In 2007, Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Ltd., or APR, a leading communications and public relations agency in Pakistan, decided to launch a bold initiative to create a more entrenched sustainability culture in the country, with the Vision “To steadily facilitate the germination of sustainable visions for organizational growth, sharing specific triple bottom-line knowledge and tools.”
Dealing professionally with the corporate sector for nearly 20 years, it was apparent to us that the understanding of CSR in Pakistan was sadly quite limited. As in other Asian countries, corporate philanthropy was commonly equated with CSR, and ?CSR? was quite often a PR exercise or a photo opportunity, rather than a strategy to create shared value for shareholders and stakeholders. And who better could have recognized this than a PR agency!
Thus TBL – Triple Bottom-Line was launched in January 2008 as the country’s first and only knowledge-based, CSR-focused publication. Supported by 2 leading national companies, English Biscuit Manufacturers Pvt. Ltd. (EBM) and National Foods Limited (NFL), the bi-monthly TBL was sent complimentary to a researched list of decision-makers and opinion-formers in the corporate sector, the government, media, academia, NGOs sector and international institutions active in Pakistan.
TBL quickly created a stir in the country, with its quality content being contributed by a pool of over 65 national and international writers ? CSR specialists, researchers, consultants, corporate CSR practitioners and others. Content was also provided by leading international CSR organizations and institutions. These included Carbon Disclosure Project, CorporateResponsibilty.net, Economist Intelligence Unit. GRI – Global Reporting Initiative, GRIST, IZT – Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessments, MHCI, Mygreenweek.com, Schuitema Associates and WorldChanging.com.
In February 2009 the website www.tbl.com.pk was launched and it soon had a high visibility on search engines, while tbl.com.pk
With a view to growing TBL into a broader-based CSR platform, the management launched a new growth strategy at the start of 2011.
To start off, we have opted for a new logo as is to be seen here and on our stationery and website. The previous logo with tbl written in small font has been replaced by TBL written in capital font, with the ‘B’ of TBL including the digit ?3?, to represent the triple bottom-line concept. While TBL is written in forest green, the words TRIPLE BOTTOM-LINE are in Mediterranean blue.
Another major change is our departure from using People, Planet, Profits for the triple bottom-line to adopting People, Planet, Prosperity, as derived from the proceedings at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September 2002. Profits, without prosperity we feel are meaningless, and hence the triple bottom-line is better represented by People, Planet & Prosperity.
Given the huge worldwide response to our website, it was obvious to us that our audience is really global, just as our subject area is. We therefore decided to create a much stronger and effective online presence. As a consequence, the bi-monthly print edition of TBL was ceased as a regular publication after 19 issues, with the print version now to come out as special editions from time to time.
Thus the TBL website, www.tbl.com.pk has been revamped to become a hybrid website-blog. Whereas previously the website content only used to change every 2 months when a new print edition of TBL came out, now the hybrid has regular content update, allows exchange of ideas and information almost in real time and caters for much higher interactivity.
We believe our migration from a print to an online presence is not only environmentally friendly, but will also lead to a far greater and a much more efficient flow of CSR knowledge and work better for our Mission, “To pioneer the dissemination of specialized CSR knowledge in Pakistan and be a platform for informed discussion internationally, with the goal of facilitating the creation of a more entrenched sustainability culture in our world.”
Simultaneously TBL is undertaking a range of other activities to further its Vision and Mission through a broad-based approach. The areas of our activity include stakeholder engagement, sustainability report writing, trainings, seminars and conferences. There is also a long-term and scalable programme that will be launched soon, involving the corporate sector directly in sustainable value creation in pursuit of the triple bottom-line.
Moving forward, we solicit interest of people and organizations who share our mission, in strategic partnerships with TBL.