Why You Should Look into Going Green
From retailers to manufacturers, from financial to high tech corporations, most any company can now reap the plentiful financial rewards of taking their business in an eco-friendly direction. Your company can benefit from tax breaks, government subsidies, savings from eco-friendly practices, and increased popularity and demand through your standing as a green company. So, whether you offer insurance or technology services, or you run a restaurant or dry cleaning business, eco-friendly business practices are a cost-effective, smart and responsible business goal.
Increased Demand for Eco-Friendly Goods Translates into More Profits
Consumers are increasingly demanding natural products and social responsibility from vendors and suppliers through sustainability and green practices. More importantly, many are willing to pay more for these values and demands. The Nielsen global online survey this year identified 66 percent of its worldwide study respondents with this commitment to eco-friendly products, services and businesses. The following green factors were cited in the top eight deciding factors:
- Goods made from natural, fresh, organic ingredients
- Environmentally friendly brand
- A brand recognized for its social value
- Environmentally friendly packaging
- Ads that spotlight association of environmental and social benefits with the brand
Tax Benefits and Other Financial Incentives
The U.S. government understands the need for sustainable and renewable energy. In efforts to support this approach, it offers various tax advantages to businesses that go green. This includes tax breaks, rebates and other monetary enticements. These financial incentives are offered on both the state and federal levels. Some examples follow.
- Business deductions for installation of HVAC, interior lighting or hot water systems that significantly reduce power use
- Tax credits and grants of 10 and 30 percent for use of alternative energy properties
- Tax credits for use of alternative vehicles that meet specific fuel-efficient standards
- Bonus depreciation for qualified recycling and reuse of certain equipment or machinery
Government Subsidy Benefits
Tax breaks are not the only government advantages offered to green businesses. There are a number of grants, subsidies and financing programs available as well for the company or entrepreneur who seeks to be eco-friendlier. The Environmental Protection Agency provides grants for qualified programs that are related to environmentally responsible approaches for a variety of business operations. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers financing solutions to business organizations that support green solutions in new construction, retrofitting existing structures and the advancement of green technologies. These are but a few of the many government subsidies available to companies that effect environmentally friendly practices and solutions.
The Business ROI of Sustainability
GREEN BUSINESS BUREAU
Sustainability ROI White Paper
This ROI Model for Sustainability covers 4 categories: Cost Savings, Increased Sales, Employee Recruitment & Retention, and Risk Reduction. This paper is ideal for building a Business Case for your Sustainability Program.
Increased savings from the use of organic and natural materials and smart energy use
Eco-friendly business measures naturally lead to savings. Practices such as energy conservation, recycling, use of water-saving devices, energy-efficient equipment, solar power and reduced waste help keep costs down, and have proven time and again to be far more efficient and cost-effective than traditional energy use.
Your Business Benefits from the Popularity of a Green Reputation
Green companies and brands are typically more appealing to clients, customers and employees, and this appeal is growing steadily. A company can increase sales to new customers who prefer to purchase from green businesses. The Nielson global online survey mentioned earlier supports this conclusion, as do numerous other studies and surveys that track consumer trends. With workers and consumers alike recognizing and placing increasing value on environmentally friendly products and companies, it makes good business sense for every organization to explore this option. In fact, if you’re committed to green business practices, it makes sense to apply for green certification, also known as sustainability certification. Earn the certification seal will help your green marketing and promote your achievements to your employees and customers. You can learn more about it in a recent GBB article: What is Sustainability Certification for Business?