… are organizations of any kind that are credentialed for the manner in which they measure, manage and report their performance in authentic Triple Bottom Line (TBL) terms using context-based accounting tools
Time to Take Performance Accounting to the Next Level!
For all of the talk of accountability in business, it is still the case that very few organizations actually measure, manage or report their performance in ways that are rigorously Triple Bottom Line (TBL) in scope. They may prepare separate or even integrated reports, but
rarely in a form that is context-based using tools like the MultiCapital Scorecard. Comprehensive performance in all its dimensions – social, economic and environmental – is almost never disclosed, much less measured, thanks to the limitations of mainstream accounting.
Indeed, if what we all want is a world in which business and civil society, too, are sustainable, this has to change. Because gone are the days when businesses can externalize their costs with impunity or cater only to the needs of shareholders. Other stakeholders, too, whose well-being is just as contingent upon the effects of commerce must also be considered in ways that have nothing to do with financial accounting.
What matters most in the new economy is whether or not companies are managing their impacts on vital resources in ways that put neither the resources themselves nor the well-being of those who depend on them at risk. This is the new criterion for assessing performance in the 21st century, and the sooner companies come to terms with it, the better. After all, managers in organizations can hardly be expected to assess performance in the new economy using accounting tools taken from the old one – much less manage what they can’t see!
This is where the Certified TBL program comes rushing into play, the world’s first and only certification for Triple Bottom Line accounting, and a blueprint for next-generation accounting functions to go with it. Unlike other programs, the Certified TBL credential recognizes and rewards organizations that have at least begun to measure, manage and report their performance in rigorous Triple Bottom Line terms – context-based terms, that is – regardless of their actual performance. Thus, it is a management system certification, informed by the view that while outcomes in performance obviously matter, meaningful measurement functions must come first!
SustainAccounting LLC (SA) is the incubation administrator for The Certified TBL program, which was initially conceived by the non-profit Center for Sustainable Organizations. Its main purpose is to promote sustainability in commerce by incentivizing and rewarding organizations that take steps to operationalize authentic Triple Bottom Line accounting.
Soon after its initial launch in early 2019, the Certified TBL program became the focus of a collaboration between SA, the Center for Sustainable Organizations, and Social Accountability International, which together in September 2019 entered into a 3-way Memorandum of Understanding. Following from that MOU, all ownership and control of the Certified TBL program and its assets will eventually be transferred from SA to SAI as soon as practicable, with CSO slated to play an ongoing training and support role in accordance with its charitable mission. Once the transfer is complete, SA’s involvement in the program will come to an end.