April 3, 2024 | Liam Miller, YVSC Intern

My name is Liam Miller, and I am working with YVSC as a Colorado Green Business Network Intern. During my internship, I will be collecting financial resources and opportunities for entities to make their organizations more sustainable. My final output for my project will be a database of the resources I have researched that are accessible to our businesses participating in the Colorado Green Business Network. An important part of my project is helping businesses understand the steps that they can take to reduce their environmental impact and that there are resources to help businesses easily implement sustainable practices. Below, I discuss the benefits of becoming a certified Colorado Green Business. 

The Colorado Green Business Network was initiated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment that provides technical assistance to, and promotion and recognition of, local businesses. YVSC administers a local pilot of the program for Routt and Moffat counties. Our role is to provide an accessible, Yampa Valley-based team with the knowledge and tools to walk you through the CGBN registration and application process.

Businesses that are considering joining the Colorado Green Business Network have many opportunities and benefits available to them, and YVSC is here to help guide our local businesses through the process of joining the program and obtaining their certifications. Many of our businesses start by improving the efficiency of their energy systems or installing solar panels, both of which can reduce utility bills over time and lessen their emissions. These shifts can also potentially increase property value, provide energy security, and are usually lower maintenance. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, Gen Z and Millennial customers are on track to become the generations with the highest purchasing power by 2030, and these generations are 27% more likely than older generations to support a brand if they believe that brand cares about its impact on the planet and people. By making sustainable shifts, businesses can improve their brand image and appeal to today’s customer base, while helping them feel good about their purchases. Since becoming environmentally friendly is an emerging trend, some companies and entities are considering going green, but haven’t yet. This can create a competitive edge for those who are going green or are sustainable. 

The government provides many financial resources and opportunities for businesses that are taking steps to reduce impact. There are tax incentives for green businesses such as solar tax credits, tax deductions for the installation of renewable energy systems, and tax rebates. If businesses are struggling to allocate financial resources for sustainable projects, the government has loan and grant opportunities to help fund projects that reduce impact such as the Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program or the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

With customer interest and financial incentives on the rise, there are many benefits to becoming a certified Colorado Green Business. If you would like to learn more about the CGBN-YV, how to join, and the financial incentives available, please visit https://yvsc.org/colorado-green-business-network/.