Small business owner

Sustainable Business Toolkit

Resources to help business go "green"

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Building Improvements and New Facilities Commuting and Transportation Options Energy, Water, Waste, and Cost Savings Stormwater and Water Quality Recognition and Community Engagement

The Raleigh Sustainable Business Toolkit is a collection of resources and support programs to help Raleigh businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations:

  • Reach or set new sustainability goals and help our community meet the goals in Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan;
  • Save money;
  • Become more efficient;
  • Be recognized as a sustainable organization by your staff, customers, and peers;
  • Get more involved in the community and give back.

The Toolkit includes a range of resources, from solar panel installation, to grants, to free assessments and resources, to employee commute options for businesses small and large.  Looking for an overview? See this brief slideshow or watch this short video.

Interested in learning more? Check this page for updates on future outreach and webinars, and sign up to receive future information on how you can save money and be a more sustainable business.

Building Improvements and New Facilities

Building Up-fit Grant (grants given quarterly) and Façade Rehabilitation GrantEntrepreneurs, business owners, builders, developers, property ownersThe Up-fit Grant helps pay for commercial interior improvements that create new business use for vacant or neglected spaces. Choose sustainable upgrades like energy efficiency/HVAC enhancements, LED Lighting, kitchen upgrades, or renovating spaces with sustainable materials. The façade grant can include replacement windows that can improve energy efficiency. Matching grant funds for facility upgrades including energy efficient equipment. Saving money and meeting your sustainability goals. Show leadership in climate action by including sustainable upgrades in your property improvements. 
Green Raleigh ReviewLand developers, buildersCity land development review program for sites looking to add new or retrofitted green stormwater infrastructure  and/or energy-efficient infrastructure.Express project review, expert feedback, saving money on permitting and green stormwater infrastructure.

Commuting and Transportation Options

Commute Smart RaleighBusinesses (employee benefit)City transportation management program that offers an array of transportation options that save employees and businesses time and money.Personalized plan for commute options.
Real Time Transit Information ScreensApartments, office buildings, other busy locationsProvide screens in your apartment/commercial building with real-time information about City transit arrivals, bikeshare stations, and other mobility options. Provide this in your welcome materials for new tenants or employees on local transportation options.Reducing parking demand from employees or residents, encouraging sustainable modes of transportation. Transportation is one of Raleigh's biggest contributors to GHG emissions. Be a climate leader and promote alternatives to single occupancy car trips!
EV Ready Playbook and EV PermittingBusinesses, apartment buildings, anyone interested in installing chargingThe EV Ready Playbook is a step-by-step guide to installing EV charging at your business, home, or any other location. The EV Permitting page provides specific information about the permit process.Supporting electric vehicles by providing more charging, helping attract and retain employees who currently or in the future drive an EV.
Duke Energy’s Charger Prep Credit Program (Residential and non-residential Residential property owners and non-residential entities Duke Energy’s Charger Prep Credit Program is intended to provide customers with a credit to offset the labor and material costs associated with preparing a property for the installation of an electric vehicle charger. Increasing the attractiveness of your business with the addition of EV charging, charging at home, or saving money on charger installation prep. 

Energy, Water, Waste, and Cost Savings

Duke Energy's Business Energy Saver ProgramBusinesses looking to save money and become more energy efficientBegins with a free energy assessment and recommendations. Duke then pays up to 80 percent of the cost of identified efficiency improvements.Incentives for installation of energy efficient lighting, HVAC, chillers, and refrigeration equipment. Energy use in buildings is Raleigh's largest contributor to GHG emissions. Be a climate leader and reduce your GHG footprint while saving money.
Solar Permitting Guides (Residential and Commercial)Businesses or residents interested in installing solarStep-by-step guide to the city's permitting process.Quick approval for residential and commercial solar projects.
Waste Reduction Partners (energy, water and waste)North Carolina businesses and institutionsState-supported program providing free expert technical assistance for reducing energy use, water and waste.On-site assessments and consulting services to support environmental solutions that help you save resources. This program has many options and resources to help you be a climate action leader in Raleigh!
N.C. Environmental Stewardship InitiativeAll businessesProvides opportunities for organizations to set voluntary sustainability goals of their choice and provides no cost technical assistance; as well as opportunities to learn about innovative solutions and share successes through networking and outreach.   No-cost technical assistance, networking opportunities, and recognition as an environmentally sustainable business. This program has many options and resources to help you be a climate action leader in Raleigh and among your peers! 
Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit Businesses and tax-exempt organizations

The Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit allows buyers of qualified commercial clean vehicles to take a 30% tax credit on each purchase, with a max of $7,500 per machine. This tax credit, available through 2033, can be used for electrifying your vehicle fleet and other equipment such as electric commercial lawn mowers.  

The City of Raleigh cannot give tax advice; for more information on what qualifies for the tax credit, visit the IRS website.  

** Congressional Record from the Senate on August 6, 2022 page S4167 clarifies that commercial lawn mowers qualify for the tax credit (source).   

Replacing your company’s gas-powered vehicles, including commercial lawn mowers, with a more sustainable and cost-friendly option.   
Commercial Solar Tax Credits Businesses, nonprofits, and organizations 

The Solar Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit are available through 2033 to businesses offer tax credits for businesses who install solar.   

The City of Raleigh cannot give tax advice; for more information on the tax credit, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s webpage. 

Using clean energy to power your business while lowering your energy bills. 
Wake County Waste and RecyclingWake County businesses and residentsCounty waste management and educational resources for businesses including construction and demolition, recycling, reuse, and e-waste. Waste Reduction grants up to $10,000 are also available to schools, nonprofits, and organizations completing innovative waste reduction projects. Managing waste more effectively to improve sustainability performance, reduce costs, and improve operations. Be a Raleigh climate action leader and set a good example in the community!
Raleigh Solid Waste ServicesMultifamily property managers, downtown businessesCity recycling and waste collection offerings for multi-unit residential properties and for downtown businesses.Assistance with waste management, specifically recycling services. Reducing the cost and amount of trash collection. Waste is a very visible climate action issue. Be a Raleigh climate action leader and set a good example in the community!
Raleigh Water freeFILLBusinesses and institutional propertiesCity facilities and private facilities that volunteer to provide free water bottle refills on site.Reducing the number of single-use plastic water bottles that enter the waste stream. Attract customers, promote health, and set a good example!
Water ReuseBusinesses, schools, and others who use large volumes of water that doesn’t need to be drinkable such as to flush toilets or irrigate landscaping Reuse water is highly treated wastewater which can be purchased for uses such as irrigation, cooling towers, industrial processes, concrete production, and toilet flushing. Saving money on your water bill while reducing water consumption and supporting water quality in the Neuse River. 

Stormwater and Water Quality

Raleigh Rainwater RewardsHomeowners, businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship City funding for projects that capture and clean rainwater before it goes into storm drains and local waterways. Provides opportunities to create beautiful green spaces and support various environmental benefits, like pollinators and native species.Flood prevention and improving water quality. Receive up to 90% reimbursement on your stormwater project. Support equity and resilience by mitigating flooding and heat, two of the largest climate change impacts in Raleigh. 
Drainage Assistance ProgramHomeowners, businesses, site developmentCity program to address flooding or erosion caused by runoff from streets.Addressing flooding issues on your property. Understanding planned stormwater improvements in your area. Mitigate flooding which is a major climate change impact in Raleigh.

Recognition and Community Engagement


Volunteer Raleigh

City Volunteer Programs

Businesses, organizations, and individuals  Find volunteer opportunities within various departments at the City of Raleigh; as well as a list of volunteer opportunities at city funded agencies and organizations that provide services to enhance the quality of life for our neighborhoods and communities. 

Get more involved in the community and give back through volunteerism.  Receive training and join a network that provides opportunities to grow your connections with volunteer-based organizations and peers.   

Volunteer Raleigh Enrichment FundNon-profits  The Volunteer Raleigh Enrichment Fund encourages volunteerism across Raleigh and enables organizations to carry out their projects with support from volunteers who serve in a variety of settings, including community outreach, social justice, education, youth, food security, economic impact, animal services, and environmental impact. The application opens annually in AprilGetting more volunteers to support your nonprofit’s mission. 
Raleigh Environmental AwardsBusinesses, nonprofits, and other organizationsThis annual award program celebrates the best in climate action, community engagement and corporate stewardship in our city.Any business that has taken actions to become more sustainable! Showcase your sustainable business and climate action work by nominating your business, organization, or non-profit!
N.C. Green Travel Recognized BusinessHospitality, restaurants, lodging, campgrounds, events and event venues, parks, museums, and other travel and tourism-oriented businessesReceive resources and technical assistance to create a more sustainable travel-oriented business or destination. Designating and promoting qualifying businesses on a State-wide "GreenTravel" business directory.Receiving assistance on improving operations and incorporating sustainability into your travel-oriented business and/or obtaining recognition and a certifying you as a NC Green Travel business. Help Raleigh welcome visitors and community members and set a good example as a Raleigh climate action leader!



Jason Hardin
Senior Energy and Sustainability Strategist 


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