As we talked about before when we did the interview with TreeHugger writer Jaymi Heimbuch a few weeks back, there are a good number of interesting voices covering the green technology space like us here at EarthTechling. Another site which we find of interest is Triple Pundit, a blog focused upon green business news.
Triple Pundit defines themselves as reporting on the “triple bottom line,” defined as an expanded spectrum of values and criteria for measuring organizational (and societal) success: economic, ecological and social. To learn more about them and their take on the cleantech market, we interviewed managing editor Jen Boynton recently:
EarthTechling (ET): So Triple Pundit talks a lot about the triple bottom line in regards to sustainable business. What exactly is that?
Jen Boynton: The triple bottom line is the 3P’s: people, planet and profit. Most companies consider profit first and formost; a triple bottom line company considers environmental and social performance in addition to financial.
ET: How does the triple bottom line apply to cleantech companies?
Boynton: The triple bottom line applies to clean tech companies the same way it applies to any company. Many clean tech companies have a head start, because they are producing a product that can have an environmental benefit for society, but to be a full triple bottom line company, a clean tech company would also need to consider the social impact of their work, and the environmental impact of production.
Take for example, a solar panel producer. Solar panels have great potential to reduce emissions from the production of electricity. But a solar panel company that is focused on the triple bottom line would look beyond that to the supply chain: are workers being well treated in the manufacturing plant? Are the waste chemicals and metals from the manufacturing process being handled properly? What’s the environmental impact of shipping the products around the world? What happens to the panels at the end of their lives? Are they going to landfills or are they being re-used or recycled?