The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) published a survey June 12th that shows how Connecticut businesses are actually less green than they were three years ago. The last survey was published back in 2010, with 74% of businesses practicing sustainability. Unfortunately, that number is down to 66% for this period.
Despite the 8% drop in sustainable business practices, the area is still up from its 2007 results, which showed only 47% of businesses were green. According to the data, most companies cited cost as their reasons for not being greener. The vice president of CBIA, Pete Gioia, stated that the company is doing everything they can to improve the numbers, including offering incentives.
Gioia said in a press release, “The high number of companies involved in sustainability shows how important this is to Connecticut’s business community. The government can advance the greening of business operations by offering targeted incentives, helping offset capital investments and lowering the cost of doing business.”
Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is offering special financing to a number of businesses in the greater Connecticut area. This program isn’t just open to commercial properties, but also to multi-family property owners and industrial properties.
This long-term financing should take some of the financial burden off businesses, allowing them to add some truly energy efficient upgrades to their properties. Business owners are dealing with greater debt, like mortgages and small business loans. There’s a lot to pay for and the economy is down, so businesses worry about taking financial risks – even if it’s better for the environment and community. Having some help with the financial burden is the right step for Connecticut and this can include student loans and other ways to spur local consumer spending.
For business owners in Connecticut, this cost is added to their property tax bill and paid off over time. If the property is sold, the fee transfers to the new owner. If additional funds are needed for other green initiative, the property owner will need to take those costs onto themselves. Still, many green initiatives can be used as tax write-offs and may result in a refund at the end of the year.
So, how can a business make green changes without breaking the bank? I just found a website, it’s called NerdWallet and it’s really nice (I’m not affiliated with them or anything). NerdWallet’s business credit cards comparison page is a great place to start looking for a card that will reward professionals for any business-related purchases they make, including greening the office. Not only could these purchases result in a tax break at the end of the year, they may come with some excellent business-related rewards.
C-PACE, and the city of Connecticut welcome businesses’ questions about the program. On the C-PACE website, there is a resources page that details all of the participating municipalities, as well as eligible buildings and program guidelines. It is here that curious businesses can look into the program’s finer details and determine if it’s right for them.
According to the CBIA survey, businesses don’t go green for financial reasons. The survey concludes that business owners are still skeptical when it comes to the value of a green initiative. They see going green as something that costs them money, instead of something they can rely upon to save them money in the long run. It’s their hope that the survey’s results and C-PACE’s efforts will help businesses understand the benefits of a green initiative and work to make Connecticut a greener place overall.