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February 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Wisconsin businesses will gain access to some of the nation's leading strategists on how to improve their bottom line and their environmental performance through a new council of businesses, investment experts, academics, nongovernmental organizations and government agencies.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is a founding member of the newly formed Stewardship Action Council, an organization dedicated to promoting and improving sustainable and socially responsible business practices, and to recognizing those companies and organizations publicly committed to those goals.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp noted that Wisconsin, through its Green Tier program, has led the nation in providing opportunities for companies committed to better environmental and economic performance.

"We're very pleased to be a founding member for this initiative, which can build additional value for Green Tier participants and create even more opportunities for them to gain recognition and market exposure for their commitment."

Mark McDermid, who leads DNR's Green Tier program and who will be Wisconsin's representative to the council, says that the real power of this organization "will be in the kind of collaborative problem-solving where NGOs, academics and other states and business come together to talk about how other environmental and economic gains can be recognized -- whether new products, new approaches to regulatory problem solving, or better credibility and recognition for actions any party has taken in the past."

Through Green Tier, Wisconsin businesses, communities and trade associations are rewarded for their commitment to superior environmental performance, helping them lower their costs and become more competitive. In 2010, the number of participants in the program more than doubled to 86.

Stewardship Action Council members include Audubon International, BMW, Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Washington State Department of Ecology are among the public agencies in the council.

Membership is open to industrial facilities, academic institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, the investment community and trade associations.

For more information on the Stewardship Action Council or its membership, or if you are interested in joining the Council, please visit the council website at [exit DNR].

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark McDermid - (608) 267-3125

Last Revised: Tuesday, February 01, 2011

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