The triple bottom line: how New Zealand companies measure up
Chapman, Roslyn; Milne, Markus J
Triple bottom line reporting involves the measurement, management and reporting of economic, environmental and social performance indicators in a single report. Over the past few years an increased number of New Zealand companies have produced such reports, due mostly to the promotional efforts of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD). A lack of legal requirements or mandatory reporting standards, however, means the uptake of such reporting is not widespread beyond Council members. Based on the UNEP/Sustainability benchmarking tools, this article reports the results of an analysis of 30 NZBCSD members’ 2002 triple bottom line reports. Results from the analysis show that while the number of companies undertaking triple bottom line reporting is increasing, the standard of reporting generally remains poor. Only two reporters generate over half of the total possible score according to the benchmarking tool. Commonly disclosed issues relate to management policies and systems, with evidence of some efficiency metrics (mostly energy and waste) being commonly used. Employees and local communities are those stakeholders most frequently addressed in these reports. The article concludes with a section on how future triple bottom line reports can be improved.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series: Accountancy Working Paper Series
Keywords: triple bottom line reporting; New Zealand; benchmarking
Research Type: Working Paper
Subsequently published in Corporate Environmental Strategy: International Journal for Sustainable Business, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 37-50, 2004