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Audits and Auditors

As the Green Tier program requires participants to both develop and audit an Environmental Management System, this information is provided to give participants and auditors a full understanding about the Green Tier audit process.

When do audits occur?

Auditor image

Who performs the audit?


Green Tier law requires that a DNR approved outside environmental auditor must perform all external or outside audits.

Our goal is simple - to ensure that Green Tier auditors are a strong resource for you! We are working hard to keep our approved auditors proactively engaging with the Green Tier program and together we are making program improvements.


As a Green Tier participant, you can choose your own internal auditor. It should be someone who is competent and knowledgeable of the ISO 14001 standard or Green Tier functionally equivalent EMS requirements as well as having good auditing techniques. That person should be objective, impartial and not directly involved with the unit or area being audited.

As ISO states, an internal auditor "should be independent of the activity being audited, wherever practicable, and should in all cases act in a manner that is free from bias and conflict of interest." This could be an employee that has Environmental Management System (EMS) auditing experience, perhaps from another facility, from corporate, another Green Tier participant or at least from an area of the business other than the unit or area being audited.

How to become a DNR approved outside environmental auditor

Green Tier law notes approved environmental auditors must be either accredited by an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation body or meet criteria concerning education, training, experience, and performance that the department determines are equivalent to the criteria of the ISO standard.

Guidelines for becoming a DNR-approved outside environmental auditor are available (CO-519).

Exemplar Global Certification

The department has chosen Exemplar Global's EMS Auditor certification as the primary standard for Green Tier approved auditors. Exemplar Global's program ensures that auditors meet or exceed the qualification guidelines for management systems described in ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 19011:2018.

Requirements for Exemplar Global Certified Auditors

If an auditor is Exemplar Global certified as a Management Systems Auditor, Lead Auditor or Master Auditor with either an Environmental Management Audit or ISO 14001:2015 audit scope, the DNR will recognize they have met the requirements of an outside environmental auditor under Green Tier law.

To apply to be an approved Green Tier auditor, the auditor should supply:

  • A resume
  • An audit log from the most recent year
  • copy of their certification from Exemplar Global

All applicants must successfully complete the Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training course for final approval by the Department.

Requirements for non-Exemplar Global Certified Auditors

  • A certificate of successful completion of a certified environmental auditor course
  • Work experience in a technical or managerial role with direct environmental management responsibilities in two of the last four years
  • At least 20 audit days of environmental management system audit experience

All applicants must successfully complete the Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training course for final approval by the Department.

Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training

The Green Tier Auditor E-Learning Training course complements an environmental auditor's skills by introducing you to the WI DNR Green Tier program. Green Tier is Wisconsin's beyond compliance program where we empower, support and celebrate regulated entities that want to do more than is required in regulations and who commit to continual environmental improvement through an EMS. The Training Course will be sent to you with a secure link after your application is received. The course consists of 9 modules that will take approximately 1½ hours to complete.


Green Tier will review all complete applications and send the training link within 7 days. After training successfully completed, Green Tier will advise the applicant of their decision within 30 days.

Request Auditor Training information

Please contact our auditor liaison: Jenni Birkholz, or 608-266-8226.

Auditor Resources

The Word versions of the files will download automatically to your computer.