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For Earth Day: 5 Environmental Tips for Businesses

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on April 22, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Happy Earth Day! Business owners who "go green" are not only helping the environment, but they can also reap financial rewards.

From tax incentives to energy saving methods to help businesses save money, business owners should consider helping out Mother Nature.

So here are five environmental tips for businesses.

  1. Government incentives for going green. Depending on your state's laws, you may be able to get tax deductions or credits for operating your business in an energy efficient commercial building. For example, the federal government gives a corporate tax credit to businesses that use solar, fuel cells, small wind, and PTC-eligible technologies.
  2. Be honest about your eco labels. If your business uses eco-friendly language on its labels, like "green" or "organic," be sure that you're telling the truth. Words like "organic" are defined and regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so if your product doesn't meet those standards, then you can't use the term.
  3. Reduce paper use. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the average U.S. worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. So encourage your employees to recycle paper rather than throwing it out. If you mail out bills to clients, give them the option to use an online e-billing program, so they can receive notices via email instead of snail mail.
  4. Get the proper environmental permits. Some businesses need environmental permits to operate legally, according to the U.S. Small Business Association. Permits are issued and regulated on a state and local level, so check with your state's environmental agency. For example, in Ohio, dry cleaners using perc are required to obtain air pollution permits for their dry cleaning machines.
  5. Update company policy. A final environmental tip for your business is to update company policy. Something as simple as getting your employees to shut off all lights and machines when away from their desks for more than an hour could make an impact for Earth Day.

As the saying goes: Make Earth Day every day. Try to incorporate these environmental tips in your business' operation for the long run.

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