A newer version of your browser is available. Older versions may limit your ability to access some of this site's functionality. Citizens Bank recommends upgrading your browser.
Earth Day isn’t the only time to think about the impact your business has on the environment. Taking steps to go green not only helps the planet, but it can also save you money and help build customer loyalty. In a recent Nielsen survey, nearly half of respondents said that a company’s commitment to the environment impacts their purchasing decisions, while two-thirds said they’re willing to pay more for sustainable goods.
Technology has made it easier than ever for businesses to go green. This — coupled with falling prices on energy-efficient equipment and fixtures — makes now a particularly good time to take action. The following tips can either help you get started or build on your existing eco-efforts.
Even if going completely paperless isn’t an option for your business, there are other ways to reduce waste. For example, arrange to receive statements and bills through email and allow payments to be debited electronically. Consider exploring systems that let you invoice and collect customer payments online (such as those available through online banking). Also look for ways to reduce the amount of paper used in your workflow, including:
Instead of traveling to meetings, consider attending virtual meetings via video or web conferencing tools. Many of these tools offer low-cost options for small companies, and include features such as screen sharing and virtual whiteboards that simulate in-person meetings.
Also look for tools that can help reduce every day trips for you or your employees. For instance, if direct deposit is not an option, consider adopting remote deposit or mobile deposit services — which allow you to scan and transmit checks securely — to cut down on trips to the bank.
Look for vendors that follow environmentally sound business practices, such as producing goods through sustainable methods or using minimal or recyclable packaging. Also try to source goods from local suppliers; not only will this lessen the environmental impact of transporting the goods, but it also keeps money in your community. Consider showcasing these green suppliers and any environmentally friendly brands you sell at your business and on your website.
Look to replace equipment that is nearing the end of its life with energy-efficient models, such as those with the ENERGY STAR® label. The ENERGY STAR website provides information on a number of business-focused products, including computers, servers, imaging equipment and food service appliances. If you own your building and have a fair amount of sun exposure, consider switching to solar power.
Today, a number of federal tax breaks are available for businesses that make energy-efficient upgrades. These include the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, which covers up to 30% of the cost of solar heating and cooling systems, wind turbines, and other equipment.
Many state and local government agencies offer tax deductions, grants, and other incentives for energy efficiency improvements. A comprehensive list of incentives can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)®.
Furniture, vehicles, and some types of equipment are often available used, and in nearly the same condition as new. If you don’t need the latest technology or features, buying used items can save you money while keeping those items out of landfills. However, be sure to weigh upfront savings against long-term benefits. For instance, older refrigeration equipment may be considerably less energy-efficient than newer ones. While a used model may be serviceable for a short while, it may ultimately make sense — financially and environmentally — to purchase a new one.
There are a number of simple, everyday steps you and your staff can take to reduce your business’s environmental footprint. Along with common sense practices — such as turning off unnecessary lights, heat or air conditioning — the actions below can have a significant impact:
Learn more about how we’re committed to helping your business reach its potential. Our dedicated business banking professionals can help you find the right products to meet your business’s needs; please call 1-800-428-7463 or drop by your nearest Citizens Bank branch.
The ENERGY STAR name and mark are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. EPA.
The zip code you entered is served by Citizens One, the brand name for Citizens Bank's lending business outside of our 11‑state branch footprint. Under the Citizens One brand we offer Auto Loans, Credit Cards, Mortgages, Personal Loans and Student Loans. To learn more, please visit: