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Beyond Compliance Ideas

Last updated 10/18/2022

Green Tier participants - Here you will find new ideas to help ensure your environmental management system brings continual environmental improvement. We’ve pulled together an assortment of articles, case studies, best management practices and tools from leading organizations to help you continue to go beyond compliance.

Tips for use: Click on a topic area, click on the type of info you'd like, click on a specific resource. To return to the list, click your browser's back button. An asterisk (*) indicates introductory information on the topic. Remember to pick concepts that make sense for your organization, they are not necessarily "one-size-fits-all."

Additions: Additional topic areas will be added over time. Please help keep this list up to date by sending us links to your innovative resources.

Current topics
  • Air Emissions
  • Energy
  • Habitat Conservation & Restoration
  • Transportation
  • Waste Reduction & Materials Management
  • Water Quality & Conservation

Environmental components of a healthy sustainability program

Air Emissions

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Carbon Reductions
Articles and Websites
Tools
  • EPA's Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator: A simplified calculation tool to help small businesses and low emitters estimate their annual GHG emissions. Source: EPA
  • GHG Calculation Tools: A listing of all tools available from GHG Protocol. These tools allow companies to develop comprehensive and reliable inventories of their GHG emissions. Source: GHG Protocols
Fuel Burning
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Best Management Practices
Tools
  • Propane Fueling Station Locations: Find liquefied petroleum gas (propane) fueling stations in the United States and Canada. Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center
  • Woody Biomass Harvest Guidelines: Sustainable harvest of woody biomass from forested areas within the context of generally accepted forestry practices. Source: DNR
  • Woody Biomass Resources: DNR's Forest Product Services Team page on how they can help businesses with biomass. Source: DNR
Hazardous Air Pollutants
General Information and Data
Tools
Health Impacts
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Tools
Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
Articles and Websites
Particulate Matter (PM)
General Information and Data
  • Particulate Matter Basics: A summary of definitions, how it gets in the air and the harmful effects of particulate matter. Source: EPA
Articles and Websites
Refrigerants
General Information
Articles and Websites
Certification
  • LEED Standard for Refrigerants: Certification standard to eliminate ozone depletion from refrigerant use in new construction. Source: US Green Building Council
Tools
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
General Information
  • *Basic's of Green Chemistry: Overview of Green Chemistry: chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Source: EPA
  • Solvents and Green Chemistry: Information on techniques and applications for solvent replacement and/or removal in various process conditions, as well as methods to assess the sustainability of solvents. Source: American Chemical Society
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Tools
  • HCPA Consumer Product Ingredients Dictionary: The Ingredients Dictionary is a unified source for ingredient names that are now required by the state of California and accepted by Walmart, Target, and the EPA Safer Choice program. Source: Household and Commercial Products Association
  • Wisconsin's Emission Reduction Credit (ERC) Registry: Information on the WI ERC to assist facilities looking for emissions offsets to meet Nonattainment New Source Review permitting requirements. Source: DNR
Videos

Energy

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Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Articles and Websites
Tools
  • Emission Calculation Tools: Emissions calculator to help you develop emission inventories and track progress toward climate goals. Source: GHG Protocol
  • Energy Improvement Actions Register: Template register to help you organize and track your energy performance improvement actions that supports ISO 50001 Certification. Source: DOE
  • Energy Management Tools: Guidance, Data Collection, and Analysis tools to help with your organization's energy management strategy. Source: DOE
  • Energy Performance Indicator Tool: Regression analysis-based tool for tracking your energy improvement progress by calculating emission avoidance and cost savings. Source: DOE
  • Energy Team Toolkit: This FREE toolkit provides you with the resources you need to get started. Source: WI PSC
  • Portfolio Manager: ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool lets you measure and track your properties’ energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a secure online environment. Source: EPA
Net Zero and Carbon Neutral
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Tools
  • How to Achieve Net-Zero: Build a personalized plan to kick-start your business' net-zero plan. Source: The Economist
Videos
Renewable Energy
Articles and Websites
Tools
  • Guide to Purchasing Green Power: This guide is a starting point for organizations interested in buying green power - including information on the procurement process, supply options, benefits, and more. Source: EPA
  • Power Profiler: EPA’s E-Grid Power Profiler helps you see how green the energy grids are across the country. Source: EPA
  • Renewable Energy Project Development Toolbox: This EPA toolbox examines six key issues that have important implications for developing on-site solar projects. Source: EPA
  • Solar Siting and Design: Information and criteria for siting solar panels in ways that avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential impacts to the environment. Source: The Nature Conservancy
Videos

Habitat conservation & restoration

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Climate Resiliency
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
  • Business Case for Climate Resilience:This guide communicates why action to address the risks from climate change can make good business sense, and provides guidance on embedding climate risk assessment and evaluation of resilience options into business planning and operations. Source: AECOM
  • Companies and Climate Resilience: Mobilizing the power of the private sector to address climate risks. Source: Climate Centre
  • Fighting Nature Loss Should be a Business Priority: Many businesses understand the value of nature and are voluntarily shifting their practices towards sustainability and longer-term thinking. Source: World Economic Forum
  • Integrating Ecosystems into Due Diligence: How companies assess ecosystem impacts and dependencies in business decision-making processes. Source: GreenBiz
Case Studies
  • Adaptation Success Stories: WICCI in Action: Climate Success Stories are a window into the daily work of WICCI's members and affiliates. Source: WICCI
  • Beavers and Climate Resilience: Beavers mitigate the impacts of climate change , helping conserve water during periods of drought and enhance wetland carbon storage. They are one of the most cost effective and sustainable solutions for ecological restoration and climate change resilience. Source: USFWS
  • Climate Adaptation Case Studies: Searchable database of case studies focused on adaptation. Source: EPA
  • Climate Resilience Case Studies: Information from North America focused on resilience. Source: NOAA
  • Land Trust Case Studies: Mitigation, Adaptation, Carbon Finance, and Education Case Studies from around the Midwest. Source: Land Trust Alliance
Best Management Practices
  • Climate Change Interactive Mapping Tool: Choose many locations in our state and see their climate analogs — places in the United States that currently resemble what Wisconsin’s climate is projected to be like in 2080. Source: WCCI
  • Nature Based Solutions: Compendium of nature based solutions from around the world. Source: UNEP
  • Sustainable Best Management Practices for Remediation: Effective and practical methods or techniques to build or adapt a sustainable and climate impact–resilient environmental remediation site. Source: Interstate Technology Regulatory Council
Tools
  • Climate Resilience Portal: Examples and tools for resilience planning that can serve as models for future initiatives. Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
  • Risks and Opportunities for Change: Strategies for businesses to manage risks for ecosystem services. Source: World Resource Institute
  • US Climate Resilience Toolkit: Catalog of more than 500 digital tools can help you take steps to build resilience, from engaging a community to developing a climate action plan. Source: NOAA
Conservation
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
  • Business and Biodiversity: Learn how biodiversity is a fundamental component of long-term business survival. Source: International Finance Corporation
  • Business of Nature: Protecting and restoring the environment is good for business and essential for the world. Source: National Geographic
  • Conservation and Economics: Businesses can save ecosystems and support economic development. Source: The Guardian
  • Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin: ecological attributes and management opportunities that can be used to identify the best areas to manage for natural communities, key habitats, aquatic features, and native plants and animals from an ecosystem management perspective. Source: DNR
  • Natural Resources Foundation: Connect with people who want to help with meaningful opportunities to make a lasting impact on Wisconsin’s lands, waters, wildlife, and future stewards. Source: NRF
  • Whitepapers on Conservation: The Wildlife Habitat Council has assembles an assortment of Whitepapers on numerous conservation topics. Source: WHC
  • World Wildlife Fund Business Actions: A healthy business depends on a healthy planet. Partner with the World Wildlife Fund and some of the world's leading corporations to meet big conservation threats with an equally big response. Source: WWF
  • Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Source: Xerces
Case Studies
Certification
Best Management Practices
  • Amphibians and Reptiles: Wisconsin is home to 19 species of amphibians and 37 reptiles. There are many ways to get involved! Source: DNR
  • Bat Houses: Bats are important predators of mosquitoes and night-flying insects and can reduce these pests around your home and garden. Help keep these valuable mammals in your area by building a house for roosting and to raise their young. Source: DNR
  • Bird Conservation: Wisconsin is home to over 300 species of birds. Explore the information on birds and how to get involved in conservation efforts. Source: DNR
  • Native Plants native plant basics, garden tours and more. Source: DNR
  • Pollinator Habitat: real-world tested methodologies for developing valuable and effective pollinator habitat. Source: Xerces
  • Prairie and Habitat Information: Download information, guides, and resources about prairie management and more. Source: Prairie Nursery
  • Prairie Planting Information: Learn about benefits, implementation, and maintenance of prairie plantings. Source: Prairie Moon
Tools
  • Conservation Opportunity Areas: a map to help you learn where and how to help Species of Greatest Conservation Need and their habitats. Source: DNR
  • Landowner Incentive Program: Helps private landowners create and manage habitat for species that are rare or declining. The program provides management advice, assistance with management plans and cost-share funding to individuals and organizations on private lands — with a focus on the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Source: DNR
  • Local Engagement Opportunities: An interactive map to help you realize what natural features and resources are near your facility. Use the map to see opportunities for achieving superior environmental performance. Source: DNR
  • Nature Conservancy Gateway: Conservation planning, practices and regional information as well as calculators and handbooks. Source: The Nature Conservancy
  • Natural Heritage Inventory: partners with landowners, businesses, communities and others to consider potential impacts of land development and management projects on rare species very early in the project planning process. The goal is to conserve the rare plants, animals and habitats found in Wisconsin. Source: DNR
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: free technical and financial assistance to landowners (including corporations) that are interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land. Source: USFWS
  • State Park Volunteer Opportunities: View and apply for volunteer opportunities at Wisconsin State Parks. Source: DNR
  • Statewide Wildlife Inventories: Inventory and monitoring data submitted by citizens in order to better understand Wisconsin's natural resources. Data are obtained through individual projects administered through our Citizen-based Monitoring Network as well as from submissions to ongoing Statewide Surveys. Source: DNR
Endangered Species
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
  • Natural Heritage Conservation: The DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program helps protect and restore Wisconsin's rare plants, animals and state natural areas. Source: DNR
  • Protecting Endangered Species: The National Wildlife Federation works to defend, strengthen, fund, and ensure effective implementation of the Endangered Species Act and other core wildlife protection laws. Source: National Wildlife Federation
Case Studies
  • Natural Heritage Conservation Field Notes: Read the latest issue of the DNR's Field Notes. Source: DNR
  • Wildlife Success Stories: Through collaborative partnerships, bold efforts, and decisive investments, conservationists have recovered wildlife species that have suffered dramatic declines and even brought back species that had gone extinct in the wild. Source: National Wildlife Federation
Best Management Practices
  • Citizen Based Monitoring: Volunteer to help monitor and conserve endangered species in Wisconsin. Source: DNR
  • Endangered Resources Fund: Donate to help conserve endangered species in Wisconsin. Source: DNR
  • Help Conserve Karner Blue Butterflies: Wisconsin has an abundance of habitats that support the world’s largest populations of the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. Source: DNR
  • Species Guidance Documents: Peer-reviewed publications with comprehensive information for rare species that includes identification, life history, management guidelines, screening guidance and avoidance measures. Source: DNR
  • Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan: A platform to help partners, organizations and individuals identify and implement important conservation actions to keep our natural resources healthy. Source: DNR
Tools
  • Landowner Incentive Program: The program provides management advice, assistance with management plans and cost-share funding to individuals and organizations on private lands, with a focus on the Driftless Area of Wisconsin. Source: DNR
  • Natural Heritage Inventory Public Portal: A free online mapping application for planning on-the-ground projects to learn if a project may have impacts on endangered resources. Source: DNR
Landscaping
General Information and Data
  • Landscaping Tips: Ideas for developing a water-smart landscape for your facility. Source: EPA
  • Pollinator Conservation Resources: Region-specific collections of publications, native seed vendors, and other resources to aid in pollinator habitat in the Great Lakes Region. Source: Xerces
  • WildOnes Partnership: Information on landscaping with native plants. Source: WildOnes
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Best Management Practices
  • Commercial Landscape Best Practices: Quick read on mulch, shrub shaping, raised tree canopies, equipment, mowing, limiting fertilizer, leaves and debris. Source: Klausing Group
  • Commercial Landscape Maintenance: Quick read on pruning, trees, mowing, fertilizer, seasonal planting landscape debris and mulch. Source: Washington State Chapter of Community Associations Institute
  • Urban Gardening: How to grow gardens in urban and potentially contaminated soils. Source: EPA
Tools
Restoration Projects
General Information and Data
Case Studies
Best Management Practices
  • Beaver Restoration Guidebook: Learn how beavers can be a tool to restore streams and wetlands. Source: USFWS
  • Help Conserve Native Plants: Native plants support the entire food web by providing food for insects, birds, bats, small mammals and other wildlife. Conserving native plants is particularly important now that scientists are documenting global declines in insect populations. Source: DNR
  • Wetland Restoration Guidelines: Guidelines for voluntary wetland restoration. Source: DNR
Financial Assistance

Transportation

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Alternate Fuels
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
  • Case Studies about Alternative transportation technologiess: Find case studies and success stories about alternative transportation technologies, including alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and regulated fleets. Source: U.S. Department of Energy
  • Fleet Vehicle Case Study: A collection of case studies featuring commercial fleets that have reduced fuel use, fuel costs, and emissions. Source: Alternate Fuel Toolkit
Tools
  • *Alternative Fuel Toolkit: The Alternative Fuel Toolkit can help you learn about alternative fuels and vehicles; plan your infrastructure and funding; and act using the AFV Action Guide, facilitation materials, and other resources. Resources were developed in conjunction with a set of national workshops and reflect the latest stakeholder-input and research. Source: Alternative Fuel Toolkit
  • *Alternative Fuels Data Center: The Alternative Fuels Data Center provides info on solutions to energy & economic goals using alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Webinar
Commuter
General Information and Data
Case Studies
Fuel Conservation
General Information and Data
Videos
Logistics/Supply Chain
General Information and Data
  • EPA's SmartWay Program: EPA's SmartWay program helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. Source: EPA
Articles and Websites
  • Five Tips to Navigate Sustainable Logistics: Business practices to apply to increase sustainability within logistics operations. Source: Forbes
  • Green Freight: There are huge financial incentives for reducing the environmental impact from freight. By employing smarter logistics strategies, businesses can operate more efficiently and affordably. Source: Supply Chain Solutions Center
Case Studies
  • Success Stories: Case Studies in Supply Chain Engagement: Case studies showcasing companies that have developed and deployed innovative strategies to engage their supply chains, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, understand their shifting supply chain risks, and take advantage of market opportunities. Source: EPA
  • Supply Chain Case Studies: How CDP supply chain members are tackling emissions in their supply chains. Source: CDP
  • Supply Chain Case Studies: A library of case studies that explore supply chain problems and solutions. Source: SCM Globe
Programs
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Certification
  • SmartWay: SmartWay program helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. Source: EPA
  • The Supply Chain, Goods Movement and U.S. EPA SmartWay!: Finding ways to reduce the energy, environmental impacts and costs of moving consumer goods, supplies and other freight is becoming increasingly important. Learn how EPA, industry and other stakeholders collaborate through SmartWay. Source: EPA
Videos
  • EPA, The Supply Chain, Goods Movement and U.S. EPA SmartWay!: Finding ways to reduce the energy, environmental impacts and costs of moving consumer goods, supplies and other freight is becoming increasingly important. Learn how EPA, industry and other stakeholders collaborate through SmartWay. Source: EPA
Route Management
Articles and Websites

Waste Reduction & Materials Management

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Alternative or Beneficial Reuse
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Circular Economy
Articles and Websites
Certification
Composting
Articles and Websites
E-Cycling
Articles and Websites
General Waste Reduction
Articles and Websites
Videos
  • Pollution Prevention Mini-Webinar: Waste Reduction: Learn about three different approaches that companies took to reduce material use. Source: Minnesota Technical Assistance Program
  • Waste Reduction - Options for challenging waste streams: A showcase of one non-landfill disposal option for challenging waste streams in the printing industry. These solutions can be applied to non-recyclable wastes in other industries. Source: WI Printing Charter
Hazardous Waste
Articles and Websites
Recycling
Articles and Websites
Tools
  • Paper Recycling - Recycled Paper Content Calculator: A free tool to calculate the impacts of the paper you use and compare to impacts of different papers with varying amounts of recycled content. Source: Environmental Paper Network
  • Recycling - WI Recycling Directory: WasteCap's Wisconsin Recycling Directory provides a single place to search for haulers, processors and drop-off sites for a large range of materials in Wisconsin, mapping their locations, providing business profiles and handling instructions. Source: WasteCap
  • Recycling - WI Recycling Markets Directory: Information about and connects users to outlets for recycling various materials. Source: UWGB
  • Waste Reduction - EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM): EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, energy savings and economic impacts from several different waste management practices. Source: EPA
Universal Waste
Articles and Websites
Tools
Waste to Energy
Articles and Websites
Zero Waste to Landfill
Articles and Websites
Certification
Tools
  • Waste Reduction - Waste Audits: Waste audits identify waste streams, how it got there, possible diversions, and potential value streams. Source: WasteCap
Videos

Water quality & conservation

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Drinking Water
Best Management Practices
Videos
PFAS
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Storm water & flood resilience
General Information and Data
Case Studies
  • *Green Luminary Examples: Green Luminary tips and practical examples. Source: Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
Best Management Practices
Tools
  • *Commercial Rainwater Harvesting Guidebook: Intro to Commercial Rainwater Harvesting. Source: City of Milwaukee
  • Green Values Calculator: Calculator tool comparing the performance, costs, sand benefits of using Green Infrastructure instead of conventional storm water management practices. Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT)
  • *Permit Primer: What kind of permit do I need to manage my water runoff? Source: DNR
Wastewater
General Information and Data
Tools
Videos
Water Management
General Information and Data
Articles and Websites
Case Studies
Certification
  • *MMSD'S Industrial Honor Roll: Certification for companies who did not have any violations with Milwaukee's regulatory requirements for water management. Source: Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
Best Management Practices
Tools
Videos
  • *Overview of How Water Gets to a Home: Find out about the water service a typical residential water bill covers, and the costs of delivering a consistent, reliable flow of safe and affordable drinking water to your faucet. Source: Alliance for Water Efficiency
  • *Overview Water Rates and How to Conserve Water: Learn about what goes into water rates and a helpful overview on key conservation tactics. Source: Alliance for Water Efficiency
Water Protection
Tools
  • Forests to Faucets Watershed Map: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Forests to Faucets project uses GIS to model and map the continental United States land areas most important to surface drinking water, the role forests play in protecting these areas, and the extent to which these forests are threatened by development, insects and disease, and wildland fire. Source: USDA
Water Quality
Articles and Websites
Water Use
Best Management Practices
Videos