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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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:
- Energy.gov – 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.
We’ve talked about how CSR helps companies before on the BE blog, especially with regard to Gen-Y employees. Responsible companies are much better at recruiting, engaging, and retaining employees than ones without a sustainable focus.
I got to interview Aman Singh of In Good Company about this very idea for HireBetter’s blog. (HireBetter is one of BusinessEarth’s portfolio companies.) In our interview, she laid out how good corporate citizenship helps firms recruit and engage top talent more than ever.
In the push to become a better, more eco-responsible small or medium sized business, sometimes the best you can do is start small. Just because you can’t do something revolutionary like replace your materials with flowers and soy, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make a green difference somewhere. Environmentalism strengthens company culture and saves money too, so if you haven’t yet, start taking small steps toward sustainability and then see where it leads you.