The total revenues an organization reports on their income statement. While many activities within an organization are focused on reducing costs, initiatives such as innovative product and service development focus on creating more valuable and desirable offerings that increase revenues. Attention to human and natural capital (as well as financial capital) can often increase revenue by differentiating a company and its offerings in a beneficial way to the market. When this is done poorly, however, it can be seen as green-washing and result in the opposite effect.
In contrast, bottom-line refers to Net Income, equal to top line revenues minus expenses. Bottom-line activities focus on cutting expenses in order to improve income.
In sustainable terms, both a top-line and bottom-line focus is important. However, many last-ditch efforts to slash expenses in the short-term, actually hurt long-term sustainable value. Often, a focus on increasing top-line value through innovation and brand-enhancement can lead to more sustainable growth.