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January 18, 2011

Program rewards businesses for superior environmental performance

MADISON - Participation in a unique Wisconsin program that rewards businesses and organizations for their commitment to superior environmental performance has increased to 46 participants, with the number of participating facilities more than doubling from 42 in December 2009 to 86 in December 2010.

Growth of the Green Tier program has been dramatic since the program was created in 2004, according to the 2010 biennial Green Tier report by the of Natural Resources.

Green Tier is a unique program in the nation that provides a range of tools to create a powerful, sustainable force for economic growth and environmental health. Through Green Tier, businesses, communities and trade associations are rewarded for their commitment to superior environmental performance, helping them lower their costs and become more competitive.

"Green Tier is a great example of the state partnering with businesses to help improve their bottom line and protect our natural resources," DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said. "This is a unique program that demonstrates how job growth and increased profitability can be found through a business' environmental leadership."

Green Tier participants who commit to an environmental management system receive recognition and regulatory flexibility including: innovative permitting, reduced inspection frequency with a functional environmental management system, limited civil immunity, reporting options tailored to business needs which also accomplish superior environmental performance, publicity, use of the Green Tier logo, a single point of contact at DNR, and more. Businesses that voluntarily audit their own environmental compliance and commit to correcting violations also face significantly less financial risk and limited liability.

Legislation passed and signed into law in 2009 made Green Tier a permanent tool for Wisconsin businesses. It repealed a sunset date for Green Tier and updated elements of the program to create efficiencies and clarity, and expanded the program's ability to improve business and environmental results.

"The report shows growth in businesses participating in the Green Tier program and the benefits they've seen through their efforts," Stepp said. "The results are clear. Companies participating in Green Tier are seeing measurable improvements to their operations and their bottom line, all while being great environmental stewards."

Green Tier works for Wisconsin businesses

Following are examples of successes by businesses participating in Green Tier:

More information on Green Tier success stories is available in the 2010 biennial Green Tier report (pdf; 13.87 MB).

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

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 18, 2011

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