Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard (GIPS)

The Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard (GIPS) guide provides a framework for the long term and predictable implementation of green infrastructure. Green Infrastructure, like green roofs and rain gardens, is a cost effective way to reduce urban and suburban water pollution. However, establishing these practices in dense urban environments can be a challenge due to the time, money and space needed for proper installation.

Based upon the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard concept, the GIPS guide helps overcome these challenges by providing easy to follow steps to increase municipal teamwork, set polluted stormwater pollution reduction goals, and establish and prioritize green infrastructure installation.

The goal of the GIPS is to gradually but deliberately increase the use of green infrastructure and decrease the amount of impervious surfaces in a municipality. Doing so would increase the volume of polluted stormwater runoff retained on-site and reduce the amount flowing into the stormwater sewer system and surface waters. By doing so, the GIPS approach not only advances the water quality objectives of the Clean Water Act, but it is also a useful tool for community-scale green infrastructure planning and prioritization.

Key Subjects Covered include:

  • Setting green infrastructure goals
  • Selecting optimal project zones
  • Identifying green infrastructure features
  • Calculating Project Baselines
  • Green Infrastructure policy options
  • Utlizing The Green Values Calculator©


The guide is a joint project of American Rivers, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. The concepts in the guide were developed around actual on-the-ground work done in Grand Rapids, MI and Milwaukee, WI.