In this paper we intend to discuss a few current approaches to the sustainability development, in particular in the enterprise (or institutional) context; to investigate briefly a method of measuring and monitoring organisational sustainability; and to give an example of a sustainability monitoring system for a specific enterprise, namely for Qantas Airlines.
Initially the term “sustainability” came from agriculture and ecology sciences, where it is understood as the “sustainability of natural ecosystems” and is defined as “the dynamic equilibrium between natural inputs and outputs, modified by external events such as climatic change and natural disasters” (Fresco & Kroonenberg, 1992, cited in Bell & Morse, 2008, p.10). Today the definition of sustainability is generally applied to various socio-economical systems and includes “the capacity of a system to maintain output at a level approximately equal to or greater than its historical average, with the approximation determined by the historical level of variability” (Pearce & Turner, 1990, cited in Bell & Morse, 2008, p.10).
As for the sustainable development, it is a “development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs and aspirations” (Brundtland, 1987, cited in Bell & Morse, 2008, p.10). This definition has promoted a developing the Triple Bottom Line concept, which is based on the understanding of sustainability as a “dynamic balance among three mutually interdependent elements:
The Triple Bottom Line concept (see Fig.1) was coined by the sustainable business consultant John Elkington (2004) for the framework used to measure success of organisations, regions or societies taking into account three dimensions of performance: financial, social and ecological. The framework is also widely known as “TBL” or “Three Pillars” (People, Planet, and