A triple bottom line construct and reasons for implementing sustainable business practices in companies and their business networks

Høgevold, Nils M. and Svensson, Göran and Klopper, H. B. and Wagner, Beverly and Valera, Juan Carlos Sosa and Padin, Carmen and Ferro, Carlos and Petzer, Daniel (2015) A triple bottom line construct and reasons for implementing sustainable business practices in companies and their business networks. Corporate Governance, 15 (4). pp. 427-443. ISSN 1472-0701

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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this study is to test a Triple Bottom Line (TBL)-construct as well as to describe the TBL-reasons for implementing sustainable business practices in companies and their business networks. This study explores how linking these seemingly disparate pillars of sustainability may be facilitated through a TBL construct. The notion of sustainable business practices has been evolving and is increasingly understood to encompass considerations of economic viability, as well as environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Design/methodology/approach – The research is quantitative in nature, exploring and analysing how companies in different Norwegian industries implement and manage sustainable business practices based on TBL. The survey results are reported here. Findings – The relevance of TBL to different aspects of sustainable business practices is outlined. The study generally supports the view that a heightened propensity for sustainable business practices ensures that organisations are better equipped for meeting the challenge of integrating TBL in companies and their business networks. Research limitations/implications – The study tested a construct of TBL in the context of sustainable business practices. It may be incorporated in further research in relation to other constructs. Suggestions for further research are proposed. Practical implications – Useful for practitioners to get insights into TBL-reasons for implementing business-sustainable practices in companies and their business networks. It may also be valuable to assess the general status of business-sustainable practices in a company and their business networks. Originality/value – Linking two traditionally separate and encapsulated areas of research, namely, the area of business sustainable practices and the area of TBL. The current study has contributed to a TBL-construct in relation to other constructs in measurement and structural models. It has also contributed to provide insights of priority into the main reasons to implement the elements of TBL within companies and their business networks.