Resources to Make Your Small Business More Sustainable
Beyond benefiting our planet, sustainability is increasingly expected by consumers who are concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases. On Earth Day, we're sharing actions entrepreneurs can take to reduce their impact on the planet and ensure customers, business partners, and other stakeholders know they are operating in a sustainable fashion.
Re-Watch Our 3-Part Sustainability Webinar Series
In 2022, we partnered with Professor Steven Mezzio, Associate Dean, and Executive Director at the Center for Sustainable Business from Pace's Lubin School of Business, and Richard Kravitz from The CPA Journal to present a 3-part sustainability series for small business owners. The series focused on why sustainability is of utmost importance, how to effectively highlight and leverage sustainability improvements when communicating with stakeholders, case studies of successful and sustainable business initiatives, and what effective sustainability reporting looks like. Visit our webinar recordings page to re-watch this training series.
Additional Resources For Building A More Sustainable Business:
Get A Free Energy Assessment From Con Edison and Finance Energy Efficiency Upgrades with NYSERDA
Energy use is a significant cost for all businesses and improving energy efficiency can help both the planet and one's profit margins. Con Edison, New York State's energy provider, can come to your business and offer a free energy assessment, also cover some or all of the costs associated with upgrades to heating, cooling, refrigeration, lighting, gas, and more. Notably, Con Edison's Small-Medium Business Neighborhood Program exists to incentivize and substantially subsidize energy efficiency improvements made by businesses in certain parts of Brooklyn and Queens (view the map).
New York State's Energy Research and Development Authority’s Small Business Financing Program provides two different low-interest loan programs for businesses improving energy efficiency, including a repayment option that is included on one's energy bill. For general tips to improve energy efficiency, see these resources from the NYSERDA.
Modernize Business Transportation with Electric Vehicles
If your business is purchasing a vehicle, an investment in a zero-emission car or truck could carry both short-term rebates and long-term maintenance savings. New York State's Drive Clean Rebate applies to both business and personal electric vehicle purchases and, combined with a similar federal tax credit, businesses who purchase a sustainable vehicle could see significant savings. If you're an entrepreneur involved more extensively in trucking and transport, check out the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program which provides incentives based on the difference in cost between a zero-emission vehicle and a comparable diesel vehicle.
Work with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute
An initiative from New York State, the Pollution Prevention Institute works with businesses, non-profits, and municipalities to provide cost-effective strategies aimed at enhancing sustainability in a variety of different projects. Their team of engineers and sustainability specialists will assess projects at no-cost and provide solutions informed by data, existing research, and the project's goals. Visit their website to learn more.
Reduce Water and Energy Costs by Assessing, Modifying, and Tracking Usage
The NYC Mayor's Office of Climate & Sustainability works with thousands of building owners across the five boroughs through their NYC Accelerator, which provides free, personalized guidance to make cost-saving, energy-efficiency upgrades and reduce carbon emissions. Contact them for a free building assessment.
If you're ready to do it yourself, the ENERGY STAR®Action Workbook for Small Business is an extensive guide with industry specific recommendations for tracking and reducing energy and water usage.
Inform Customers and Other Stakeholders About Your Sustainability Efforts
As you implement sustainable practices and formulate climate goals, communicating these efforts to stakeholders and customers can be an important differentiator for your business. Meet with a Pace SBDC Business Advisor to brainstorm strategic ways of bringing sustainability efforts into your marketing materials, capabilities statement, business plan, and other outreach efforts. All Pace SBDC services are provided to entrepreneurs at no-cost.