Nike Commits $1 Million to Benefit Oregon Public Schools

Nike Commits $1 Million to Benefit Oregon Public Schools

a href=http://www.greenbiz.com/frame/1.cfm?targetsite=http://www.nike.com>Nike, Inc. and the Oregon Office of Energy have announced a partnership that will direct $1 million of Nike’s Oregon income tax liability into the Oregon Office of Energy’s Business Energy Tax Credit pass-through program. The money will help fund energy conservation projects at eligible public schools across the state.

“Energy conservation is just one benefit of the Business Energy Tax Credit program,” said Courtney Wilton, business manager of the David Douglas school district, where Nike serves as a funding partner to three schools. “Over time, each of these schools will see lower overall operating costs as a result of the lighting upgrades they’ve already made.”

Over the next 12 months, Nike’s $1 million commitment will fund about 27% of the Oregon Office of Energy’s planned $3.7 million of energy conservation projects at up to 100 eligible Oregon public schools, including Astoria Middle School, Powers Elementary, Powers High School, Gilbert Heights Elementary, Gilbert Park Elementary, and Floyd Light Middle School.

“We are honored to work with the Oregon Office of Energy and public schools across the state on what we believe is a win-win partnership for everyone involved,” said Jim Petsche, Nike’s director of corporate facilities. “This partnership represents how businesses and government in Oregon can come together to support two of Oregon’s most valuable resources—our public schools and our environment.”

The Oregon Office of Energy Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) program began in 1978 and encourages investment in energy conservation and renewable resources by allowing Oregon businesses to claim up to 35% of the cost of energy-conservation, renewable-resource, or recycling projects as a credit against state income taxes owed.

The new BETC pass-through option helps schools, tribes, and others without tax liability to fund energy-efficiency projects. By working with a partner, a school can transfer a tax credit in return for a lump-sum cash payment from the partner.

“The Business Energy Tax Credit pass-through program helps fund school energy efficiency projects that might not otherwise happen,” said Michael W. Grainey, director of the Oregon Office of Energy. “And the bottom line is that it leads to lower energy bills for the schools. It’s our hope that other corporations will follow Nike’s lead and help out where they can.”