Integrated Bottom Line

A process, described by Theo Ferguson, for integrating financial, environmental, and social costs and benefits into a unified measure of business activity. Conventional objectives of profitability, competitive advantage, efficiency, and economic growth are judged successful by their compatibility with biodiversity, ecological sustainability, equity, community support, and maximized well-being for a variety of stakeholders.
An Integrated bottom line differs from a Triple bottom line in that all measures are combined into one balance sheet and income statement (instead of separated in three, different ones).

For example, short-term, sustainable resource use is encouraged to maximize efficiency because it is factored into accounts payable. Ecosystem restoration is entered as long-term debt. Market forces are tempered by distribution equity and social forces are elevated through premiums placed on human capital. Business plans can be redesigned so that qualitative outcomes have equal or greater measure to quantitative goals.


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