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Triple bottom line research papers

Ideally, having long-range trends available for each of the environmental variables would help organizations identify the impacts a project or policy would have on the area. Social variables refer to social dimensions of a community or region and could include measurements of education, equity and access to social resources, health and well-being, quality of life, and social capital. The examples listed below are a small snippet of potential variables:.

Data for many of these measures are collected at the state and national levels, but are also available at the local or community level. Many are appropriate for a community to use when constructing a TBL. However, as the geographic scope and the nature of the project narrow, the set of appropriate measures can change.

For local or community-based projects, the TBL measures of success are best determined locally. There are several similar approaches to secure stakeholder participation and input in designing the TBL framework: developing a decision matrix to incorporate public preferences into project planning and decision-making, 3 using a "narrative format" to solicit shareholder participation and comprehensive project evaluation, 4 and having stakeholders rank and weigh components of a sustainability framework according to community priorities.

Ultimately, it will be the organization's responsibility to produce a final set of measures applicable to the task at hand. The application of the TBL by businesses, nonprofits and governments are motivated by the principles of economic, environmental and social sustainability, but differ with regard to the way they measure the three categories of outcomes. Proponents who have developed and applied sustainability assessment frameworks like the TBL encountered many challenges, chief among them, how to make an index that is both comprehensive and meaningful and how to identify suitable data for the variables that compose the index.

The Genuine Progress Indicator GPI , for example, consists of 25 variables that encompass economic, social and environmental factors. Those variables are converted into monetary units and summed into a single, dollar-denominated measure. There is a large body of literature on integrated assessment 8 and sustainability measures that grew out of the disciplines that measure environmental impact.

These are not constrained by strict economic theory for measuring changes in social welfare. The TBL and its core value of sustainability have become compelling in the business world due to accumulating anecdotal evidence of greater long-term profitability.

For example, reducing waste from packaging can also reduce costs. Cascade Engineering, for example, a private firm that does not need to file the detailed financial paperwork of public companies, has identified the following variables for their TBL scorecard:. Many nonprofit organizations have adopted the TBL and some have partnered with private firms to address broad sustainability issues that affect mutual stakeholders. Companies recognize that aligning with nonprofit organizations makes good business sense, particularly those nonprofits with goals of economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental protection.

The Ford Foundation has funded studies that used variations of the TBL to measure the effects of programs to increase wealth in dozens of rural regions across the United States. Their approach includes the following:. State, regional and local governments are increasingly adopting the TBL and analogous sustainability assessment frameworks as decision-making and performance-monitoring tools.

Policy-makers use these sustainability assessment frameworks to decide which actions they should or should not take to make society more sustainable. Policy-makers want to know the cause and effect relationship between actions—projects or policies—and whether the results move society toward or away from sustainability.

The State of Maryland, for example, uses a blended GPI-TBL framework to compare initiatives—for example, investing in clean energy—against the baseline of "doing nothing" or against other policy options. Internationally, the European Union uses integrated assessment to identify the "likely positive and negative impacts of proposed policy actions, enabling informed political judgments to be made about the proposal and identify trade-offs in achieving competing objectives.

The concept of the triple bottom line can be used regionally by communities to encourage economic development growth in a sustainable manner. This requires an increased level of cooperation among businesses, nonprofit organizations, governments and citizens of the region. The following examples throughout the United States show various ways the TBL concept can be used to grow a region's economic base in a sustainable manner.

In , the mayor of Cleveland convened the Sustainable Cleveland SC Summit to bring together hundreds of people interested in applying the principles of sustainability to the design of the local economy. The city uses four key areas for measuring sustainability: the personal and social environment, the natural environment, the built environment e.

Each key area has six goals. At this point, specific measurement indicators have not been fully developed; however, the city is looking to create a dashboard that could be combined to create an index for overall project success. This dashboard would allow for quick year-to-year assessment in the SC progress. In , the Grand Rapids region created the nation's first "Community Sustainability Partnership" to develop a roadmap to lead Grand Rapids to sustainability. The region employs 14 major indicators related to the region's quality of life and environmental factors to determine progress made towards sustainability.

Rather than create an index, target goals were established for each indicator. More detailed information of the metrics used for each indicator can be found in their TBL report. The Triple Bottom Line concept developed by John Elkington has changed the way businesses, nonprofits and governments measure sustainability and the performance of projects or policies.

Beyond the foundation of measuring sustainability on three fronts—people, planet and profits—the flexibility of the TBL allows organizations to apply the concept in a manner suitable to their specific needs. There are challenges to putting the TBL into practice. These challenges include measuring each of the three categories, finding applicable data and calculating a project or policy's contribution to sustainability.

These challenges aside, the TBL framework allows organizations to evaluate the ramifications of their decisions from a truly long-run perspective. Download PDF of entire issue. Permission to use the material is encouraged, but please email us at ibrc iu.

Privacy Notice. Stephen R. Another example can be found in Katrina Brown et al. See Herman E. Daly, John B. Cobb and Clifford W. Integrated assessment is used as a general rubric for all sustainability assessment frameworks, including TBL. The proliferation of frameworks and their acronyms often complicates the issues associated with implementing a TBL framework for evaluating economic development initiatives. Except for a couple of sustainability frameworks, the accessibility components and measures can be easily organized into the three TBL categories economic, social and environmental.

To assess a certain measurement model, several criteria of reliability and validity must be evaluated. The complete assessment of a measurement model includes the composite reliability to evaluate internal consistency, individual indicator reliability and average variance extracted AVE to check convergent validity, Fornell—Larcker criteria and cross-loadings to assess discriminant validity Hair, Hult, Ringle and Sarstedt, As a rule of thumb, values between 0. Indicator reliability and AVE are common measures of convergent validity.

Indicator reliability is measured by its outer loading, and the expected measure is above 0. AVE should be above 0. These values are shown in Table V. Finally, discriminant validity is assessed by three measures: Fornell—Larcker criteria cross-loadings and disattenuated correlation. Fornell—Larcker criteria compare the squared root of the AVE of each construct to the correlations with other latent variables or constructs , and the value of AVE should be greater.

Disattenuated correlation between two constructs close to 1 indicates the lack of discriminant validity Hair, Gabriel, and Patel, ; Hair, Hult, Ringle and Sarstedt, All indicators present outer loading above 0. All parameters fitted or exceeded the minimum threshold. The next step was to identify disattenuated correlations, which was calculated for each pair of constructs, as shown in Table VII.

All parameters fitted or exceeded the minimum threshold suggested by the literature, what validates the proposed scale. In SEM, the structural model is used to confirm the relationships hypothesised between the constructs. Several results are used to confirm or reject the hypothesis of a certain relationship, and the most common are the size and significance of path coefficients, the coefficients of determination R 2 , predictive relevance Q 2 and effect sizes f 2.

The structural model is presented in Figure 2. Both the size and significance of a structural model in PLS—SEM are assessed by bootstrapping that generates an empirical t -value. Table IX presents the results of bootstrapping for each indicator. The results for the significance testing results of structural model path coefficients are presented in Table X. The path coefficients in a PLS—SEM can be interpreted as the hypothesised relationships between the constructs and must be interpreted relatively to one another.

Values of Q 2 higher than 0 suggest that the model has predictive relevance for certain endogenous constructs. The coefficient of determination R 2 the most commonly used measure to evaluate the structural model is also a measure of the predictive accuracy of a certain model. The value of R 2 ranges from 0 to 1 and values of 0. Table XI presents the values of Q 2 and R 2 for the hypothesised model. Effect size is useful to analyse the relevance of constructs in explaining how much a predictor construct contributes to the R 2 value of a target construct in the structural model.

Results from 0. Effect sizes are presented in Table XII. The results pointed out that: H1 was confirmed; H2 was not confirmed and H3 was confirmed. In the environmental dimension, the indicators materials, energy and water are the ones that have the highest priority on the measurement of production costs Hourneaux Jr, Hrdlicka, Gomes and Kruglianskas, Other indicators such as emissions, effluents and waste, environmental aspects of products and services, environmental compliance, and general environmental issues are also typical in industrial process and should be measured, as well.

Finally, biodiversity has been considered as a relevant issue for companies in an ecosystem like Brazil, one of the richest in the world Ramalho et al. It is important to state that it may lose its importance in other industrial contexts. Therefore, the social dimension can be seen as critical and complex for sustainability performance.

Compliance, the other indicator is broader and can address the attempts to fit the regulations and possible ethical conflicts, sometimes with grave and unintended consequences to the companies De Cremer and Lemmich, These findings emphasise that companies that have social and environmental orientation can achieve some synergy in these two aspects of sustainability.

As mentioned before, the multidimensionality of sustainability and its intrinsic overlapping within measures underpins these relationships between environmental and social dimensions. For H2 , we conclude that economic, environmental and social indicators have different degrees of use in firms. Despite this logical deduction, companies can be misled to try to achieve the so-called balanced among the three sustainability dimensions, as we can recall some ideas like the three-legged stool as a representative figure for the TBL approach.

On the other hand, in H3 , a positive association between the degree of use of environmental and social indicators and the use of economic indicators was not confirmed. This result suggests that companies can follow environmental and social performance regardless of their economic performance and vice versa.

Again, the idea of a TBL approach as balanced as understood by common sense can be trick or misunderstood. In brief, performance measurement is multidimensional and complex Bourne et al. As a logical consequence, sustainability performance should present different dimensionalities and levels for its measurement Van Marrewijk and Werre, Trying to find new and better ways to deal with these issues have been seen as of increasing importance Searcy, The proposed model is not expected to be considered as the only possible approach to support the assessment of TBL in organisations.

Furthermore, the so-called balance on the TBL dimensions is rarely discussed, and it seems to be something highly important to be done. This research indicates that the use of the TBL performance indicators can be done in different ways and degrees. This framework is supposed to work as a minimum set of indicators that could provide managers, policymakers and researchers subsidies to identify gaps and opportunities to enhance the overall performance of a certain organisation on regard of sustainability.

This minimum set of indicators is intended to be used by industrial companies as a reliable instrument to sustainable performance assessment of the current stage of the TBL deployment and provide alternative approaches to address specific issues related to the environmental, social and economic sustainability. This study has its limitations, mainly related to the non-probabilistic sample and to the specific context in which it was done, Brazilian industrial companies.

Additionally, those indicators used as proxies are generic indicators employed as a way to make it possible for all the firms to participate in the research, instead of specific ones that could lead to missing data. Future research works could also investigate the fitness of the model for companies, and also take into consideration variables that could moderate or mediate the sustainable performance assessment.

As a sequence to this work, besides the possibility of counting on a larger sample and replicating this instrument in other circumstances, we suggest an investigation on the reasons for the use of this or that set of indicators over others, and on what basis it occurs, in order to enhance the quality and robustness of these indicators, as suggested by Singh et al. Source: Based on Henri Atkinson , A. Azapagic , A. Berns , M. Bouliane , E.

Bourne , M. Brown , T. Byrne , B. Chenhall , R. Cinelli , M. Colbert , B. De Cremer , D. Deng , H. Doppelt , B. Ekins , P. Elkington , J. Epstein , M. Flynn , B. Galeazzo , A. Guttenstein , E. Hair , J. Jr , Gabriel , M. Harris , J. Henri , J. Hourneaux , F. Jr , Galleli , B. Jr , Hrdlicka , H. Jr , Siqueira , J. Hubbard , G. Infante , C. De , Purcidonio , P. Kaplan , R. Krajnc , D. Lacy , P. McDonough , W. Macdonald , C.

Maia , L. Neely , A. Norman , W. Olson , E. Pava , M. Ramalho , A. Razali , N. Richard , P. Ringle , C. Robins , J. Searcy , C. Shields , M. Shook , C. Simons , R. Singh , R. Smith , P. Van Marrewijk , M. Veleva , V. Warhust , A. Jr , Black , B. Report bugs here. Please share your general feedback.

You can join in the discussion by joining the community or logging in here. You can also find out more about Emerald Engage. Visit emeraldpublishing. Answers to the most commonly asked questions here. Abstract Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose a minimum set of indicators to be measured by industrial companies to represent the triple bottom line TBL approach.

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Finding a common unit of measurement is one challenge. Some advocate monetizing all the dimensions of the TBL, including social welfare or environmental damage. While that would have the benefit of having a common unit—dollars—many object to putting a dollar value on wetlands or endangered species on strictly philosophical grounds.

Others question the method of finding the right price for lost wetlands or endangered species. Another solution would be to calculate the TBL in terms of an index. In this way, one eliminates the incompatible units issue and, as long as there is a universally accepted accounting method, allows for comparisons between entities, e. An example of an index that compares a county versus the nation's performance for a variety of components is the Indiana Business Research Center's Innovation Index.

There remains some subjectivity even when using an index however. For example, how are the index components weighted? Would each "P" get equal weighting? What about the sub-components within each "P"? Do they each get equal weighting? Is the people category more important than the planet? Who decides? Another option would do away with measuring sustainability using dollars or using an index.

If the users of the TBL had the stomach for it, each sustainability measure would stand alone. The downside to this approach is the proliferation of metrics that may be pertinent to measuring sustainability. The TBL user may get metric fatigue.

Having discussed the difficulties with calculating the TBL, we turn our attention to potential metrics for inclusion in a TBL calculation. Following that, we will discuss how businesses and other entities have applied the TBL framework. There is no universal standard method for calculating the TBL. Neither is there a universally accepted standard for the measures that comprise each of the three TBL categories. This can be viewed as a strength because it allows a user to adapt the general framework to the needs of different entities businesses or nonprofits , different projects or policies infrastructure investment or educational programs , or different geographic boundaries a city, region or country.

Both a business and local government agency may gauge environmental sustainability in the same terms, say reducing the amount of solid waste that goes into landfills, but a local mass transit might measure success in terms of passenger miles, while a for-profit bus company would measure success in terms of earnings per share. The TBL can accommodate these differences. Additionally, the TBL is able to be case or project specific or allow a broad scope—measuring impacts across large geographic boundaries—or a narrow geographic scope like a small town.

A case or project specific TBL would measure the effects of a particular project in a specific location, such as a community building a park. The TBL can also apply to infrastructure projects at the state level or energy policy at the national level. The level of the entity, type of project and the geographic scope will drive many of the decisions about what measures to include. That said, the set of measures will ultimately be determined by stakeholders and subject matter experts and the ability to collect the necessary data.

While there is significant literature on the appropriate measures to use for sustainability at the state or national levels, in the end, data availability will drive the TBL calculations. Many of the traditional sustainability measures, measures vetted through academic discourse, are presented below.

Economic variables ought to be variables that deal with the bottom line and the flow of money. It could look at income or expenditures, taxes, business climate factors, employment, and business diversity factors. Specific examples include:. Environmental variables should represent measurements of natural resources and reflect potential influences to its viability.

Ideally, having long-range trends available for each of the environmental variables would help organizations identify the impacts a project or policy would have on the area. Social variables refer to social dimensions of a community or region and could include measurements of education, equity and access to social resources, health and well-being, quality of life, and social capital.

The examples listed below are a small snippet of potential variables:. Data for many of these measures are collected at the state and national levels, but are also available at the local or community level. Many are appropriate for a community to use when constructing a TBL. However, as the geographic scope and the nature of the project narrow, the set of appropriate measures can change.

For local or community-based projects, the TBL measures of success are best determined locally. There are several similar approaches to secure stakeholder participation and input in designing the TBL framework: developing a decision matrix to incorporate public preferences into project planning and decision-making, 3 using a "narrative format" to solicit shareholder participation and comprehensive project evaluation, 4 and having stakeholders rank and weigh components of a sustainability framework according to community priorities.

Ultimately, it will be the organization's responsibility to produce a final set of measures applicable to the task at hand. The application of the TBL by businesses, nonprofits and governments are motivated by the principles of economic, environmental and social sustainability, but differ with regard to the way they measure the three categories of outcomes.

Proponents who have developed and applied sustainability assessment frameworks like the TBL encountered many challenges, chief among them, how to make an index that is both comprehensive and meaningful and how to identify suitable data for the variables that compose the index.

The Genuine Progress Indicator GPI , for example, consists of 25 variables that encompass economic, social and environmental factors. Those variables are converted into monetary units and summed into a single, dollar-denominated measure. There is a large body of literature on integrated assessment 8 and sustainability measures that grew out of the disciplines that measure environmental impact. These are not constrained by strict economic theory for measuring changes in social welfare.

The TBL and its core value of sustainability have become compelling in the business world due to accumulating anecdotal evidence of greater long-term profitability. For example, reducing waste from packaging can also reduce costs. Cascade Engineering, for example, a private firm that does not need to file the detailed financial paperwork of public companies, has identified the following variables for their TBL scorecard:. Many nonprofit organizations have adopted the TBL and some have partnered with private firms to address broad sustainability issues that affect mutual stakeholders.

McDonough and Braungart emphasise that many executives are getting to know these three concepts, including TBL issues as a way to add value to their products or services. Later, Lacy et al. In the search for a consensus, among countless definitions and terminologies, the three-pillar approach called the TBL has been a widely accepted perspective for sustainability not only by scholars but also by society and organisations Lacy et al.

Some studies reinforce this movement Ho and Taylor, ; Hubbard, In some sense, performance measurement has been noticed as a fundamental key to the managerial control process in any business Olson and Slater, As seen before, they can be split into economic, social and environmental, according to the TBL approach. The BSC is defined as a way to integrate strategy and action, through a communication process, including objectives, goals, initiatives and indicators, both financial and non-financial Kaplan and Norton, As per Kaplan and Norton , p.

Some authors explored BSC through statistical analysis, assessing the validity and reliability of the model Bouliane, ; Henri, In one of these studies, Henri , investigating top management teams of Canadian manufacturing firms, establishes a set of 20 indicators that would be representative of a typical BSC composition. The GRI is a network with experts and representatives from various sectors of society present in over 40 countries around the world, and it has been determining the guidelines to sustainability reporting with the participation of several important stakeholders GRI, Two hypotheses refer to the relationship among the different types of indicators, commonly presented as the three dimensions of the TBL.

These hypotheses are: H1. There is a positive association between the degree of use of environmental indicators and social indicators in industrial firms. There is a positive association between the degree of use of environmental and social indicators and the use of economic indicators in industrial firms.

A third hypothesis refer to an overall analysis of the TBL and challenges the common understanding that the three dimensions would be equal. This hypothesis is: H3. Economic, environmental and social indicators have different degrees of use in industrial firms. This sections aims to define and describe the main methodological aspects considered in the empirical research.

Besides the content of this section, a detailed explanation on the statistical procedures was given also in Section 5. The study is both descriptive and quantitative, using a survey-type research approach, conducted with managers of industrial companies.

Despite the non-probabilistic sampling, this can be considered as a homogeneous group, with at least one common characteristic, as belonging to the same industry, as recommended by Flynn et al. To each company, an invitation letter was sent by the board of social responsibility from CIESP with instructions to access the electronic questionnaire. In this study, the chosen indicators were used as observed variables of latent variables constructs and were treated as a scale.

Moreover, the relationship between constructs were hypothesised and defined. From Shook et al. An SEM model is composed of two main components: the measurement model or outer model and the structural model or inner model. The measurement model is used to show the relationships between the constructs and the indicators, and the structural model displays the relationships between the constructs Hair, Gabriel and Patel, Conversely from exploratory factor analysis EFA , CFA provides a greater emphasis on theory testing and also offers a robust set of analytic procedures, not available on EFA Brown, Since CFA is focussed only on the link between the factors and their measured variables, in the context of a SEM represents the measurement model Byrne, Reflective models are the most used measurement model in social sciences and have its roots in classical test theory.

This measurement model is useful when the hypothesis of causality is generated from the construct to the indicators. The structural model was assessed in their key results: significance and relevance of relationships, predictive accuracy, effect size and predictive relevance. Data were analysed using SmartPLS 2. Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America.

It is also known as the best infrastructure, the largest labour force and the most powerful technological and industrial park. Its industrial sector is the largest employer in the country, with more than 2. The survey gathered companies. We can highlight their main characteristics as: the predominance of transformational industrial companies Of these companies, mostly, only They mostly have domestic On variance based structural equation modelling, as PLS—SEM used in this study, normality is not a required assumption as in co-variance-based structural equation modelling e.

The results for univariate normality are presented in Table III. The results for multivariate normality are presented in Table IV. The null hypothesis of all normality tests performed is not supported, which support the statement of non-parametric data, and it is suitable for PLS—SEM.

The estimation of a measurement model implies in the definition of relationships between the indicators observed variables and the construct the latent variable. To assess a certain measurement model, several criteria of reliability and validity must be evaluated. The complete assessment of a measurement model includes the composite reliability to evaluate internal consistency, individual indicator reliability and average variance extracted AVE to check convergent validity, Fornell—Larcker criteria and cross-loadings to assess discriminant validity Hair, Hult, Ringle and Sarstedt, As a rule of thumb, values between 0.

Indicator reliability and AVE are common measures of convergent validity. Indicator reliability is measured by its outer loading, and the expected measure is above 0. AVE should be above 0. These values are shown in Table V. Finally, discriminant validity is assessed by three measures: Fornell—Larcker criteria cross-loadings and disattenuated correlation.

Fornell—Larcker criteria compare the squared root of the AVE of each construct to the correlations with other latent variables or constructs , and the value of AVE should be greater. Disattenuated correlation between two constructs close to 1 indicates the lack of discriminant validity Hair, Gabriel, and Patel, ; Hair, Hult, Ringle and Sarstedt, All indicators present outer loading above 0.

All parameters fitted or exceeded the minimum threshold. The next step was to identify disattenuated correlations, which was calculated for each pair of constructs, as shown in Table VII. All parameters fitted or exceeded the minimum threshold suggested by the literature, what validates the proposed scale.

In SEM, the structural model is used to confirm the relationships hypothesised between the constructs. Several results are used to confirm or reject the hypothesis of a certain relationship, and the most common are the size and significance of path coefficients, the coefficients of determination R 2 , predictive relevance Q 2 and effect sizes f 2.

The structural model is presented in Figure 2. Both the size and significance of a structural model in PLS—SEM are assessed by bootstrapping that generates an empirical t -value. Table IX presents the results of bootstrapping for each indicator.

The results for the significance testing results of structural model path coefficients are presented in Table X. The path coefficients in a PLS—SEM can be interpreted as the hypothesised relationships between the constructs and must be interpreted relatively to one another.

Values of Q 2 higher than 0 suggest that the model has predictive relevance for certain endogenous constructs. The coefficient of determination R 2 the most commonly used measure to evaluate the structural model is also a measure of the predictive accuracy of a certain model. The value of R 2 ranges from 0 to 1 and values of 0. Table XI presents the values of Q 2 and R 2 for the hypothesised model. Effect size is useful to analyse the relevance of constructs in explaining how much a predictor construct contributes to the R 2 value of a target construct in the structural model.

Results from 0. Effect sizes are presented in Table XII. The results pointed out that: H1 was confirmed; H2 was not confirmed and H3 was confirmed. In the environmental dimension, the indicators materials, energy and water are the ones that have the highest priority on the measurement of production costs Hourneaux Jr, Hrdlicka, Gomes and Kruglianskas, Other indicators such as emissions, effluents and waste, environmental aspects of products and services, environmental compliance, and general environmental issues are also typical in industrial process and should be measured, as well.

Finally, biodiversity has been considered as a relevant issue for companies in an ecosystem like Brazil, one of the richest in the world Ramalho et al. It is important to state that it may lose its importance in other industrial contexts. Therefore, the social dimension can be seen as critical and complex for sustainability performance. Compliance, the other indicator is broader and can address the attempts to fit the regulations and possible ethical conflicts, sometimes with grave and unintended consequences to the companies De Cremer and Lemmich, These findings emphasise that companies that have social and environmental orientation can achieve some synergy in these two aspects of sustainability.

As mentioned before, the multidimensionality of sustainability and its intrinsic overlapping within measures underpins these relationships between environmental and social dimensions. For H2 , we conclude that economic, environmental and social indicators have different degrees of use in firms. Despite this logical deduction, companies can be misled to try to achieve the so-called balanced among the three sustainability dimensions, as we can recall some ideas like the three-legged stool as a representative figure for the TBL approach.

On the other hand, in H3 , a positive association between the degree of use of environmental and social indicators and the use of economic indicators was not confirmed. This result suggests that companies can follow environmental and social performance regardless of their economic performance and vice versa. Again, the idea of a TBL approach as balanced as understood by common sense can be trick or misunderstood.

In brief, performance measurement is multidimensional and complex Bourne et al. As a logical consequence, sustainability performance should present different dimensionalities and levels for its measurement Van Marrewijk and Werre, Trying to find new and better ways to deal with these issues have been seen as of increasing importance Searcy, The proposed model is not expected to be considered as the only possible approach to support the assessment of TBL in organisations.

Furthermore, the so-called balance on the TBL dimensions is rarely discussed, and it seems to be something highly important to be done. This research indicates that the use of the TBL performance indicators can be done in different ways and degrees. This framework is supposed to work as a minimum set of indicators that could provide managers, policymakers and researchers subsidies to identify gaps and opportunities to enhance the overall performance of a certain organisation on regard of sustainability.

This minimum set of indicators is intended to be used by industrial companies as a reliable instrument to sustainable performance assessment of the current stage of the TBL deployment and provide alternative approaches to address specific issues related to the environmental, social and economic sustainability. This study has its limitations, mainly related to the non-probabilistic sample and to the specific context in which it was done, Brazilian industrial companies.

Additionally, those indicators used as proxies are generic indicators employed as a way to make it possible for all the firms to participate in the research, instead of specific ones that could lead to missing data. Future research works could also investigate the fitness of the model for companies, and also take into consideration variables that could moderate or mediate the sustainable performance assessment. As a sequence to this work, besides the possibility of counting on a larger sample and replicating this instrument in other circumstances, we suggest an investigation on the reasons for the use of this or that set of indicators over others, and on what basis it occurs, in order to enhance the quality and robustness of these indicators, as suggested by Singh et al.

Source: Based on Henri Atkinson , A. Azapagic , A. Berns , M. Bouliane , E. Bourne , M. Brown , T. Byrne , B. Chenhall , R. Cinelli , M. Colbert , B. De Cremer , D. Deng , H. Doppelt , B. Ekins , P. Elkington , J. Epstein , M.

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