Sustainability

Energy conservation and the use of renewable energy are important elements of Greater Mankato's healthy economic climate and future. We have created this page to provide information on the many resources available throughout our region. In September, the Envision 2020 Green Building Group, along with Greater Mankato Growth, conducted a survey to assess area businesses’ status and knowledge level of energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy. The information we received from the survey results led us to create this site. If you know of additional resources not yet included here, please email us, so that can share them with the business community.

 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offering small-business grants to clean the air

The Business Assistance unit (non-regulatory) at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering $320,000 in grants to help small businesses reduce their harmful air emissions. The MPCA will offer matching grant funds up to $100,000. Reducing your Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can help Mankato area businesses save money because it reduces the amount of hazardous waste you need to dispose of and be permitted for, use less chemicals in your operations, and have the ability to promote your green business to the local community. It also means less exposure and better health for workers, and helps keep us within federal ozone standards. MPCA has also partnered with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) to offer free technical assistance to determine the most effective way your individual facility or business can reduce VOC emissions. The grants will help small businesses in the Mankato area such as auto body shops, print shops, and dry cleaners take steps to help reduce VOCs.

Minnesota is hovering close to the national air quality standard for ozone and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to tighten the limit in the next couple of years.  If that happens, the costs for keeping our air safe to breathe could go up and affect Mankato area businesses.

You can apply for VOC reduction grants now until August 13, 2014.  To apply or for more information, visit http://www.pca.state.mn.us/voc. For questions about how your business can reduce VOCs, please contact Eric David at eric.david@state.mn.us or 651-757-2218. 

 

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy ) 

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy ) is a financing tool used to assist commercial and industrial businesses (including agri-business) with improvements that substantially increase energy efficiency.  PACE allows businesses to make these fixture improvements without the up-front capital outlay.  Costs for the improvements are paid back through a special assessment on their taxes.  The increase in property taxes is offset by the decrease in energy costs so that the business sees no change in the bottom line. 

 

The Southwest Regional Development Commission is excited to announce the implementation of a new financing tool available to businesses in the 18-County Rural Minnesota Energy Board (RMEB) territory.  The SRDC, in partnership with the RMEB, will be rolling out the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program to help businesses finance energy efficient retrofits and improvements for their property without the burden of upfront financing.  We are hosting a series of workshops throughout the RMEB area beginning on March 17th through the 21st and still have openings at all locations.  https://pacestjames.eventbrite.com

 

Green Power Training for Manufacturers

South Central College is now offering training to manufacturers covering sustainability, energy efficiency, pollution solutions, waste reduction, water conservation and green chemistry. The Center for Business and Industry (CBI) can tailor a program to your specific needs or your employees can attend the full course offerings. Program costs may be covered by grants from the US Government. more info


Recycling Resources

Recycling Resources

 

 

Sustainable Business Resource Center

Sustainable Business Resource Center (SBRC)

Created and managed by Minnesota Waste Wise, SBRC provides up to date environmentally-friendly and cost effective resources created by business for business.

 

DSIRE

 

MN Energy Smart

 

Energy Matters Minnesota

  • Energy Matters Minnesota is a diverse group of businesses and business-focused organizations in Minnesota that want to be informed about the impact of energy policies and emerging energy issues on businesses, consumers, and the state economy. The organization, led by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, also serves as a public information resource to individuals and organizations and is an advocate on energy issues.

  • Xcel Light Rebates

 

Xcel Energy

  • Other commercial tools for business

 

CenterPoint Energy

 

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA)

  • Dedicated to their member communities and take responsibility for the efficient, cost effective and reliable delivery of electricity and services in an environmentally responsible manner.  Visit smmpa.com to learn more.

 

EPA Energy Star Program

American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)

 

US Department of Energy

 

U of M, MnTAP, Minnesota Technology Assistance Program

 

South Central College

 

Environmental Assistance

BioBased Products

Ag Loans