ECO BRANDING: As an integral part of Multi-Faceted Bottom Line for Organisations.

1. Introduction:

The issues that the organizations are supposed to address by using the Multi-faceted bottom line, can be referred as MBL or 3BL which includes the internal parts (people, planet and profits) of environment, so that the hazards to the environment can be greatly reduced, which occurs as a result of their activities, and also verifies the impacts of the social, environmental and economic systems of value. 3BL can be perceived as a device for reporting the news in the annual reports and also for  the purpose of making decisions , where it uses the respective tools of the decision making and reporting to give view of the social, economical and environmental effects of the decisions (Shearer, 1990). But for the objectives of this particular study, the 3BL has been used as set of schemes for the assessment and the reporting on the performance of the fast growing fast food industry. As we look around us, people now days are heavily dependent on fast food instead of consuming homemade food. Although people are very conscious about environmental issues, they always look for the products which are eco friendly. Even the organizations have started taking initiatives to reduce the environmental hazards by reusing, recycling and compositing their product and components. In 1989, Environmental Defense Fund approached McDonald's to discuss environmental issues related to solid west. And as a result McDonald's along with EDF had already initiated several west reduction actions in the form of reuse, recycling and compositing (

Thus the decision of the 3BL takes various considerations like the consumers, partners in business, local communities, the investors, the government as well as the public. Thus it gives an equal importance to performance as well as financial targets. The core principle of the 3BL is that the ways of the corporation has a direct influence on the society and its surroundings and also the investors (Shearer, 1990).These type of effects can be exercised by the organizations as latter has an influence on the others.

The major objective of the study is to exhibit the way the environment forms the core of the 3BL by focusing the following aspects.

  • The way of displaying a product in the perspective of the environment to the customer. The cause for this is that if a product has got a label of environment friendliness, then it is favored over the other products existing in the market. This will optimistically impact the financial bottom line and also would make the customers content. These requirements could save the environment or form a safer environment.
  • Giving due consideration to the product about its contribution towards environment.

By the analysis of five important issues this aim can be fulfilled. The objectives of all five issues are discussed in detail in later chapter. The five important issues are:

  1. Financial Benefits
  2. Competition
  3. Green Marketing
  4. Polluter Pays Principle
  5. Cradle to Grave Concept

Two main objectives need to be researched in order to explain and elaborate on five issues. These include the following

  1. When there exists a product in the market the packing of which is more biodegradable than the others, will a customer go for it as there are numerous brand names prevailing in the market?
  2. Will a life cycle of a product and its influence on the society and fiscal sector be taken into account by a consumer like the corporation?

2. Research Aim

The aim of the study is to assess the way in which a natural environment can play a vital role in the execution of the 3BL using a pilot study. There are various companies which are in-line with 3BL concept such as Volvo, McDonalds, GE, OMC (Outboard Blues), etc. The key focus in my research is on McDonalds and its strategies towards environment.


3. A Short Literature Review:

3.1. Introduction

The general literature examines how the 3BL is connected to several principles and assumptions. This made clear that linkage between the earlier indicated five issues and the 3BL. The principles and concepts which require to be described consist of the following:

  • The Financial Benefits of the 3BL
  • Market  Competition
  • Green Marketing
  • The Polluter Pays' principle
  • The ‘Cradle to Grave'

The environment and the 3BL have general resonance, and this is integration (Cameron, 2001). The 3BL assumption functions only if social, environmental and monetary needs are consolidated with each other and all are treated on par. This consolidation concept gives the foundation for environment management. Consolidated environment management is formed to make sure that the environmental after effects of growth proposals are well perceived and sufficiently given consideration in the process of planning. The term ‘environmental' is made use of in its broad sense, comprising bio-physical and socio-economic segments. Hence the environment and the 3BL are connected closely.

3.1.1. Multi-faceted Bottom Line (3BL)

The 3BL takes into account the economic value addition which a corporation would be able to offer and how the economic value addition makes influences on society and the environment as well (Elkingtom, 2003). The concept of 3BL in its narrowest sense is referred to as an indicator in order to gauge and report the performance of a corporate in relation to economic, social and environmental factors. An illustration of this is the PH level in the effluents produced out of an industrial process. In its broader sense, the 3BL concept is made use of in order to attend to issues such as the hazards caused through pollution and environmental degradation, which the corporations must look into and take necessary remedial measures to mitigate the risks to environment , which may arise due to the nature of their production processes. This makes clear the role of the corporations which has to take into account the needs of all the shareholders of corporations, consumers, employees, business partners, government, civil societies and the general public (Shearer, 1990).

The very concept of 3BL clearly acknowledges that the activities of a corporation has its impact on the society and the environment as well, making the air polluted and the causes contamination of water bodies and ground water.  Also a corporation influences monetarily on its stakeholders in the event of paying fines for emitting waste discharge (Shearer, 1990). These impacts can be both negative and positive (e.g. of a negative impact comes by way of a high degree of pollution caused from an industrial stack). By accessing the 3BL concept, a corporation concentrates on the three vital aspects of business activity: Economic prosperity, Environmental quality, and Social justice (Shearer, 1990).  If a corporation is unable to support the cost of sustaining the environmental quality or render assistance to the communities whose health is affected by the industrial activities, the continuance of the activities of the corporation should be questioned because it cannot sustain in the long -run (Zammitt, 2002).

The 3BL considers a change in corporate thinking in the following (Shearer, 1990):


The corporations have to necessarily change to sustainable trade activates, which will have a competitive edge and sustainability.


A change from an attention on the “hard' value of gain to the “soft” values of integrity, trust of community, fair dealings with employees and sustainability.


Corporations have to change towards a reporting system which is transparent to the general public and the concerned officials. 

Life cycle:

The aspects of life cycle which require consideration, needs a change from goods to activity and the addition of the influences and behaviours of supply chain firms (i.e.  The role of corporations does not begin or terminate at factory gate).


Corporations require change to partnerships which are new and symbiotic in order to assist in finding the change, to anticipate issues, and attain the results. Through partnership with non-government corporations and environment groups, the corporations are in a position to make out clearly the issues of the public.


Many corporations and public measure have extent of time, that is, more and more needs are arise and more things occur in one minute that ever before.  Continued growth needs a mind change of time which is longer as changes in environment happens over a geological time period.


The method of corporate administration will have to change in order to become wider through accessing dialogues with a wide range of stakeholders. Directors of an effective corporation will bestow increased attention to make priorities, watching and understanding aspects on sustainability. In short, 3BL is actually the attainment of good administration.

3.1.2. Shortcomings of the 3BL

The 3BL's potential shortcoming is that it endeavors at connecting factors like environmental, social and economics in proportions that are equal into the environment of corporate. However, by the financial bottom lines, most of the corporate decisions often dominated. Moreover, on the bottom line, there is more recognition in corporations sectors about the factors such as environmental and social which need to be considered equally more important. As all the above factors of the 3BL are intertwined, this is thus more important. For sustainability, the 3BL could possibly be an effective tool. However, to be an effective and successful, equal importance has to be given to the aspects of economic, social and environment.

3.2. The Financial Benefits of the 3BL

Making money is an important goal or target of building up a corporations or a business. Yet, there is a sustainable growth for corporations in terms finance as shown in 3BL but it has to give considerations that are equal in its short and long-term business planning on all aspects such as finance, society and environment of the corporation. For one fundamental reason corporations should be worried with management of environmental: There is an eventual decrease in the value of the business activity due to the poor environmental results and competitive advantage will undermine (Hawken, 1993).

3.3. Market Competition

As stated by Freeman et al. (2001), in the same open market, in terms of economic, the completion of market is the selling or buying of goods and corporation services that are competing. The two intertwined concepts are the 3BL and market competition and for all its products a corporation implement the 3BL and tool of powerful marketing could perhaps enhance certain products of competitive advantage. For instance, from sustainable forests (not depleted forest during period of logging) if paper is marketed as being sources, then this could increase the advantage of products competitive in comparison to products from the forests of unsustainable (depleted forest during period of logging). From the above example, aspects related to environmental and the social of the 3BL are concentrated and as competitive advantage increases, this would have positive impact on the bottom line finance.

3.4. Green Marketing - Environmental Awareness

As stated by Davis (1992), in an attempt to address society's "new" concerns, corporations have begun to modify their behavior, when the society becomes more concerned with the natural environment. Increasing in size of ozone holes, is the one such concern that owes to certain factors like from aerosol cans there is a CFCs. Environmental management systems and minimization of waste are the some adoptive measures quickly adopted by some corporations and have linked their organization activities with the principles of environment.

3.5. Polluter Pays Principle

According to Moutando (2009), the costs of pollution and the costs of consequential and pollution causing should be barred by corporation which is accountable for the product production and this responsible could be done through the polluter-pays principle. However, it is still subject to interpretation, with reference to the polluter-pays principle meaning and its relevance to different situation and cases. Principally, the principle can be subject to exceptions, with reference to the extent and nature of costs concerned and the conditions. Its effects need to be compensated for the damage incurred as stated by the principle that those who cause industrial pollution should compensate. To avoid creating pollution, alternatively precautionary measures have to be taken by the polluters.

The polluters must pay for the following, as stated in the principle as interpreted by decision makers.

  1. The pollution abatement costs
  2. The environment recovery costs
  3. Due to pollution, the costs of compensation for victims of damages

3.6.The Cradle to Grave Concept

This concept helps in determining the environmental impacts of products, processes or services, through production, usage or disposal.

4. Research Methodology:

Research Methodology is the key part of any research. It provides the details of method to be adopted for the appropriate analysis of the research work. After seeing the requirement of this study the primary data will be used to do the research, as this fulfils the requirement of the set objectives. The data will be collected through questionnaire.

Questionnaire can be defined as a method of study or research wherein the data is collected from the people taking the questionnaire through a sequence of questions and certain additional pop ups or prompts. Further, it is not always that the questionnaire is always used for statistical assessment. Other than this, we will use business journals, books, news reports, online information as secondary source of data.

As compared to various types of survey there are various benefits that questionnaires carry like the cost implication is less, the kind of effort that is to be put in for a questionnaire is much less in comparison to that required for a vocal or telephonic one and also the questionnaires generally have a common format of the replies which makes it easier to collect the information. There are certain limitations of using questionnaires for survey for example the general format of replies might irritate the client and/or the people taking the survey must be able to read and reply to the questions which limits its application. As such for a particular section of people taking the questionnaire survey might look to be unrealistic.

5. Outcomes:

This study analyzed of the environment can be taken as the essential component of the 3BL so that the product of the corporation can be reviewed and changed against the needs of the society to suit the natural environment. To analyze the problem that is mentioned above, a strategic sequence of events should be executed. First, the literature should be reviewed on the related concepts relevant to the 3BL and next, the method used in the capturing of the data should be explained and the findings should be interpreted.

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