BE Blogs: A Voice for Responsible Business

As part of our sustainability pledge to discuss best practices openly and honestly, we share insights that allow others to effect change in their community. While companies have responsibility to drive change internally, we believe they also can add to their insights and impact by sharing their experience with others.

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Browsing articles from "March, 2012"

Death, Sustainability, and Taxes (or lack thereof)

Mar 28, 2012   //   by Bradley Short   //   Accounting & Finance, Operations Management, Project Management  //  No Comments

I read a figure from Ernst & Young last week that shocked me.  In a recent survey, nearly 40% of tax department respondents inside of companies that have a sustainability strategy were completely unaware of any green tax incentives that may be available to them.  To me, this says two major things:

One: sustainability departments are insufficiently aware of the many federal, state, and local tax incentives that are available to them.

And two: sustainability is good business, even without tax savings, for many companies.

To address that first point, I encourage you to take a look at the following resources, which may help you find incentives that are relevant to your business:

  • – a federal listing of energy savings incentives
  • DSIRE – The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
  • EPA Funding Opportunities – though not directly tax-related, this is a list of resources for getting funding for green facilities projects

Additionally, there are far too many local incentives to list, but you should look to see what is available in your own city.

And on that second point, I’m somewhat encouraged that such a large group of companies realize that sustainability is a vital key to their success, even without governmental help.  Though I hope that more businesses take advantage of what is available so that they will continue to grow.

What incentives does your company enjoy?  And do you know of any more resources to help other businesses find them?  If so, please share with us in the comment section below.

SXSW Panel Provokes the Uninspired Part 1: What is Your Vision?

Mar 21, 2012   //   by Lacey Miller   //   Blog  //  No Comments

One of the most impactful SXSWi panels I attended was the Creative Energy: Renewing the Fight for Renewables session where Tara DePort of the Human Impacts Institute  presented a series of questions:

  • What’s your vision?
  • What’s your ask?
  • What are you going to give?

Now, the wheels are turning…

Sustainability captures the passion for change; change that will better our environment, our communities and our economies. As I defined sustainability in my last post, I realize that I need to think about my vision. I need to have a purpose behind my ambition and a mission that I can work toward.

Joel Barker takes the stance that “vision without action is a dream; action without vision is simply passing the time; action with vision is making a positive difference.” He wasn’t specifically discussing sustainability but his statement is thought-provoking and very effective in discussing green initiatives.

Growing movements like Purpose and the Canary Project’s Green Patriot Posters are making it easier to ‘take action’, whether through volunteering, through donation, education, and even the arts. As people get more passionate about sustainability, they are looking for an organization with which to take action. But I feel that has been the easy part; there are numerous groups building a network of sustainability professionals and enthusiast. And, as that is the beginning, we also need to foster people’s desire to find their vision.

Helen Keller famously said, “It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” If that doesn’t push you to figure out and realize your vision, then read it again.

My vision: I want to be a catalyst for a sustainable society; I want to work with corporations to change the way we operate big business; and I want to succeed in showing the positive economic impacts of sustainability.

What is your vision? Post your responses to our blog or use the hashtag #GreenVision; let’s get people motivated to brainstorm and define theirs!

SXSW and the Rise of Cleanweb

Mar 11, 2012   //   by Bradley Short   //   Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, The Environment  //  No Comments

SXSW Interactive 2012 is off to a great start. Over the last few days, I’ve seen many fantastic panels and talked with interesting folks who are doing some really cool things in sustainability.



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