As more companies embrace sustainable practices, businesses in North Carolina are leading the charge through innovative initiatives with funds from the Inflation Reduction Act.
Brad Ives, former executive director of the Catawba College Center, seized on IRA funding to pioneer projects boosting the college’s green initiatives.
“The projects that we can do with the Inflation Reduction Act help us lower our emissions,” he explained. “In particular, we’re looking at Scope One emissions, where we’re burning natural gas or operating vehicles here on campus.”
Ives added with the help of the IRA, the college has been able to work on projects such as replacing natural gas-fired clothes dryers with electric dryers.
Ives suggested the IRA can greatly assist small businesses by offering financial aid programs such as grants, loans and tax incentives, making projects more cost efficient. He recommends companies start by connecting with peers, attending presentations and webinars, and staying updated on potential opportunities.
“Looking for RFPs to come out from entities like ours. We’ll post from time to time that we’ve got an opportunity for somebody to come in and provide a good or service to us,” he continued.
The IRA is estimated to invest over $21 billion in clean-energy tax incentives for North Carolina.
Vicki Lee Parker-High, North Carolina Business Council executive director, said the trend of more small businesses seeking to increase sustainability. She explained their organization is actively supporting members in exploring how the IRA can be beneficial across various industries, especially as environmental, social and corporate governance tracking becomes more important to companies looking to be more sustainable.
“We see that growing, and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon because we’re seeing the larger corporations are starting to demand that the businesses along their supply chain also report and track their environmental and social impact on their communities,” she continued.
Parker-High added the Inflation Reduction Act is proving to be a game-changer for small businesses in North Carolina, enabling them to actively contribute to environmental improvement while reaping financial benefits.
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This article originally appeared in Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.