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Tax Incentives Needed to Drive Adoption of Low-Carbon Equipment in the U.S.

Sixty-three percent of U.S. companies believe government tax breaks are needed to accelerate the adoption of green investments, according to a global survey by workspace solutions provider Regus.

A key finding shows that operating costs are very important to 37 percent of U.S. companies that said they would only invest in low-carbon equipment if it were cheaper or the same to operate as conventional equipment. Sixty-three percent of companies said if government offered tax incentives to invest in energy-efficient or low-carbon equipment, they would significantly accelerate their green investments.

In the U.S., the survey finds that only 13 percent of companies monitor their carbon footprint and 27 percent monitor their energy consumption. Seventy-six percent had no company policy to invest in energy-efficient equipment.

Globally, the survey reveals that 37 percent of companies worldwide measure their emissions and 19 percent of companies measure the carbon footprint of their activities.

Other key findings show that 46 percent of companies globally will only invest in low-carbon equipment if the operating costs are the same or lower than those of conventional equipment, while 40 percent have invested in low-carbon equipment and 38 percent have a company policy to do so.

The survey finds that small companies globally are below average on their actual level of green investment, which indicates that short-term needs outweigh long-term investments, says Regus.

In the U.S., only 9 percent of small businesses (19 percent globally) monitor their carbon footprint compared to 31 percent of large businesses. Fifty-six percent of large corporations have invested in low-carbon equipment compared with 22 percent of small businesses.

This survey supports CDW’s study last year that found that firms were emphasizing lower cost as a means of realizing short-term benefits to the bottom line, and overlooking long-term savings that come with more expensive but more energy-efficient computer equipment.

Nineteen states have set energy-efficiency improvement targets and 29 states have goals for increased renewable energy use, but Regus says these targets do not consider the reality of low-carbon equipment adoption at smaller companies.

The survey also analyzed different sectors and found that media and marketing, with only 10 percent of companies monitoring their carbon footprint, was the least “green” sector, says Regus.

In all sectors, with the exception of retail, less than 25 percent of companies have a policy to invest in green equipment. In the retail sector, 31 percent of companies have a green equipment policy.

Although only 20 percent of IT companies have a policy for investing in green equipment, 42 percent of companies have invested in green technology, a bigger proportion than all other sectors, according to the survey.

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One thought on “Tax Incentives Needed to Drive Adoption of Low-Carbon Equipment in the U.S.

  1. The cost barrier is a significant hindrance for small businesses that are trying to become more energy efficient and sustainable, and it is definitely the biggest hurdle that we have found in our effort to help our small business members go green here at COSE. Small businesses often operate with thin profit margins, so it is difficult for them to finance green upgrades and improvement. They need to be sure that the investment will have a short payback period and that it will have a tangible benefit for their bottom line. Fortunately there is a field of research out there that demonstrates that energy efficiency and sustainability do not simply reduce energy costs and potentially improve marketability, they also improve productivity, reduce time lost to illness and lack of well-being, promote recruitment and retention efforts for employees, cut employee errors, etc. All of these can significantly reduce payback periods and boost ROI. As an organization, we are trying to make our members aware of these benefits through our programs, initiatives, and marketing efforts. I believe that once these components are moved from the realm of policy discussions that are largely relegated to peer-reviewed journals and insider discussions to more common place business knowledge, we will see an exponential growth in the trend towards small business sustainability.

    Tim Kovach
    Product Coordinator, Energy at COSE

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