October 28, 2019 at 1:18 PM
In today’s age of increasing demand for green policy and environmentally-friendly business practices, going green is a great opportunity for businesses to increase profits as well as improve sustainability for both producers and consumers.
In recent surveys, both national and international, studies show that over 80% of consumers respect eco-friendly companies, and more than half of consumers prefer to do business with companies with good environmental reputations. The demand for green products is increasing, as consumers are becoming more savvy about reading labels and identifying green certifications.
More and more employees are demanding green policies in the workplace as well, which has an array of benefits to businesses. Overhead costs can be cut drastically by simply shutting off lights in unused areas, and printing less can cut the budget for consumables considerably. Along with workspace improvement, businesses can reap the financial rewards of state and federal renewable energy tax credits. The state of Iowa has wind, solar, and geo-thermal heat tax credits, increasing the incentives for using more green energy.
Most importantly, going green for business is ultimately good for the long-term health of the earth. Reducing waste, producing more green products, and practicing sustainability in the workplace will reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, and curb the usage of non-renewable resources. Along with increased public support, profit, and healthier work environments, businesses working together to increase the quality of life on our planet is the most demanded outcome. In a world of costs and benefits, going green dominates with plenty of positive externalities for businesses while simultaneously creating a better home for future generations.
Iowa is a leader in wind energy production with 36% or 6951 MW of our energy coming from wind in 2016. With major investments and development of new projects under construction, the state will get to 10 MW by 2020 In Iowa. And reinvestment in aging turbine remains strong with Midamerican spending $1 billion on upgrading about 700 wind turbines across the state. The demand for green jobs is growing.
Locally, Iowa City has committed to improving its community and businesses by declaring a climate emergency, and as of September 2018 the City Council had adopted the Iowa City Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. To help implement this plan, the City has announced the formation of a Climate Action Advisory Board. This community based, self-governed, and self sustaining board is committed to assisting the Iowa City Staff regarding the Climate Action Plan in ways such as policy research and writing, coordinating with local and regional entities, and day-to-day championing to influence action in the community.
To help implement and gather public involvement with the Climate Action and Adaption Plan, Iowa City is also proud to host a Community Climate Action Grant. As a yearly program, this will fund businesses that specifically promote or implement one or more of the 35 actions within the Action Plan. The maximum allocation is $5,000, and applications are accepted starting in February with funds being available the following July 1st. Information about the application process will be announced in January.
On November 21st, Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City will be hosting the first ever IC Climate Expo! Complimentary Big Grove food, trivia, raffles, and more activities will be held as City staff and local Iowa City business and non-profit communities come together to discuss how they are combating climate change. During this event the City will also showcase their findings on the 100-Day Study of its new emissions goals that they released in August. The new carbon emission goals include a 45% reduction of 2010 levels, and net zero by 2050.