The Triple Bottom Line
“In economics, the triple bottom line (TBL) maintains that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. TBL theory posits that instead of one bottom line, there should be three: profit, people, and the planet.” – Investopedia.com.
ImpactNV adopts a triple bottom line approach to how and where we engage and convene private, public and non-profit community partners in addressing the social (people), environmental (planet), and economic (profit) sustainability needs of the state. ImpactNV recognizes that all three work together, in concert, to create a sustainable and resilient community.
Perhaps because its purview is so broad, social sustainability is one of the least understood aspects of sustainability. The World Bank provides a useful definition. It describes social sustainability as “the need to ‘put people first’ in development processes. It promotes social inclusion of the poor and vulnerable by empowering people, building cohesive and resilient societies, and making institutions accessible and accountable to citizens…Social sustainability is also about expanding opportunities for all people today and tomorrow. Together with economic and environmental sustainability, it is critical for poverty-reduction and shared prosperity.” Thus, social sustainability needs to include all development processes and it needs to be considered from the perspective of long (as well as short) term solutions that promote equality and the well being of all people rather than just the chosen or privileged few. We also need to remember that Nevada offers unique circumstances, challenges, and opportunities in regard to social sustainability. In particular, given that our economy is driven predominantly by tourism, we need to consider how this fact, along with remaining ingrained inequalities in access to housing, opportunities for career training and advancement, education, likelihood of entering the criminal justice system, etc. affect certain populations more than others.
ImpactNV is committed to working toward a Nevada that we are all proud to call home. Ensuring that our state’s most vulnerable populations receive the shelter and services they need is a priority for our organization.
Our current and past social projects include:
- Shared Future Fund
- Southern Nevada Blue Ribbon Panel on Social Equity
- Immigrant Integration
- Human Trafficking
If social sustainability is the least well-understood aspect of sustainability, environmental sustainability is probably the most familiar to people. “Environmental sustainability is responsibly interacting with the planet to maintain natural resources and not jeopardize the ability for future generations to meet their needs.” – thebalancesmb.com. Here in Nevada, environmental sustainability focuses primarily on equitable and enduring access to (clean) air and water, reducing energy use while promoting renewable energy, and responsibly expanding green spaces while balancing water use in our increasingly dry desert region.
Once the organization’s sole focus, environmental sustainability continues to be at the forefront of our programming. ImpactNV is proud to have contributed to environmental progress in Nevada for more than a decade.
Our current and past environmental projects include:
- Statewide 10-Year 100,000 Tree Plan
- Buen Aire Para Todos Air Quality Project (launching soon)
- Las Vegas Sign Project
- In-home Energy Assessments
“Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting social, or environmental, and cultural aspects of the community.” – University of Mary Washington. Here again, Nevada offers unique circumstances, challenges, and opportunities. This means that in order for the state to be more economically sustainable (i.g. resilient), our community must focus on diversifying an economy overly reliant on tourism but we must do so in such a way that we do not disregard citizens that rely on the jobs that tourism supplies.
The economy is the engine that drives our state. Without a focus on economic sustainability, social and environmental sustainability aren’t possible. ImpactNV is committed to working with governmental, non-governmental, and business stakeholders in Nevada to ensure economic stability for all in the state.
Our current and past economic projects include:
TYING IT TOGETHER
All three aspects of sustainability work together and rely on one another. Sustainability is like a table with three legs; it is inherently more stable than a four-legged table, but unlike a table with four legs, if you undermine or remove one leg from a three-legged table, it cannot stand. ImpactNV recognizes this fact and, together with our community partners in the private, public, and non-profit sector, we work to increase awareness and education about all aspects of sustainability. Through the many projects listed above, and the many projects to come, we also focus on making meaningful change.
Because we recognize how inextricably intertwined social, environmental, and economic sustainability are, we engage with sustainability in Nevada through the following eight pillars; economy, health, nature, built environment, energy, community, social equity, and transportation.