Triple Bottom Line

Triple Bottom Line Resources


The Triple Bottom Line, or TBL, is a framework the City of Eugene is using to reach its sustainability goals. It’s designed to help us think about and explore the environmental, equity and economic impacts, benefits and trade-offs of our decisions. It’s a decision making framework that can be adapted to any organization such as business, non-profit, governmental or community groups. If you would like to begin using this approach in your organization, a TBL tool has been developed to guide you through this process.

What is the TBL Tool?

It’s been called a tool, but it doesn’t produce objective data. Instead, it suggests questions and uncovers issues that might not have been considered in the process. Literally, the TBL tool is a set of questions or prompts to guide discussion, thinking and decision making. The questions focus on potential impacts in three areas: economic prosperity, social equity and environmental health. The questions in the TBL tool capture much of what you already consider but in a more systematic and deliberate way.

The TBL tool is not:

  • A tool that makes your decisions for you or tells you which option to choose.
  • An exhaustive new analytical process.
  • A whole new layer of research and analysis.

When to Use the Tool

You can apply the tool to a range of projects or decisions, everything from budget choices and policy decisions to selecting vendors or products. Some examples include:

  • When formulating a recommendation.
  • To aid in program reviews.
  • To help guide service improvements.
  • To evaluate the effects of significant budget changes.