Philadelphia, the first city to provide a tax credit for sustainable businesses, has issued its tax credit application for qualified businesses.  Qualification for this tax credit provides up to a $4,000 credit and can be achieved either by becoming a certified B-Corporation through B Lab or by complying with City regulations (which can be found here). The bill enacting the credit was passed in December 2009, but only came into effect in December for tax years 2012 through 2017. Businesses can also receive tax credits for their energy-efficient buildings, hybrid fleets, and use of renewable energy sources.  For now the tax credit will be awarded each year to only a maximum of 25 businesses.  Nevertheless, this pilot program is a notable step that demonstrates Philadelphia’s commitment to sustainability and raises awareness of the financial, social, and environmental benefits of sustainable business.  

The goal of this tax credit is to help meet the city’s interest in increasing the overall sustainability of the city and the local economy, and attracting more sustainable business to Philadelphia. The tax credit helps remedy a lack of financial incentives for sustainable businesses, and is one component of the city’s overall sustainability plan established in 2009 to be completed by 2015.

The City Council’s announcement of the start of this sustainable business tax incentive program can be found on its website at http://cityofphiladelphia.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/city-of-philadelphia-announces-sustainable-business-tax-credit-application-now-available/.