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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Want To Get Fluent Fast, Read This Book
This book is for interested general consumption rather than a technical practitioners' text book and as such is more than successful in teaching the basics of the triple bottom line. I'm not quite sure why some of the Amazon reviewers seem so testy about this, as the majority of American business management (mid-baby boom and above) never encountered much if anything...
Published on February 19, 2007 by Reader From Boston

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Preaching To The Choir
The book is divided into two parts -- a lecture on sustainability and then some general things to think about. The book's first half was a lesson to which a reader would have likely already bought into. The second half promises to deliver on "how to make it happen," but really is more general information than meaningful tools.

Given the author's prior work at...
Published on December 13, 2006 by John Purdue


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Want To Get Fluent Fast, Read This Book, February 19, 2007
This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
This book is for interested general consumption rather than a technical practitioners' text book and as such is more than successful in teaching the basics of the triple bottom line. I'm not quite sure why some of the Amazon reviewers seem so testy about this, as the majority of American business management (mid-baby boom and above) never encountered much if anything about corporate responsibility (or ethics) in the curricula they studied on their way up. To consider what that means for concepts like the triple bottom line, pretend that for 25 years today's generation of senior managers had never been told to maximize shareholder value and now in 2007 were expected to internalize the concept and reflexively apply it to everything they do. Particularly from that point of view, Savitz' book is a superb tool to help people become intelligently informed on basic issues of corporate responsibility and sustainability. What individuals do with that is up to that is up to them, but the writing's good, the ideas are clear, the concepts are thought-provoking, and it's the kind of book that drives one to want to learn more. The graphics are particularly useful and uncluttered.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Preaching To The Choir, December 13, 2006
This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
The book is divided into two parts -- a lecture on sustainability and then some general things to think about. The book's first half was a lesson to which a reader would have likely already bought into. The second half promises to deliver on "how to make it happen," but really is more general information than meaningful tools.

Given the author's prior work at PricewaterhouseCoopers, it is understandable that the book reads like a macro-level consultant's report. The book could have carried more weight with the inclusion of science and hard numbers of how to actually measure environmental and social value.

An alternative book for readers looking for more solid advice could be "Green to Gold."
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Anecdotal Accounting of How to Measure a Large Company's Impact on Its Stakeholders, November 29, 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
If you were traditionally trained a long time ago, you probably heard that the purpose of a corporation is to reward its shareholders with earnings, dividends and stock-price gains. Since then, the counterview has been growing that companies need to be responsible as well for the impact they create on users, customers, employees, suppliers, partners, distributors, lenders, the communities affected and the environment. That counterview is common sense in many dimensions today for a typical corporate manager or executive. If you harm people directly or indirectly, they will sue you, boycott your products, make life miserable, and help drive away profit.

The Triple Bottom Line attempts to go beyond that common sense view to establish the concept of a sustainable company, one that "creates profit for its shareholders while protecting the environment and improving the lives of those with whom it interacts." As you can see, improving lives goes beyond the idea of "not harming lives" so it's a proactive concept.

The authors use the example of the whaling industry running their stocks into virtual extinction as a poor way to create long-term profits and jobs. A more recent extended example is the ruckus created when the Hershey Trust decided to sell its controlling block of stock in Hershey Foods for a premium. The trust ultimately backed down due to pressure from all directions. The point: You just cannot optimize the solution for one set of stakeholders any more.

The book takes a long time to establish this premise. I assume that the authors have run into lots of skeptics in the past.

But if you accept the premise, it makes much of the book not terribly helpful.

The substance begins in chapter 13 on page 209 where the authors begin to address measuring and reporting. There's a brief description of the work being done in environmental and social reporting, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). If you're not familiar with GRI, you'll get a little background. But you won't know what to do next.

In the future, this kind of reporting will be more important. Stock exchanges in Scandinavia, France, Britain, South Africa and some other countries now require that listed companies report Triple Bottom Line results. It's all part of an atmosphere of the public wanting more disclosure.

But if you want practical advice about what to do, you won't find it here.

Think of this book as an appetizer to wake up your taste buds. The major issues involved in how to do this well are substantial and will take many years to work out. I suspect that taking the pathway of the Balanced Scorecard to work on these tasks is a surer route than Triple Bottom Line reporting.

I favor more measuring, reporting and focusing, but this book doesn't provide enough meat to satisfy me. Find a meatier book if you can if this subject interests you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars the triple bottom line, December 27, 2007
This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
If you're truly interested in sustainability do not purchase this book. At best it appears to be intended for use by business and PR peope looking to increase their vocabulary in respect to the subject. At worst it will only add to the confusion, cynicsm and fatigue that results from the perception that sustainability is simply the next management tool. The introduction is very promising but the research and passion for the subject are simply not present. The authors claim that the failure of genetically modified foods to win acceptance was because it got a bad rap in the media. This seems a half hearted attempt at disinformation. It ignores the fact that they have been banned in Europe because they are the very definition of what is not sustainable and contribute directly to the demise of locally grown crops that are being systematically eliminated by companies like Monsanto. The wheels fall off in the chapter on accountability. The authors vain attempt to lequate the robber barons with corporate responsibility fails completely to link past business practices with sustainable practices. The ridiculous assertion that corporate responsibility was extended to worker's rights in the '30s and '40's represents the worst kind of reactionary ahistoricism. This continues with the authors description of laissez-faire capitalism over communism. There was nothing laissez-faire about the Marshall plan or any of government's sonsorship of capitalism during the cold war. The authors spin out of control when they claim that the media is so decentalized as not to allow corporations to control their messages. I'm sure the authors are aware of how few media companies control nearly all media outlets. In the end I had to assume this was simply a puff piece for corporations like Pepsi-Co and DuPont both of whom praise the book on the jacket and are mentioned in the text. DuPont gets extra points for trying not to blow up too many of its employees. If you're interested in hiring a former regulator to advise your company on skirting environmental issues, then buy his book. If not, read Cradle to Cradle for a responsible and nuanced approach to how sustainability is the new entrepreneurship, fueled by actual innovation not the latest gimmick. The only only good part of this purchase was the super savings shipping.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview of Sustainaility's Advantage, November 24, 2007
By 
A. Devero (Tampa, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
Savitz demonstrates the strength of his background by explaining, advocating for and advising on the strategic advantage of sustainability. Along with tons of examples, he clearly explains the rationale for large organizations to embrace sustainability through triple bottom line metrics. he also deals to a large extent with the implicit challenges of this approach--the need for stakeholder buy-in, the shift in organizational culture and some options for managing these areas. The only criticism I have, and it is really somewhat ancillary to his aims, is that the examples and recommendations are very much drawn from the world of the Fortune 50. Most readers are probably dealing with these issues in small businesses, under $50m in revenue. That makes the book less applicable for them--but through extrapolation, they too can benefit. I recommend this to anyone interested in the intersection of business and the world's fate.

Amie Devero, Author of Powered by Principle: Using Core Values to Build World-Class Organizations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy to read explanation of the Triple Bottom Line, June 23, 2010
This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
The concept of the "Triple Bottom Line" (TBL) gets tossed around in a variety of conversations of how businesses can be more sustainable and profitable, but rarely is the term ever truly defined or are the steps for achieving success under the model elaborated. In their aptly named book (The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too), authors Andrew Savitz and Karl Webber explore the complete concept of TBL and how it can help a business along the path to sustainability. Presented in an easy to use narrative format with vivid case studies, The Triple Bottom Line shows clearly explains TBL and the tools used in its implementation.

Savitz and Webber clearly demonstrate their prowess in the field by illustrating TBL from both a business and a consumer perspective. The reader is provided with a number of tools and techniques that can allow them to implement TBL in their business. From a consumer standpoint, The Triple Bottom Line gives a clear picture of what we should be expecting from the businesses we deal with.

I found the book to be interesting and useful. The case studies are entertaining and give insight into the business world that shows how much of an impact TBL can have. Although the book is specifically targeted toward executives looking to take the reigns of their own sustainability initiatives, I think that it's useful on a variety of levels. The Triple Bottom Line expounds on the types of conversations that need to be taking place in the business world and shows how business leaders can be enticed into starting those conversations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!, February 21, 2010
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This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
This book, like the title says, really addresses the triple bottom line that all businesses should pursue in order to be sustainable. It is an easy read; captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but lacking, February 6, 2010
By 
T. Pryor "Pop" (Arlington, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
I accepted a new job in 2009 directing sustainability implementation in a small business. Senior management had already made the decision for me ... implement the Triple Bottom Line. I was elated to find this book BUT I found it lacking, especially on the People portion of the three P's of Profit, Planet and People. While the authors are knowledgeable, this book came across as if they were consultants who needed a book to give away when they made sales calls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Merging private profit with public good . . ., July 6, 2009
This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
It's time to pull Savitz's book off the shelf and re-read it! This 2006 book is more relevant now than ever and the surviving companies of this present economic reset will be employing many of the ideas discussed in the Triple Bottom Line.

What is the "Triple Bottom Line (TBL)?" Savitz claims that we will all need to be paying attention to maximizing the Economic, Environmental and Social impacts of the business. TBL captures the fundamental measurements needed to build a sustainable business model. It provides a kind of balanced scorecard that captures "in numbers and words the degree to which any company is or is not creating value for its shareholders and for society."

Sustainability is much in the news today. A recent LA Times article discussed how California is now in a serious water supply crisis. The global warming issue (regardless of what you think the cause may be) is on the front burner. Consumers and employees are now looking for companies that are authentically concerned about and address the major sustainability challenges we all face.

In part I of his book, Savitz provides anecdotal data and case studies on The Sustainability Imperative. He gives examples of companies that simply didn't get it (and a couple still don't today), and those who did things right. He takes into account the fact that our companies are a mere blog posting away from sever public scrutiny - regardless of the accuracy of any claim.

Part II of TBL provides some ideas and outlines for "How Sustainability Can Work for You." Clear examples of "real life companies" are provided to emphasize the points being made concerning inclusion of ALL stakeholders. Practical advice is given on how to manage stakeholder engagements and their challenges.

In the Epilog and Appendix, Savitz gives practical action steps to merging private profit with public good. The concept of business as being ONLY for profit will no longer suffice. That is proving to be true in just three short years since Savitz published his book. A very good read and food for thought on corporate governance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still a good introduction to the subject., June 21, 2008
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This review is from: The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success -- and How You Can Too (Hardcover)
The publisher is correct about this being a groundbreaking book when it was published. It is still excellent and many companies have a long ways to go to be operating to the triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental). Useful for either learning the goal businesses and organizations need to strive for or as a beginning how-to manual on beginning that journey.
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