the Triple Bottom Line focuses Facility Managers on avoiding harm to the environment. This also translates into goals such as reducing waste, recycling and reusing, decreasing or eliminating hazardous waste etc. From the economic perspective, the Triple Bottom Line focuses Facility Managers on the value of sustainable actions to the organization’s economic wellbeing. This perspective commits the Facility Managers to ensure lower operating cost, deliver increased efficiency and deliver a high return on investment.
EIGHT MAJOR AREAS OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR FACILITY MANAGERS
(1) Energy- Facility Managers are concerned about how energy is consumed by the building systems and occupants. They are further concerned about how energy is priced and purchased as well as how the facility can improve its energy performance.
(2) Water – Facility Managers are concerned about how the facility uses its water and how the facility can recycle and reuse Water
(3) Materials and Resources- This has to do with how the facility uses finite resources, manages recyclable materials and makes purchases.
(4) Workplace Management- Facility managers have to see how the space the facility has can be used more flexibly by creating workspaces that are productive. Equally, they must see how to decrease the facility’s (negative) negative impact on the environment.
(5) Indoor Environmental Quality- This is how the facility can contribute to occupant comfort. For instance, how does the indoor air equality affects workers? Also, how does the facility manage hazardous materials generated within?
(6) Quality of Services- Under quality of service, the Facility Manager should be concerned how the facility manages basic services such as internet, mails and documentation services as well as landscape and janitorial services etc.
(7) Waste- How every facility collects and disposes of waste is of paramount importance. Also, how the facility can reduce the amount of waste generated or better still create or use a recycling program is of the essence in sustainability.
(8) Site Impact- How does the facility manage rainwater (erosion) so that its impact on the environment is highly mitigated? Or how does the facility manage (reduce) light pollution?
All these are very salient areas for every facility manager to note in a drive towards environment sustainability.