Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport Becomes the First in the World to Obtain AWS Certification


Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport (GRB) is a county-owned public-use airport in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, that serves Northeastern Wisconsin. Opened in 1948, it is the fourth busiest of eight commercial service airports in Wisconsin in terms of passengers served. The Brown County airport has two runways and is used for commercial air travel and general aviation. The airport has 27 full time employees.


In September of 2020, GRB management met with WMEP Manufacturing Solutions to discuss possible certification to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard, a globally recognized certification process. Taking into consideration the impervious surfaces that flow into natural waterways and watersheds, the number of aircraft and amount of airfield de-icing chemicals used and the amount of land that is farmed, GRB has a significant impact on the area’s water quality. GRB opted to take part in the certification process and completed the final audit in November 2021.


  • Registered airport with AWS and provided the AWS Standard and the AWS Guidance to the site.
  • Presented information to consider and draw a relevant catchment within which the site operates.
  • Provided stakeholder outreach, risk analysis and opportunity identification.
  • Identified, prioritized, and addressed risks and opportunities related to water quality, water quantity, stakeholder challenges, important water-related areas, infrastructure, indirect water use and governance.
  • Drove water stewardship plan development.
  • Developed a water stewardship commitment, strategy, and plan.
  • Created programs and documented meeting each core indicator for all five steps of the Water Standard.
  • Guided and validated systematic assurance of compliance with water-related requirements and regulations.
  • Completed analysis and scoring of catchment and site for water sanitation and hygiene requirements.
  • Conducted a pre-assessment review of the GRB Water Stewardship Systems.


  • Certification to the standard.
  • Personnel learned specific water-related impacts on the site and the catchment.
  • Increased value of relationships with stakeholders.
  • Formed new relationships and realized the opportunity to provide information and support for shared objectives.
  • Water-related ROI now framed on the enhanced image of the airport as a steward.
  • Developed an advocacy role for a major water-related initiative for a National Estuarine Research Reserve.
  • Personnel have a clearer understanding of water-related compliance obligations.

“WMEP assistance in navigating the Alliance for Water Stewardship certification process was critical. I don’t think we could have done it alone. As the first airport in the world to be certified to the standard, there were many unknowns going into the process and while navigating throughout. WMEP staff, with their thorough knowledge of the certification process, were able to effectively set us up for success when it came time for our certification audit.”

Marty Piette, Airport Director, Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport