Why We’ve Adopted a Triple Bottom Line (3BL) approach at Green Hill

Green Hill has always been a values-based, mission-driven organization. At the end of 2018, when we were celebrating our first anniversary, we began presenting this ‘values-based, mission-driven’ framework to the team. Some people may have thought this was just a fad, another idea that our leadership team adopted in response to reading a book or blog, but it was the beginning of consciously developing a culture.

Over the past two years, everyone who has joined the Green Hill team has spent time during their first days meeting with our CEO to discuss the history of Green Hill and what it means to be a ‘values-based, mission-driven’ company. The triple bottom line approach takes things a step further — it helps operationalize our values. This approach to organizational management focuses us on maximizing our impact in the community and on the world. 

One of the most exciting aspects of being social entrepreneurs is the real life thrill of testing your philosophy. Let’s not be naive. We’re in the for-profit healthcare business and depending on your political inclinations, this may seem abhorrent. However, we choose not to define ourselves by a narrow field — healthcare, mental health, substance use disorder treatment — but rather by what we do. Green Hill is an ecosystem committed to empowering individuals to live with profound purpose.

When most people think of a business model, they’re thinking about some combination of a pro forma and a balance sheet. While those are certainly foundational elements of running any successful organization, whether it’s for-profit or not-for-profit, we all joined the helping professions because we’re interested in more than collecting a paycheck. 

As an organization, Green Hill has always implicitly taken a triple bottom line approach — focusing on impact beyond our bottom line; however, we lacked a cohesive framework that was widely understood. As the company has grown, we can no longer ‘wing’ our approach and we’ve found a framework that will assist us in our co-creative endeavor. 

Enter the Triple Bottom Line (3BL) approach. The triple bottom line approach gives us an objective framework through which we can more deliberately analyze our decisions and elicit buy-in for new opportunities, with our core mission in mind. 

Green Hill is more than a business, it’s an ecosystem dedicated to the reduction of suffering and the empowerment of individuals. 3BL gives us an objective framework to build something special.

What Is the Triple Bottom Line (3BL)?

Triple bottom line (3BL), in economics, believes that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. 3BL theory posits that instead of one bottom line, there should be three: profit, people, and the planet. A 3BL seeks to gauge a corporation’s level of commitment to corporate social responsibility and its impact on the environment over time. (Credit: Investopedia)

Our Triple Bottom Line (3BL) approach centers around People, Planet, and Profit. Below are a few details on our thinking and initiatives under each category, but we’ll be expanding on each in a dedicated blog post later. 

We believe that over time, growth-minded, ethically concerned, hard working people can move mountains — and that’s what we plan to do. So while our people have always been our “special sauce”, embracing the triple bottom line framework means that we will look at our “people practices” through a more objective lens and increase transparency for our team and the world writ large.

Financial Security & Pay Transparency 
Health, Wellness, & Safety
Career Development 
Engagement & Satisfaction

Planet: Community + Environment
Green Hill is a mission-driven company within a mission-driven, people-centric industry. Our work is dedicated to serving others so they may live more fulfilling lives. As part of that mission we see Green Hill as a citizen of the community and the environment. To that end we will be examining how our organization impacts the broader community (in the Triangle) and the environment. 

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Civic Engagement & Giving
Energy & Water Usage 
Trash, Recycling, & Waste 

We believe in the potential of capitalism, and in the notion of conscious capitalism. We are a for-profit company and thus we need to make a profit to serve the community. While we could engage in a fun, mind-expanding conversation regarding corporate structure, tax incentives, and why our “for-profit healthcare” company is less susceptible to corruption than your “not-for-profit healthcare” company, that’s not what we’re here to do. 

Economic Impact
Financial Transparency & Co-Created Goals 
Data-Driven, Impact-Oriented Decision Making (think effective altruism) 
Distributions & Charitable Giving Targets
Team Member Bonuses & Incentive Structure

Over the coming weeks we’ll be exploring how we’re implementing a 3BL approach at Green Hill. We believe that this framework, while applicable in every field, is a must in the helping professions.

Stay tuned for more information on our approach and we look forward to connecting with other impact-oriented leaders.