Going green not only benefits the environment but also your business’ bottom line. By choosing more sustainable products and processes at your business, you’re helping to care for your employees, your community and the world around you. Since going green requires changes – sometimes costly additions or improvements – you might be hesitant at first to implement eco-friendly measures, but rest-assured, your efforts will be rewarded in the form of tax credits, deductions or incentives.
Focus on efficiency
The workspace you create for your employees should be safe, comfortable and allow them to be productive at their jobs. By “going green” in your work environment, you can also create a cleaner, more sustainable atmosphere that supports the environment and rewards your investment of eco-friendly changes. According to The Balance writer Jean Murray, installing energy-efficient systems for HVAC, lighting and water can translate into tax deductions as can high-efficiency changes made to the doors, roofs, floors and windows of your company’s building.
“You can get a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for building floor areas that have these new systems if they achieve a 50 percent reduction in energy and power costs,” she reports.
Look to the sun
If it’s possible for your business to harness the power of the sun, aka solar energy, for day-to-day operations, your business could qualify for a tax credit, according to Chirag Kulkarni, CMO of Medly and guest writer for Entrepreneur.
Murray adds, “An important part of the tax credits available to businesses for energy-saving is the solar investment credit. It is part of the tax credit changes made in December 2015, and it provides a 30 percent tax credit for businesses that install, develop and/or finance solar energy property.”
Think recycled supplies
For your employees to effectively do their jobs, they need supplies, and as the business owner, it’s on your to be the supplier. According to Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes senior contributor, “ordinary and necessary” office supplies including paper, pens and envelopes that are made from recycled materials could net you a business tax deduction. If you “green” your break rooms by stocking the bins with eco-friendly cleaning products, sustainably-made coffee or recycled trash bags you could earn tax deductions, too.
Allow remote work
Although it might not technically earn you an official tax incentive, letting your workers work from home benefits your business and the environment. Your energy costs will be reduced with less people using your building’s resources, and if your employees opt out of driving anywhere to put in their hard day’s work, then that equals one less day of harmful emissions hitting the atmosphere, according to CNBC writers Josh Weiss and Susie Poppick.
Going green to earn tax credits, deductions and incentives for your business can be achieved in small or large steps. If you’re building your business’ facility from the ground up, then implement high-efficiency equipment, sustainable materials and eco-friendly systems inside and out. Try to be as green as possible with every decision about the structure, function and utilities in your build. If your building is already existing, invest in recycled supplies and products and equipment that boast the ENERGY STAR® designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and encourage a “green” mindset for your employees.