Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
July 2004
Green Tier: Regulatory Flexibility Gained While Reducing Waste, Reducing Costs, And Improving The Environment

Wisconsin's new Green Tier program gives companies the flexibility they need to improve environmental performance while they boost productivity, cut costs, and grow their business.

Designed to recognize and reward outstanding environmental performance, Green Tier offers an array of benefits to responsible companies willing to exceed their minimum regulatory requirements. These benefits may include: permit streamlining, permit exemptions for environmentally friendly technologies, and more efficient environmental monitoring and reporting. Green Tier is the first program of its kind in the country.

Participation is open to businesses (both small and large), trade associations, communities, and non-profit organizations. Participants can be individual entities (e.g., a single business) or groups (e.g., several related businesses or organizations in a geographic area). Participants must have a good environmental record and commit to adopting a formal Environmental Management System.

A recent Green Tier-related pilot program has given businesses the tools they need to achieve meaningful savings and real environmental benefits. Here are some examples:

  • One Wisconsin power plant has re-used approximately 100,000 tons of coal ash, reducing the consumption of about 1,000 railroad cars full of coal.
  • A Wisconsin packaging company has reduced their methanol emissions 850% beyond current standards.
  • A Wisconsin polymers manufacturer has found a way to reduce solvent use in their cleaning kettles by more than 600,000 pounds per year, saving more than $150,000 annually.

"The potential of Green Tier," says Mark McDermid, director of DNR's Bureau of Cooperative Environmental Assistance, "is as great as the commitment and imagination of Wisconsin's business community."

For more information and to participate in a Green Tier discussion forum, visit dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/cea/environmental/index.htm or, call Mark McDermid, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 608-267-3125 with your ideas and questions.

-- Renee Bashel, Comm, Small Business Clean Air Assistance Program
-- Shelley Heilman, DNR, Bureau of Cooperative Environmental Assistance

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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