Most businesses watch 1 bottom line. This one keeps an eye on 3. That's why people love 'em.

What they're doing seems so obvious. So why isn't it happening everywhere?

Not long ago, things weren't going too well for Clarence White.

The young father spent too much of his early adulthood behind bars for "hanging with the wrong crowd, getting in trouble."


Today, White is among dozens of people who are getting second chances from a group whose name is as authentic as it is cliché.

They're called Second Chance, Inc., and they're a Baltimore-based nonprofit salvage company that trains people to deconstruct abandoned homes and buildings that would otherwise be smashed and stashed in landfills. Then the materials are sold at a discount for reuse.

Second Chance has a triple bottom line mission.

Where most companies' primary, if not exclusive, focus is to maximize profits (i.e., securing their bottom lines), a triple bottom line company holds their own feet to the fires of justice by making their their social and environmental "bottom lines" equal priorities to their financial bottom line.

They want their people to succeed.

They want the planet to live on.

And not-so-miraculously, their inherent goodness has helped them become a financially sustainable social enterprise.

Between sales, donations, and volunteer support, the company will be in business for the foreseeable future. According to their website, they've achieved remarkable results so far this year:

  • Labor hours created: 86,940
  • Consumer dollars saved: $1,854,513
  • Landfill waste diverted: 6,375,186 pounds
  • Volunteer hours donated: 2,898

But try as we may, the true value of what Second Chance is doing is immeasurable.

Here's to the rise of a triple bottom line economy.

Check out this report by VOA News and visit the Second Chance website to learn more.

Heroes