Sustainability Resources

As the foundation for our economic well being, a main interface between visitors and the City of Duluth, and active community participants, we understand the importance of our businesses and the role they have to play in achieving citywide sustainability goals. 

We also know that no one operates in a vacuum, and “going green” can feel expensive when you face the tradeoff between adopting new sustainable practices or updating other aspects of your business. 

Below we have collected resources that can assist for your business in transitions towards renewable energy, adopting environmentally friendly best practices, and certifications that may be available to stand out companies working for a sustainable future. They range from free best practices you can implement and advertise to larger commitments such as solar installation.


It’s possible to save money and the environment at the same time. The Minnesota Chamber experts at Waste Wise have provided and secured more than a million dollars in grants for companies that reduce, reuse and recycle waste.


Energy is increasingly a major operating expense at all types and sizes of businesses. Energy Smart helps you grow your bottom line by finding opportunities to reduce costs and guiding you through the steps to receive financial assistance.

The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program helps Minnesota businesses comply with environmental rules, reduce wastes and emissions, and reduce regulatory obligations. Our focus is on small businesses that are independently owned and operated, have fewer than 100 employees, and are not major sources of waste or emissions.


The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is an outreach program at the University of Minnesota that helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement industry-tailored solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and costs to improve public health and the environment.

Is your Duluth business suitable for Solar? Find out using this map that overlays solar potential with rooftops!

Businesses located within the WLSSD are required to recycle by State laws and local ordinances. Failure to recycle may result in penalties for your business.  Recycling is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the law.

Solar Sense Commercial options

Minnesota Power’s SolarSense program provides rebates to reduce the upfront costs of installing solar, helping make solar energy a more viable option for customers. SolarSense is available to customers installing a solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system.

The program funds are awarded to customers on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers applying for the SolarSense program must submit an interconnection application, and a SolarSense application.

Minnesota Power: Renewable Source – Transition to 100% renewable energy now!

With Renewable Source, you can choose how much of the energy you purchase comes from renewable sources and directly influence the amount of renewable energy on the power grid.

For a few dollars more a month, you can add more renewable energy to the power grid equal to a percentage of your monthly energy use. It’s an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint with nothing to install or maintain. The extra cost is added to your regular monthly bill and the power is delivered to the electric grid on your behalf.

Business Incentives 

Whether your business is large, small, or somewhere in between, Minnesota Power's One Business Incentive Program has ways to help you save energy and reach your bottom line. By using a tailored approach and multiple means of delivering incentives we're able to find the "right fit" to help your business use energy more effectively.

Clean energy technologies and best practices are available, and CERTs staff are ready to help you figure out how renewable energy and energy efficiency can help your business or organization reduce costs and become more resilient.

Before approval and issuance of permits for Solar Thermal/Photovoltaic installations, applicant shall submit the following minimum information. Installation must comply with the manufacturer’s instructions and building and fire code requirements, including the National Electrical Code.

Solar systems under 1 megawatt in size that are placed in service in 2022 or later and begin construction before 2033 are eligible for Federal tax credits. More information is available from the Department of Energy on Federal Solar Tax Credits for Businesses at: 

C-PACE financing is transforming communities by enabling commercial property owners to make their businesses more efficient and resilient. The unique finance structure allows for 100% financing (including hard and soft costs) with payments rolled into property taxes through a special assessment. Payments are lower than a typical loan with up to 20-year financing at a fixed interest rate. More importantly, these investments tend to be cash positive with utility savings exceeding payment obligations. More information is available on the Minnesota PACE program website here: