While laudable, Durango’s efforts in support of the Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency by offering various cost reductions is misguided. Direct monetary compensation for doing something evokes extrinsic motivation. It is the least effective type of motivation.
The motivation we seek to engender is intrinsic. We want businesses to do the ecologically right thing, but not because it earns money but rather because it's, well, the right thing to do.
Instead of trying to measure the monetary sustainability value of a business’ efforts – a hopeless endeavor to which my consulting experience attests – establish an annual monetary reward for the “greenest certified business.” Enlist businesses and help them design “green” practices, awarding a certificate when they implement those practices. But only pay and loudly publicize the several winners of an annual competition that weighs all factors measuring a business’ intrinsic dedication to “green practices.”
Controversy gone. Mission accomplished.