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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As Americans think about military service this week, let’s consider one lesson that the military stands to teach our companies: sustainability is a strategic imperative. The U.S. military has been embracing green technologies for years, and more private companies should follow suit.
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.
At this contentious time in American politics, it seems like just about everything is becoming a political issue. Sustainability, sadly, hasn’t been spared the wrath of heated political rhetoric.
The ongoing debate about issues like federal subsidies, climate change mitigation, and natural gas fracking might make corporate sustainability look like a politically divisive thing. But that’s simply not the case. Corporate sustainability is as mainstream as it gets, so you’d better commit your company to a greener future if you want to remain competitive in the years to come.