Even do-it-yourself enthusiasts understand the need to keep a project within budget. However, we should be thinking one step further beyond economic factors alone. The triple bottom line approach has been around for a generation. Nevertheless, it is now that businesses are grasping how adhering to this form of accounting is more pertinent than ever. In essence, the triple bottom line incorporates the 3Ps: people, planet, and profit. Instead of focusing solely on financial gain, we must also look at our business interactions’ social and environmental costs and revenue.
What are the benefits of the triple bottom line to renovation and construction companies?
It might take a while to understand the concept of the triple bottom line, but there are numerous benefits, some of which include:
- Boosted sales through increased community support and interaction
- The improved market segment for those looking for safer, more sustainable methods and products
- Increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising
- Lower waste costs
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Increased employee loyalty and attitude
The big question isn’t why a renovation and construction company should adopt the triple bottom line for accounting, but rather, how can a company reap financial gain while also doing good?
How can a renovation and construction company advocate the triple bottom line?
It must be stated that the triple bottom line approach to accounting does not mean that social or environmental practices are favored over making money. In essence, they should all interlink in a way that improving one aspect leads to the improvement of the other.
Like any business model, how business practices are put into place is best when it is company and destination-specific. Nevertheless, it is worth looking into how to help people in need. In the case of a construction or renovation company, these could include:
- Hiring from specific marginalized communities
- Offering benefit packages including healthcare or retirement funds
- Offering training courses for employees free of charge
- Using non-toxic paints and stains
- Recycling waste materials
- Donating used construction materials to charities
- Encouraging clients to use energy-efficient and low-flow water appliances
The most challenging aspect of accounting for the triple bottom line is measurement. Unlike money, social and environmental measurement can be trickier to quantify. However, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.
In actuality, we recommend finding ways to measure as many variables as possible, as you never know what may be found to correlate in years to come. To start with, you could put a number to:
- Length of time an employee remains with the company
- Kilograms of construction waste that is recycled
- Solid waste put into landfills
- Number of used appliances donated to charity
- Reduced annual carbon emissions by using electric vehicles
- Electricity consumption of your projects before and after a renovation
Pivoting one’s mindset to believe that social and environmental factors are significant indicators of success, as are financial profits, is not always easy. Moreover, it is understood that working capital may be needed to implement some of the changes and programs. However, with a view to long-term rewards and continuous business growth, supporting your community and its environment is likely well worth the effort