31 August 2009

Building material vendor promotes tax credit angle

More and more manufacturers are pushing their green products, especially if those products can be used for tax credits. Thanks to the stimulus legislation recently passed -- specifically, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- manufacturers are looking for ways to raise consumer awareness.

So it is with building material maker Typar, with a sustainability page on the company Web site as well as a new press release (PDF format) featuring products like the company's "Weather Protection System," a building wrap that can reduce your tax load:
Through the ARRA, homeowners can receive tax credits amounting to 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of energy-efficient improvements made to an existing home. Home builders, too, can benefit, receiving $2,000 in tax credits for building a home that saves 50 percent of the heating and cooling energy used by the average home of similar size; manufactured home builders can receive $1,000 in tax credits for the same heating and cooling energy savings. And, commercial builders, designers and building owners can receive $1.80 per square foot of the structure in tax credits for building envelope improvements that reduce heating and cooling energy by at least 10 percent.

Webinar this fall will focus on solar energy for retailers

I'm the managing editor for two magazines on the business of retail, and one of them, Chain Store Age, is partnering with Schneider Electric to present a webinar on solar energy for retailers. The online event will feature speakers from Xantrex Technology, a Schneider subsidiary. To attend the free Oct. 15 webinar, please register online.

28 August 2009

Glass tile distributor to buy carbon offsets for all U.S. product shipments

Hakatai, a distributor of imported glass mosaic tile, will now use carbon-neutral shipping on FedEx Ground and Expedited orders within the United States. The company has partnered with GreenShipping.com to purchase carbon offsets through Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organization.

I spoke with Amanda at Hakatai, and she told me that the company is using the partnership to buy carbon offsets for all product shipments in the United States -- and the company is absorbing the cost to do so. Hakatai will not increase prices or shipping cost to customers, she said.

26 August 2009

Report: Eco-attitudes are changing

New research from RSR and RILA concludes that attitudes towards green practices are evolving and that retailers are more and more inclined to put energy-saving, eco-conscious measures front and center, especially among green market leaders referred to as "Winners." From the PDF report:

25 August 2009

24 August 2009

A green checkered flag?

Laticrete is eager to boost its sponsorship of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup racing series, featuring cars that "run on clean biodiesel fuel." That's a photo of Laticrete-sponsored driver Taylor Broekemeier above.

But isn't green racing like the hot-dog-eating contest in which all the buns are whole wheat? That is, something inherently bad, but now somewhat less so? Well, far be it for me to be sanctimonious -- let he among us who has never ordered a diet soda along with a big steak cast the first stone. According to a Laticrete press release, "The racing season will offset 2,358 pounds of carbon emissions by running on clean biodiesel fuel as opposed to regular gasoline. In addition, the carbon footprint of the series is offset by VW and Carbonfund.org by new forestation projects in Northeast Louisiana."

Maybe you can can burn fossil fuels in the service of entertainment and still feel good about it.