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Achieving triple bottom line performance: highlighting the role of social capabilities and environmental management accounting

Grace T. Solovida (Department of Accounting, STIE Bank BPD Jateng, Semarang, Indonesia)
Hengky Latan (HLC Consulting, Semarang, Indonesia)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 18 February 2021

Issue publication date: 11 May 2021




The relationship between the elements of the triple bottom line (TBL) is a controversial area that is constantly debated in the sustainability literature. This study addresses this debate by testing the relationships between these elements, while considering environmental management accounting (EMA) as a mediating influence.


This paper examines survey responses from upper-level managers from ISO 14001-certified manufacturing companies listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX). The hypotheses were tested using a partial least squares approach, and bias-corrected and accelerated bootstrap confidence intervals were used to test the significance of the relationships between variables.


The authors found a direct relationship between the TBL elements and the role of EMA and social performance in mediating the relationship between economic performance and environmental performance.

Research limitations/implications

This research also provides new insights into the progress of the social resource-based view (SRBV) theory, where the social element missing from the TBL approach can be found.

Practical implications

The findings of this article imply that it is worthwhile to invest in corporate sustainability because it is thereby possible to simultaneously achieve economic, environmental and social performance, since such elements are truly integrated. In addition, possession of EMA management tools is necessary to enhance the relationships between economic performance and environmental performance. Furthermore, social performance seems to constitute an important bond between both of these, indicating that the social element of the TBL is necessary to achieve truly competitive performance.


This study contributes to the corporate environmental management literature by providing empirical evidence regarding the TBL elements.



The authors thank Professor Malin Song (Editor) and the three excellent reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions on prior versions of this manuscript. The authors also thank Professor Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour for his assistance and constructive feedback on the earlier version of this manuscript.


Solovida, G.T. and Latan, H. (2021), "Achieving triple bottom line performance: highlighting the role of social capabilities and environmental management accounting", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 596-611.



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