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Benefits and Requirements of Green Tier Participation

Webinar Recording Available Explaining Changes To Green Tier Annual Report Instructions & Metrics Form In Effect January 2023

These materials should be used by all Tier 1 and Tier 2 Green Tier participants submitting annual reports in January 2023 and beyond. You can find the new documents and the webinar recording at Green Tier Annual Report Instructions.

As a Green Tier participant, you join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in achieving our vision of protecting and managing natural resources while supporting the economy and well-being of our residents. Your participation in Green Tier can be defined in three ways:

Tier 1

The most common participation option, Tier 1 is designed to encourage innovation, collaboration and measurable environmental improvement. Tier 1 participants commit to:

Tier 2

Organizations who commit to Tier 2 have demonstrated a track record of environmental achievements. These facilities are committed to achieving superior environmental performance by meeting obligations described in a participation contract with the DNR. The contract offers the opportunities for additional flexibilities and incentives that are proportionate to the environmental performance achieved. In addition to contract requirements, Tier 2 participants commit to:


Charters provide opportunities and a framework for groups of businesses, supply chains, industry sectors, public sector entities or other groups to work collaboratively to further collective environmental goals that might not be achievable under the existing regulatory system. Charter members commit to:

  • Develop goals, member responsibilities and methods to accomplish shared goals in a contractual agreement.
  • Report annually on their progress towards achieving the goals established in the charter agreement

We recognize that your participation in Green Tier establishes you as a leader and your voluntary efforts to achieve superior environmental performance are part of your organization’s culture and systematic approach to reducing your impacts. Green Tier strives to help make your endeavors easier to achieve.

Our commitment to you is to provide recognition and incentives for going beyond environmental compliance and reaching your environmental improvement goals. As a valued Green Tier participant, we commit to providing you with resources and incentives like:

Assignment of a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) as your liaison to the DNR

The DNR is a large organization that can be tough for businesses to navigate. Participating in the Green Tier program pairs you with knowledgeable staff who can help you find the resources you need to move quickly and efficiently. Their proactive support and technical expertise can even help you identify opportunities to systematically improve your environmental footprint while building a valuable relationship with the department.

Stand out from the competition with a DNR webpage and Green Tier logo use

In today’s crowded marketplace, environmental commitments are becoming more important to your customers, stakeholders and supply chain. Green Tier is a program that acknowledges your environmental performance and helps you stand out. DNR offers a marketing advantage. We promote your work through news releases, social media, and a webpage that highlights your work. You can also use the Green Tier logo to build your brand.

Receive operational flexibility

As a Green Tier participant, you are eligible for the lowest inspection frequency provided by law. Tier 2 participants can unlock the full potential of flexibilities through a negotiated participation contract. Contract flexibilities could result in streamlined permitting, modified reporting or monitoring requirements, alternative compliance methods, or more! Do you have thoughts on becoming more efficient or want to pilot a new technology?

Protect your business from liability

Deferred civil enforcement is offered to participants should a minor compliance issue occur. The intent of this benefit is to acknowledge the proactive efforts of having an EMS as well as support your innovative spirit to try new methods to go beyond compliance. We know mistakes happen, so you are offered some liability protections for a self-reported and self-corrected violation.

We are also committed to helping you go beyond compliance. We've compiled links to case studies, best management practices, articles and tools that will inspire ideas to continue your journey down the path toward superior environmental performance. Check out this tool!