In the aftermath of 2023, which was marked as the hottest year on record thus far, the urgency for businesses to curtail carbon emissions going into 2024 has never been more crucial. Crafting a robust sustainability budget for 2024 requires a strategic approach that not only mitigates emissions but also leverages key incentives and long-term planning. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to develop a sustainability budget that aligns with environmental goals while capitalizing on fiscal benefits.
1. Take Advantage of Emission Reduction Tax Incentives
By converting organic waste into renewable energy, companies can not only reduce emissions but also benefit from tax incentives that lower the cost by 30-50%, maximizing financial returns while contributing to sustainability efforts. The incentives currently in place, including those for anaerobic digestion, are assured to remain in effect until 2024, demanding strategic action. To leverage these incentives, businesses must begin production before the year-end deadline. Below are some additional tax incentives that may be available to companies that implement sustainability measures:
- Alternative Energy Tax Credits
- ENERGY STAR deductions and initiatives
- Energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction
- Commercial clean vehicle credit
- Investment Tax Credit
- Energy Production Tax Credit
- Clean Fuel Production Tax Credit
- Accelerated Depreciation Deductions
2. Start with Foundational Sustainability Measures
Focus on fundamental practices to get started. Sorting waste, installing solar panels, adopting energy-efficient building practices, and minimizing employee travel are foundational steps. These not only set the stage for emission reduction but also demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within the organization (and are also great for marketing!).
3. Look for Cost-Saving Methods that also reduce emissions
Further explore opportunities to reduce costs and emissions by capitalizing on technologies such as anaerobic digestion for food waste. This innovative technology not only diminishes waste but also generates renewable energy. Integrating anaerobic digestion into your waste management strategy presents a dual benefit: lowering operational costs while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more about the role of anaerobic digestion in mitigating food waste emissions in our 2024 Food Waste Outlook Report.
4. Strategize for Long-Term Sustainability
Planning for the long-term involves engaging key stakeholders. Collaboration and buy-in from decision-makers, shareholders, and employees are crucial for the success of sustainable initiatives. To ensure that sustainability goals are integrated into the company’s overarching strategy, emphasize the importance of environmental stewardship and the potential financial benefits of long-term sustainability efforts.
Developing a 2024 sustainability budget requires a holistic approach that intertwines financial objectives with environmental responsibility. By strategically prioritizing emission reduction, leveraging tax incentives, implementing foundational sustainable practices, exploring innovative technologies, and securing long-term commitment from stakeholders, businesses can create a roadmap for a greener future while also driving financial prudence.
Sustainability isn’t just a trend—it’s a necessary shift towards a more responsible and resilient future. Embracing sustainability today ensures a brighter tomorrow for businesses and the planet alike.