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The Triple Bottom Line

Jim Newton, P.E., DEE

In recent years sustainability has gained significant momentum. Many large corporations such as Nike, Wal-Mart, and McDonaldís are embracing the concepts of sustainability. Both large corporations and small non profits all are seeing benefits to incorporating sustainability concerns into their business models. Many businesses have become sensitive to social and stakeholder issues. Sustainability can be thought of as a three legged stool and represented as the Triple Bottom Line or in other words, the three eís (economics, ethics and the environment) or the three pís, (profit, planet and people). The Triple Bottom Line was first presented by John Elkington in the early 1990ís.

There are four main reasons for implementing a sustainability program. These include:

  • In response to regulatory initiatives;
  • Trying to improve community relations;
  • The need for cost and revenue imperatives; and
  • Societal and moral obligations.

  • This course is designed to provide engineering professionals with an understanding of the triple bottom line sustainability concepts and a means of implementing these concepts into their business models.

    In this course, you are required to study the book The Triple Bottom Line by Andrew W. Savitz, which is available in your local library or from Amazon.com, Borders, or Barnes and Nobles. You may be able to find an electronic version from e-bookstores on the Internet if time is of essence (enter search phrase "The Triple Bottom Line PDF" in Google) or as a Kindle version from Amazon.

    This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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    NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.