Quantifying the social dimension of triple bottom line: Development of a framework and indicators to assess the social impact of organisations

Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reports, outlining the economic, environmental and social impact of organisations, are increasingly viewed as a business requirement. Unfortunately, despite global frameworks, there is no one established standard against which to evaluate the social dimension. Thus, current social reporting is often disparagingly described as a public relations exercise with limited accountability, consistency or comparability. This article outlines the development of a generic TBL social impact framework and questionnaire designed to quantify an organisation's social impact. Based on valid preexisting measures appropriate for organisations in the industrialised world, the proposed framework and questionnaire offers a comparable and objective social impact assessment tool for organisations. The aim is to prompt informed debate and discussion about current organisational social impact reporting, whilst providing organisations with a tool which enables the identification, quantification and comparability of social impact reporting.
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DOI 10.1504/IJBGE.2007.014314
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Elsa Dawson (1998). The Relevance of Social Audit for Oxfam GB. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (13):1457-1469.
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