Review the general concepts of triple bottom lines (TBL) andsustainable development (SD)
Describe the relationship of TBL with sustainable development by consideringkey principles, TBL key themesas well as the discussion of key questions raised in SD
Discuss the significance of TBL in sustainable development by considering the primary features of TBL such as accountability, measurability, benchmarking etc.
Discuss the concept of sustainable construction (SC) and the significance of TBL in sustainable construction.
Prepare a sustainability reportfor a multinational construction company using Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI)reporting framework.
Environmental sustainability basically involves individuals, communities as also the countries which act in order to protect the natural world. This is done because the environmental capacity to support the human life needs to be preserved for the coming generations. It is an extremely important topic because the people understand the complete impact of the businesses and the individual persons that it can have on the environment. The economic development taking place cannot compromise the need for the future generations. The concept of sustainable development aimed at encouraging people to maintain the ecological balance and reduce anything that causes problems to the environment.
Based on historic reports, the industrialised countries account for the bulk of emissions of green house gases. The consequential reductions in the emissions however can be attained only through an approach which comprises the new markets as well. Environmental sustainability involves taking actions in order to protect the natural world; the emphasis needs to be given on preserving the environment’s capability to support the human life. It also includes the decisions that actually reduce the detrimental impact of the business on the environment. It is concerned with the development of the processes that help the businesses become completely sustainable in future. The impact of sustainability requires to be tackled carefully and also its solution needs to be understood. In order to implement positive changes, it is necessary at first to establish a business case in order to assess the feasibility of environmentally sustainable practices. Executing a cost benefit analysis will help in comparison of the benefits of practices which are ecologically sustainable.
There is also a competitive edge which is possessed by the environmentally sustainable businesses. It is felt at the time of attracting the customers and investors. This is due to the existing awareness of the present day customers about the environmental and social issues as also information about the businesses that act responsibly in the community. Increasing awareness is present among the investors as well regarding the issues and is responsible for development of an increasing trend towards the investment in environmentally sustainable companies.
The consumer conscience contributes significantly to the method by which the people choose the services which they wish to buy and also from which business. It is also influenced by several numbers of factors that include the popular opinion, the media, friends, family as also the personal values. Consumers are better educated about the impact of their actions and the active of the business can have on the surroundings.
The triple bottom line is basically an accounting framework that incorporates three particular performance dimensions, namely social, fiscal and ecological. Triple bottom line basically means three lines, namely social line, economic line and the environmental line. The TBL framework is different from the traditional framework of reporting as it includes the environmental or ecological frameworks as also the social measures which are difficult to assign as suitable means of measurement. There is another connotation for the triple bottom line. It is also known as the three P’s. These include the concept of people, planet and profits (Glac 2015).
There is not a common unit of measuring the three P’s. There cannot be unsuitable units of measuring the social capital or the environmental or the ecological health. Thus finding a unit of measurement which is common to all the three P’s is a challenging task. There have been discussions where the monetizing of all the dimensions of the TBL has been discussed. The social welfare as also the environmental damage is discussed. It was suggested that dollar be considered as a common unit of measurement for the three factors. Despite this, objections were faced from many sections of the people as to putting a dollar value on the wetlands or the species which are endanged or even on philosophical grounds. The search for the correct price for the lost wetlands or even for the endangered species is questioned (Savitz 2013.).
Another solution that has been given to the problem is the calculation of the TBL in index form. In case this procedure is adopted, all the incompatible units can be eliminated and a universally accepted method of accounting can be adopted. It facilitates the comparison of entities, the comparison of several factors including the company performance, in case of cities as well as development projects and several other benchmarks. There are several innovation indices, focussing on the calculation of the necessary factors. Indices also include the concept of subjectivity (Griggs et al. 2013).
The economic variables usually are concerned with the concept of bottom line, flow of money and other economic aspects. It also includes the aspects of taxes, incomes, expenses, business climate factors, employment as well as the diversity in business. Some examples of the economic measures include the concept of the personal income, the size of establishment, churn of establishment, growth of job opportunities, and percentage specific sector firms as also the revenue accounting to the causal gross state product.
The variables relating to the environment represent the measurements of the natural resources and also comprise of the influences to the viability. It includes the air and water quality, consumption of energy, natural resources, solid and toxic waste as also the land use and the land cover. Wide range of trends available for each of the available for each of the ecological variables assist organisations assist the impact of a project on the particular area chosen.
The social variables are nothing but the social dimensions of a particular region or community and can include educational measurements, equity and also access to the social resources, well-being, health, quality of life as also the social capital. The potential variables include the rates of unemployment, participation rate of female labour force, median income of household, the percentage of higher-secondary qualified population, violent crimes per capita, health adjusted life expectancy and so on (Willard, 2012).
The triple bottom line is basically used by businesses in order to acquire anecdotal evidences of greater long term profitability. The business utility of the triple bottom line is huge and far reaching.
Sustainability is basically defined as the expectations of bettering the social and the ecological performance of the present generation without compromising on the capability of the future generations to meet their social and economic needs. The concept of the sustainable development can be interpreted in many different ways. It basically needs to balance the different competing needs against awareness regarding the environmental, social and economic limitations a society faces (Rogers, Jalal and Boyd 2012). In the Common future or the Brundtland report also the Common Future, the concept of sustainable development was discussed. In many cases the concept of sustainable development has been considered by many researchers as the maintenance of essential ecological procedures, preservation of the genetic diversity and also the sustainable use of species and ecosystems. Sustainability is a normative concept regarding how humans need to react in connection to nature. At the same time they also need to be responsible for future generations (Holden, Linnerud and Banister 2017).
There are basically three conditions that need to be met in case of a sustainable society. The rates of the use of the renewable resources should not exceed the rates of their generation. The rates of the non-renewable resources should not exceed the rate at which sustainable substitutes are developed and the rates of emission of pollution should in no way exceed the total assimilative capacity of the environment (Gimenez, Sierra and Rodon 2012).
TBL is a significant contributory factor in the sustainable development. The TBL framework is implemented in the business in order to expand the stakeholders’ knowledge of the company further than the existing ideas. It goes beyond the economic or financial aspects and discusses the impact of a company on different aspects of the world around it. The concept of TBL involves the additional reporting framework, the reports are clearly stated and it is relatively easier to communicate with the stakeholders of the company (Griggs et al. 2013). The information that are discussed in the reports need to be re-evaluated at periodic intervals in order to ensure that the expectations which are outlined in the report are met. In case the impact of a certain constraint is not significant, the company needs to evaluate the reason behind the low impact or the contribution and modify their report or plan accordingly in the future. It can safely be said that the contribution if the TBL in the context of sustainable development is extremely important and significant. The TBL method of reporting highlights the fact that the business is taking accountability of the company to higher level. This helps in maintaining the overall trust in the company and raises the expectations in the organisation. In situations where problems are faced regarding the diminishing resources, the consumers have been made more alert and aware of the true amount of impact that the businesses of different segments have on the world at large. It is possible for every person or individual involved in the process of TBL to increase the overall knowledge of the company (Nikolaou, Evangelinos and Allan 2013.).
There are several key features of sustainability including the conceptualizations, the discussion on the economic, social, environmental change, the policies of the environment, the economic de growth the living standards and poverty, the resource scarcity and poverty as also the planning and communication. It also involves the development use as well as the indication of indicators as well as indices, the reviews of regions, the scientific academies, the supply chain and investment processes, the production systems, sustainability models as also the search for causality between the environmental as well as social dimensions also the identification of challenges (Barkemeyer et al. 2014).
There are several challenges to sustainability as well which include the implementation of environmental protection standards, capturing of the external impacts beyond the local level, recognising the social sustainability, human development, balanced production and consumption, the promotion of education, the development and maintenance of environmental resources, use of the holistic approaches, population awareness, usefulness of a standard benchmark between the countries, reconciliation of local objectives along with the overall objectives, balancing the pillars of sustainability, dynamic indicators of sustainability, public participation in the planning as well as participation of science as well as technology. Sustainability is concerned with the awareness of the environmental problems, economic crisis as well as the social inequalities, as it is a complex as well as an ongoing concept (Kuik, and Verbruggen 2012). The field of sustainability is emerging and is characterised by a wide variety of subjects, social and natural systems, including the flow of information, materials as well as waste. There needs to be a balance which needs to be found at the triple bottom line. The concept of sustainability needs to be understood and the policies need to be properly implemented (Christen and Schmidt 2012).
In the world of construction the buildings have the capacity to make a major contribution to a more sustainable future for the planet. It has been seen from reports that the buildings in the developed countries contribute to more than forty percent of the total energy consumption in their entire lifetime. The sustainable construction aims to meet the present day needs for the housing, working environment, infrastructure and so on. This is done without compromising on the ability of the generations in future to meet their needs. The issues of economic efficiency, environmental performance and also that of the social responsibility are included and contribute to a maximum extent when the architectural quality, the transferability and the technical innovation are included (Hwang and Tan 2012). Sustainable construction includes the issues such as design, management of buildings, materialistic performance, construction, technology and the procedures, energy and the resource efficiency in building, operation and maintenance, robust products and the technologies, the long-term monitoring, adherence to the ethical standards, socially viable environments, occupation health and safety, working conditions, innovative financing models, improvement of the existing contextual conditions, interdependencies of the landscape, infrastructure, urban fabric and architecture, function and change, flexibility in building use, the dissemination of knowledge in the connected technical, academic and social contexts (Global Reporting Initiative 2014).
The concept of sustainable construction goes beyond the concepts of the practices of green building, the structures designed to have a lower environmental impact over their entire lifetime. This is done while not compromising on the level of comfort, durability and functionality for the particular occupants. In other words, in case of sustainable construction, the companies are allowed to grow without growing at the expense of the environment. The sustainable construction has several significant long term effects and it allows the businesses to play their part in the environmental protection on a regular basis. Such a workplace also makes the sustainability efforts much easier. It also benefits the society as well as local communities as a whole.
TBL is important in the context of sustainable construction. It impacts the social, economic and also the environmental aspects. In case of the sustainable construction, the industry comprises the develop, plan, design, alter and also building or maintaining the environment including the material manufactures and suppliers as also the clients and the end use occupiers. The sustainable construction involves the keeping up and getting the edge, the management of the environment as also the social performance. The proper measure of sustainability is required and the goals that are advocated by sustainability are also are required. The significance of the TBL needs to be understood in terms of the sustainable construction and the issue needs to be understood.
The global reporting initiative is basically an international independent standards organisation which helps the businesses, governments as well as the other organisations to understand and also discuss the impact on issues like climate change, human rights as well as corruption (Fernandez-Feijoo, Romero and Ruiz 2014). This organisation helps in preparing the sustainability reports on organisations. It also explores the multifaceted and the multidimensional aspects of any particular organisation. This helps in understanding the way in which companies and big organisations are faring in terms of their approaches to the sustainability and their responsibility towards the protection of their environment (Alonso?Almeida, Llach and Marimon 2014).
In case of the chosen country Australia there are several construction companies which provide valuable support in terms of taking part in the most powerful constructions in the country. The major buildings and malls as well as complexes are built by several successful business companies in Australia.
The name of the chosen Australian construction company is Innovative constructions. The construction company is one of the oldest in Australia. It was established in the early 1900s. More than five thousand projects have been completed by the company in the past century. The company is also responsible for creating several premier buildings in Australia. The landmark buildings have been created by the valued and powerful team of professionals of the company. The portfolio of the company is impressive and is extremely varied. The works of the company include construction of the buildings in the health sector, education sector, commercial sectors, defence sector projects and also industrial sector projects. All the projects undertaken by the company are completed within the stipulated time frame allotted to them and find praise for their precision and beauty from all and sundry. This impressive line of work by the company is responsible for the fact that every client prefers them for their construction requirements. The proper view of the business holistic approaches, it is found that guidance is provided to the clients, the options are given to them to choose from. It never happens that the company representatives offer wrong guidance to the clients in case of expensive projects. It is also seen that the wealth of attained experience through prolonged service is driven by the company’s commitment to effectively serve their clients. In the form of a trusted partner, the company is not only completely invested in the projects they undertake but also in the corporate success due to cultivation of a long term outlook. The major positive aspect of the company is the stability and the integrity that is constantly offered to the clients. All these features make the company unique and innovative and a favourite among all the people vying for choosing a construction company to suit their needs.
In case of the commercial sector, the company believes in maximising value of the owner or the user. Every commercial development is carefully analysed and always there is the need for smarter and innovative ways to design, construct and also program it. Along with the depth of experience, the staff builds the projects in their heads before a draft is provide to the clients. This is done to avoid issues in future and also to keep the agenda of innovation intact. It is due to this strategy that the company has received several fit-out projects and also build 6-star designs which are absolutely new and one of a kind in Australia.
In case of community plans, the company always tries to remain at the grass root level. The company always believes in delivering buildings and constructions along with the infrastructure which promotes culture, enrichment of communities, as also engender a sense of belonging. Be it the iconic art galleries, stadiums or museums. There are no said limits on the size, complexity or region. The level of expertise is evidenced in case of projects like the Sydney’s upgrades or the restoration or any iconic building. There is always the inherent need to manage the programs and the budgets along with working with different layers of the government for non-profit organisations in order to create projects which are a source of delight to the communities.
The organisational profile involves the characteristics of the company’s product and services. It has already been discussed that the construction services of the company are wide and far reaching. Apart from this, the values also define it successfully. The company possesses the values of being upfront, progressive, involved as well as trusted.
The organisation is true and accountable in all of its business relationships. It is understood that the strong and productive relationships are at the heart of the success of the project. The challenges faced are addressed early and proactively and is always working to get the best solutions. The upfront and the transparent approach implies that at the beginning of each project, meticulous planning is done, issues are understood and opportunities for enhancing outcome are also taken care of.
One of the most distinguishable properties is that of innovation. The company fosters a forward thinking culture. All the employees are encouraged to show initiatives in participation and creativity in all projects. This is done in order to derive smarter solutions across design, constructability as also social and environmental sustainability. The responsibility of company to contribute meaningfully to the fabric of the communities created by them is huge.
Involvement is another significant aspect of the participation of the company. The ownership structure gives the required edge in the flexibility as also the required responsiveness to the requirements that change with time. The management team always remains involved actively in all the important decisions. The emphasis on collaboration and its importance is shown to all the companies.
The company representatives are aware of the inherent risks in the delivery of the products. The exceptional amount of longevity, the solid backing financially, stale and well endowed teams as also the absolute dedication to the quality of delivery of sustainable outcomes are responsible for the projects being placed in safe hands. Being a trusted partner, the company considers themselves to be the stewards of the project as also the business of their partners. Advice and the considered options are derived from the experience gained and also their commitment to service.
Reporting parameters are basically the factors that help to understand the nature of operations of a particular company. The success of the company is achieved through a number of factors which are successfully implemented. The criteria for success need to be met at every step of the company’s implementations. The parameters also involve the characteristics of administration, construction and maintenance, operations, the operators, labourers and the overall level of performance. It is also to be noted that the nature of the performance is main determining factor for the evaluation of a company. Understanding the company’s success or determining whether a company can prosper in terms of its benefits or performance is helpful in case of the reporting parameters. The perfect amalgamation of the company administration, the labourers and their performance the construction and maintenance are determined in terms of the parameters. The consistency of the results in the reporting parameters helps understand the level of performance of the company. The reporting parameters’ accuracy depends on the accuracy of the collected information and the basis in which they are collected.
The company is committed to its clients. The major commitments are fulfilled by the company at correct time intervals with replete amount of work done on each of the projects. The creativity as well as innovation is maintained at all the undertaken projects. The evolving construction landscape paves the way for systems, technology as well as innovation which is maintained by the company at all stages. The company commitments are analysed by successful methods of the measurement parameters. It also needs to be understood that the company is hailed as one of the leading companies as far as construction methodology, programming, cost planning and quality assurance are concerned. The roll out of the digital management tools and the revolutionary tools pave the way for a revolutionary new era in the effective communication as well as project management scenario. The undertakings of the company include more than four thousand projects. Every project is completed keeping the rules of all the undertakings in mind.
The procedure for governance includes the laws, the systems of rules, processes, practices, and also the laws by which a company is controlled. It involves balancing the interests of a company’s several stakeholders such as the customers, suppliers, financers, governments as also the community. At the beginning of each undertaken project, the criteria for governance are met. The levels of the construction are met at every level. It is to be seen that the company never fails any of the tests for the corporate governance. Therefore the end results of the undertaken projects are up to the mark and are a source of appreciation for the clients. The aims and objectives of the company are fulfilled at every step such the company is successful in its undertaken ventures and reaches the levels of success it has set for itself.
There are several commitments of the organisation including complex time-taking projects and pressure on being innovative. It is always the duty of the company to manage their projects effectively and thus lead to increased demands for projects to be done by the company. The organisation applies industry leading practices in their programming, construction methodology, cost planning, quality assurance. At no time is the safety compromised. The digital management and the mobile tools used by the company help in the effective communication and successful project management. Every project is always at the fingertips of the company. The company also utilizes climate oriented programmes for the purpose of project implementation.
In simple words it can be stated that, the construction business of the company being over a hundred years old, is fully accredited, systemised and completely implemented as well. In many cases even in case of major well known construction companies, the safety of the people is overlooked. The company is different from others in this very aspect as the safety, health and well being of the people is their first priority. This approach is always inherent in any undertaken plan of the company. The management involves educating the employees and the workers about a “people first” culture in their decision making process. There is a continual engagement of the stakeholders across several aspects of the business in order to adopt an evolved approach.
Health and safety of the people are maintained at all times, the well being of very client or individual that comes in contact with the work is given the highest amount of priority. The execution of the construction plans are also arranged in a way that encourages the importance of the people as also the environment. It is through continuous stakeholder engagement across the company’s business that the necessary revisions are adopted to deliver on the commitment which is considered regardless of any specific requirements of any particular project. This approach of managing the people working for the company makes it innovative, unique as well as dependable. Being at the forefront of the implementing practical technologies at our particular company the project is of primary importance and is at the fingertips.
Producing a sustainability report is an important part of corporate accountability. The reports on the sustainable changes as a part of any company policy are very much in demand in the present times. The customers, investors, as well as the NGOs require information on the sustainability performance of companies. It definitely is a real challenge for the people in charge to report the information which is usually based on consistent data from across the organisation. Usually, every aspect of a company’s performance is integrated into a single report which is done in case of sustainability reporting. The effective method of the reporting of sustainability is an extremely powerful tool in the communication establishment with the stakeholders regarding the venture of performing against the objectives. Those organisations that embrace these are usually likely to possess an advantage over the competitors and also assist in boosting value for the shareholders. It is a significant challenge to ensure that the sustainability information and reporting is extremely reliable as also efficient and effective. In this case, the internal management as well as the external stakeholders are benefited. The major challenges that can be seen in case of the sustainability reporting are the determination of the suitable sustainability metrics which are material and decision-useful to the investors as well as the other stakeholders. Another challenge is evaluating suitable reporting frameworks and standards and finally the implementation of the appropriate processes, controls and the systems to produce the metrics reliably.
It is due to the evolving stakeholder expectations that the procedures of corporate reporting are getting transformed in order to fully embrace the sustainability considerations. Staying in connection to the demands of the investors involves the process of being informed about the emerging expectations, the trends as also all the regulatory actions. Sharing the perspectives on the costs as well as the benefits of the sustainability reporting by providing responses to the relevant proposals is beneficial for a company and helps it to participate in the dialogue and shape the transformational direction. It is also usually seen as a greater global harmonisation of the frameworks and the standards enhancing the comparability and the consistency of the reporting of sustainability. It is necessary for the companies to move along with the times and understand which sort of information is of importance to the related stakeholders and also develop the robust procedures and also the control of high quality data.
Sustainable construction is basically much more than only the fabric of the environmental built. The social, commercial as well as transport infrastructures as also the buildings around them need to be constructed in such a way, which are sustainable in environmental as well as economic terms. They should also be sustainable according to the social terms and also should add value to the quality of the life for the community as also for the individual. They should also be sustainable in their own terms economically.
All the sectors of the property life cycle can contribute to achieve progress in all the strands of the sustainable development. There are several issues as also challenges which are there for all the involved people. There are numerous areas covered and might include the regulatory measures, training and education, research as also local action. It should also be said that role of the quantity surveyor’s role is fundamental. The buildings must be affordable as also constructed at economic prices in order to be available to all sorts of people. The concept of sustainable development is extremely crucial but it is required to be balanced against longer-term issues of economic nature. There are several challenges of sustainable development which needs to be addressed in order to construct the common future for all.
The practice of sustainable architecture has become important enough in order to have several guidelines, engineer practitioners as also the evaluation of architecture. The generation of the developers and planners who work today require a critical duty at a time when the base of the natural resources is on the brink of irreparable harm. It is also at a time when the social disengagement is at the highest levels of history. A huge change in the development practices all around the country in the direction of sustainable development needs to have a positive impact on the legacy of the quality of life that the future generation leaves for the future.
It needs to be understood that the concept of sustainability as well as sustainable development has been largely ignored by the people as also the government. The environment needs to be improved for the human needs as it has become a scarce resource. All segments of the common people as well as the government should work on it.
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