Here at Firm Media, we spend a lot of time working to understand social trends and movements- particularly how they relate to growing business and building community. Over the past few years, the concept of 3BL or “Triple Bottom Line” has trickled into our consciousness, and has just recently come to consume our overall mentality.
Okay, the concept isn’t that new. The term was coined in 1997 by leading sustainability expert John Elkington in his book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. Elkington proposed that, in order to succeed in the 21st Century, businesses must change their corporate culture to embrace the ethics of sustainability. Instead of focusing purely on profits, Elkington outlined a system in which businesses would hold themselves accountable to another set of “bottom lines.” In addition to “making money,” businesses would also focus on “social” and “environmental” bottom lines. Turns out, many of today’s emerging entrepreneurs agree and are embracing this concept at a mind-boggling pace.
Until this past year, we really didn’t know that our commitment to social causes had a catchphrase, but we’re glad to know that we’re part of this emerging sustainable business perspective: the Triple Bottom Line perspective. You see, since our inception in 2008, Firm Media has placed socially conscious and philanthropic ideas at our core. In the past year alone, we’ve developed Internet marketing strategies for Reach Out, a nonprofit devoted to leadership opportunities for young people, Kids Come First Community Health Center, a low cost health center for children 0-17, and the East Valley Boys and Girls Club. We’ve sponsored a Pilipino child through Children International and helped an organization called Swing for Autism raise 100k for The New Vista School. We’ve even recently received our AIGA “Carbon Cool” Certification, meaning that we stand accountable for our business’s carbon footprint and take measures to reduce our negative impact on the environment.
We’re not trying to show off, but in all honesty, our business is growing in one of the worst economic times in the history of this country. We truly believe that our ever-developing commitment to the 3BL business perspective is a major player in this equation. It not only makes us more efficient, but it also fosters collaboration with other like-minded businesses.
Our CEO Christopher Suchanek is constantly out and about in the community looking for opportunities to make a difference. He’s almost always somewhere networking and searching for like-minded entrepreneurs interested in some form of collaboration. In fact, Firm Media is sponsoring a Cal State San Bernardino – Business Alliance dinner/fundraiser at the Ontario Convention Center next week (Feb. 9th) in order to raise money for scholarships for students in the College of Business. The event features guest speakers Dale Partridge (CEO of Sevenly.org), Nathan Westwick (CEO of Wild Goose Coffee Co.)- both companies that we highly respect. There will even be a special screening of the inspirational TOMS Shoes documentary, “Start Something that Matters.”
We encourage you and your business to consider the 3BL perspective if you aren’t already. It works!