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Triple Bottom Line Accounting: Evaluation of Available Tools to Price Social and Environmental Costs/Benefits of Projects


The airport-specific definition of sustainability includes Economic Viability, Operational Efficiency, Natural Resource Conservation, and Social Responsibility (EONS). There is a lot of research and information available to airports on the environmental components of sustainability, as well as some on the operational and economic components, but fewer on the social aspects of social sustainability. This knowledge gap can be partially attributed to the lack of tools to understand the costs and benefits of social sustainability initiatives. During the stakeholder engagement process, there was emphasis on the need to address the social and economic aspects of sustainability. Airports are seeking guidance on how to perform triple bottom line accounting for sustainability initiatives, so that the economic and social benefits and costs are as well understood as the environmental and operational components. While there are some tools on the market to assist airports develop a holistic cost accounting for these types of initiatives, more guidance is needed particularly for airports with limited budgets. This project would focus on expanding the social responsibility component of sustainability strategy, monetizing the value of social and environmental components to communicate the true triple-bottom line of a ROI assessments as well as a synthesis of available tools.


The objective of this idea is to develop a synthesis document describing the current state of practice on triple bottom line accounting, with a focus on social costs/benefits, and the methods and tools in practice.

Sponsoring Committee:AV030, Environmental Impacts of Aviation
Date Posted:03/02/2021
Date Modified:03/10/2021
Index Terms:Cost accounting, Benefit cost analysis, Social impacts, Environmental impacts, Airports, Sustainable development,
Cosponsoring Committees: 

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