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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NYC Ei Partner Tours

Interactive Tour Hosts
Bob Zetty & Amy Moreland
In July, Elemental Impact Partner Heritage Interactive Services hosted the first Ei Partner Tours in their hometown Indianapolis, IN. The tours are designed for Ei Partners to tour and experience their fellow partner business operations and activities.  The IMPACT Blog post, Ei Partner Tours Launch in Indy, documents the amazing two days filled with tours, education, camaraderie and fun.

A second tour scheduled in NYC for early November to tag-team with Global Green's CoRR Food Waste Conference on November 7.  With Hurricane Sandy ravaging the Eastern Seaboard days prior to the tours, the group reduced to those residing in the NYC area or participating at the CoRR conference.  

The Global Enviro on-site food waste digester installation at The Shops at Riverside, a Simon mall, was the anchor tour.  Yet the mall remained without power and closed. Remaining flexible, the Ei Partners gathered on the first morning at Global Enviro's office for introductions and business overviews.  

For lunch the group dined at Les Halles followed by a tour of the Global Enviro system tour at the single-standing restaurant.  The ZWA Blog post, Food Waste: Too Valuable for Landfill, gives an overview of the tour and the Ei FB album, 11-05-12 Global Enviro System Tour, is the pictorial recap.

ELS office entrance
On the second day the partners traveled to Brooklyn for a tour of EcoLogic Solutions offices and warehouse located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  Mere days earlier the parking lot was under four to six feet of water yet no visible flooding evidence remained. ELS founder & CEO Anselm Doering impressed his guests with the integrity that infiltrates his company from the product to services to behind-the-scenes ethics.

A vast majority of the loft space is built out with reclaimed materials to create an eclectic, effective working environment.  The conference room, affectionately called the "living room," houses one of two "living walls" in the office. In the warehouse vegetable oil and restaurant spent grease is converted into biodiesel used for the ELS delivery vehicle.

SANeWater containders
ready for clean-up donation
Immediately upon gaining access to their space after Sandy hit, Anselm and his staff began filling one and five-gallon containers with SANeWater sanitizer made from the ELS cleaning solution system.  The santizer was donated to those cleaning the storm aftermath. In theory, each gallon of donated sanitzer prevented a gallon of toxic bleach from use in the clean-up.

At the center of the ELS’s sustainable products is their ECA (Electro-Chemical Activation) technology, which takes tap water, adds salt, and then passes the brine solution through low-dose electrolyzing chambers that split the liquid into a sodium hydroxide formula (eWater) for all-purpose cleaning and a hypochlorous acid mixture (SANeWater) for sanitizing and disinfecting.

A certified B-Corporation, ELS's customer base reflects the integrity of their products and includes Whole Foods MarketChipotleconEdisonNBCUniversalMandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and the Statue of Liberty.

ELS receives many industry accolades for their pioneering efforts in overhauling cleaning standards to effective products that harmonize with the environment. In April, the U.S. EPA honored ELS with a prestigious award. The IMPACT Blog post, ELS Receives EPA Award, gives the details of the recognition. 

The next Ei Partner Tours are scheduled for early March in Charlotte where HMSHost who will anchor the tours with their Concord Mills food court operations and Charlotte Airport concessions.  In addition to Ei Partners, several Ei Advisory Council and Strategic Allies plan to attend.

With each tour Ei Partner relationships grow stronger, powerful synergies emerge and important action ensues.  The best part is everyone has FUN!  Within the laughter creative juices ignite - these are the moments where the possible is extracted from the impossible.

Ei Partner Program Evolves

Along with the new mission statement and expanded focus areas, the Elemental Impact Partner  program restructured to reflect the active participation inherent within joining Ei. The IMPACT Blog post, Ei: New Mission Statement | New Directions, announces the new mission statement and Product Responsibility and Toxin-Free Environment focus areas.

In February, the sponsor program was renamed yet the joining parameters remained consistent with sponsor-type benefits.  The IMPACT Blog post, Ei Sponsor Program Evolves to Partner Program, chronicles the program evolution into its new name.

Ei's business model is based on corporate funding from organizations who determine active participation makes good, solid business sense.  In addition to a financial commitment, Ei Partners chair programs and committees, present at conferences and serve as industry experts in Ei initiatives. 

For example, Doug Kunneman, NatureWorks business segment director, is the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Chair and Tom Lembo, CleanRiver director of business development, chairs the SFCI Front-of-the-House Recycling Centers committee.  

Brenda & Steve @
Biopolymers Conference
Doug Kunnemann travels the nation with Ei in his capacity as SFCI Chair and contributes his valuable packaging expertise at conferences and in meetings with foodservice professionals. Recently, Steve Davies - NatureWorks director of marketing & public affairs - stood in for Doug at the Biopolymers Conference in the Role Biopolymers Play in Zero Waste Programs session.  FUN, Ei Stragegic Ally Brenda Platt of The Institute for Local Self-Reliance moderated the panel. The ZWA Blog post, Biopolymers End of Life, or is it?, gives an overview of the conference.

In the ZWA Blog post, Second Annual F&B Packaging Meeting, the SFCI committee chaired by Tom commits to publishing FOH Recycling Best Practices; a win for all involved. CleanRiver receives recognition for sharing their industry expertise and contributing graphics for the final best practices report. Owners of food court and other consumer-driven facilities benefit from the downloadable report on the Ei site.

Ei Parters on Indy Tour @
end of Hilex Poly Tour
Ei Partner Heritage Interactive Services inaugurated an important activity:  Ei Partner Tours!  The tours are designed for Ei Partners to tour and understand their fellow partner business operations and activities. The IMPACT Blog post, Ei Partner Tours Launch in Indy, documents the amazing two-days filled with tours, education, camaraderie and fun.

In early November Ei Partners traveled to the Big Apple for the NYC Ei Partner Tours.  Scheduled in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the group was small and tours limited to Ei Partner Global Enviro and EcoLogic Solutions NYC-based operations.  The IMPACT Blog post, NYC Ei Partner Tours, is an overview of the tours with details on the ELS facility visit. The ZWA Blog post, Food Waste: Too Valuable for the Landfill, is an overview of GE's tour. 

Amy & Chris in Newark
Ei provides zero waste consulting services for communities and Partners often join Ei founder Holly Elmore to share their expertise and experience with community leaders. In October Chris Bradlee of BASF and Amy Moreland of Heritage Interactive Services joined Holly for two-days of zero waste meetings and a conference in Newark. The ZWA Blog post, Ei Team Visits Newark for Zero Waste Education, is an overview of the powerful two days.

The Ei Partner Program includes three Partner levels as follows:

Ei Friend: ($2,500 annual)
The Ei Friend status is designed for young companies with limited funds eager to contribute their expertise and time to Ei initiatives.

Ei Partner: ($5,000 annual)
Ei Partners are the foundation of Ei success! Partner is the perfect description as the entire Ei Team works in unison benefiting from tremendous synergies and diverse expertise.  Active participation is a partner requirement.

With few to no competitors among Ei Partners, the synergies are tremendous along with an openness to share internal operations and programs.  An added benefit of Ei Partner participation is the strong business potential among partners. Selling is not permitted within Ei introductions yet relationship development that segues naturally into business transactions is highly encouraged.

Ei Sustainer: ($10,000 plus annual)
The Ei Sustainer status is for organizations who choose to show increased financial support beyond the Ei Partner level.

Ei is a non-profit under the Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 provision.  All payments under the Ei Partnership Program qualifies as tax deductible donations

If you are interested in joining the close-knit Ei Partner program and ready to commit to active participation, contact Ei founder Holly 404-261-4690.

The foundation is built and the sustainability rocket launched - stay tuned as the excitement is just beginning ....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Strong Leadership Maximizes Impact

Elemental Impact moves into new dimensions with an updated mission statement and expanded focus areas.  The IMPACT Blog post, Ei: New Mission Statement | New Directions, announces the exciting shifts and new mission statement. Ei's strong, balanced leadership team is critical to maneuvering the challenges inherent in an organization's evolution. 

This post introduces the Ei Leadership Team who works behind-the-scenes to support the Ei Partners in the important work accomplished.

Ei Chair Scott Seydel
Ei Chair Scott O. Seydel, CEO of The Seydel Companies, epitomizes the balanced leadership necessary to effect long-term changes.   An astute international business executive, Scott built successful enterprises committed to economic and environmental sustainability.

Over the years The Seydel Companies earned national and international recognition for their recycling and resource conservation from many textile and plastic associations, including The Society of Plastic Engineers, the Association of Plastic Recyclers and the International Council.  The Company was the first national winner of the EPA’s Climate Change Champion Award and for four years was selected the top EPA WasteWise small business in the nation.

In addition Scott devotes tremendous time to national and international organizations with environmental missions where he uses his excellent business skills to develop long-term strategic plans filled with current projects.  As Global Green Chair,Scott uses his national and global influence to direct action impacting climate change initiatives.  Scott serves as Chairman Emeritus for the GreenBlue Institute, Board Vice Chairman for the Container Recycling Institute, and Board Director for Green Cross International.  

Laura speaking at the
ZWZ Two-Year Press Conference
Ei works closely with the synergistic organizations where Scott serves in a leadership capacity. An example is the 12-12-12 Sustainable Food & Beverage Packaging meeting co-hosted by Global Green's Washington D.C. offices.  The meeting gathered the non-profits and trade associations throughout the entire food & beverage packaging value chain for a day of presentations culminating in an excellent strategy session. Scott served as the common ground among the majority of the organizations attending the monumental meeting.

Laura Turner Seydel serves as Ei's Environmental Advisor and is a solid force during program development and implementation. From inception, Laura served as the Zero Waste Zones Chair and was active through Ei's program stewardship.  As the founder of the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Mothers & Others for Clean Air, Laura is a powerful resource while Ei begins the Toxin-Free Environment journey.

Ei GC Greg Chafee
Ei General Counsel Gregory D. Chafee, an experienced corporate and commercial attorney, is a Partner in the Energy and Corporate & Securities practices at the Thompson Hine law firm.   Greg focuses on energy production projects and provides guidance to clients on matters related to energy efficiency, sustainable construction, environmentally sensitive building practices, and the utilization of green technologies.  In 2012, Greg advised on the development of the first utility scale (20MW) solar project in the State of Georgia. 

In addition to working on Ei legal matters, such as securing trademarks, Greg is a valuable resource within the business community.  As Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee and a Director of the Georgia Solar Energy Industries Association and Livable Buckhead, Greg serves as a connecting force with legal and environmental organizations.

Ei founder Holly Elmore &
Ei Treasurer Pauline Reynolds
As Ei Treasurer Pauline Reynolds was the guiding force to Ei securing the IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status within nine months of incorporation. A stakeholder at HLB Gross Collins, Pauline specializes in taxation and personal financial planning with a particular emphasis on estate planning. Pauline works with a wide range of closely held businesses to incorporate the financial planning process for business owners and their business entities.

Tax benefits are one of the driving economic components to a wasted food program in the development stages.  Pauline's tax acumen is critical to creating a program in alignment with the IRS regulations.

Scott & Ei Business Advisor
Sylvia Gort
With her thirty plus years in the financial services industry, Ei Business Advisor Sylvia Gort brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to the Ei team. Currently a director at Barclays Wealth ManagementSylvia's banking career began at C&S Bank in commercial lending, with an expertise in construction lending.  Through the numerous bank mergers, Sylvia thrived and was promoted to senior vice-president overseeing the Georgia unit of NationsBank. In 1997, Sylvia transitioned from lending to wealth management

Using her keen business lens, Sylvia’s pertinent questions and stellar advice ensure Ei creates programs that make good business sense for the entire value chain.  With work-in-progress on an office center zero waste template, Sylvia's real estate developer top management relationships are invaluable.

SFCI Chair
Doug Kunnemann
In his role as the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Chair, Doug Kunnemann utilizes his extensive foodservice packaging expertise to ensure the team develops practical solutions for industry zero waste challenges.  When not volunteering for Ei, Doug serves as NatureWorks business segment director with global responsibilities. Doug keeps the Ei team abreast of advances in packaging technology advances and new product introductions.

Ei founder Holly Elmore continues to oversee Ei's important initiatives and works closely with the leadership team. Holly's entrepreneurial spirit shines through as she navigates Ei through the rapids of the ever-evolving, fast-moving sustainability rivers..  

These are exciting times for Ei as accomplishments segue into new opportunities. With a balanced, committed leadership team, Ei is staged to remain in the national spotlight as a sustainability forerunner known for effective results.grounded in solid business sense.

Ei: New Mission Statement | New Directions

Elemental Impact New Mission Statement:
To work with industry leaders to create best operating practices where the entire value-chain benefits, including corporate bottom lines and the environment.  Through education and collaboration, establish the best practices as standard practices.
Since Ei's early 2010 founding, initiatives were zero waste-oriented along with complementary driving forces, such as packaging and food waste destinations.  The Zero Waste Zones took center stage with the Sustainable Food Court Initiative playing a strong supporting role. 

As documented in the Zero Waste in ACTION Blog post, Ei: An Established Program Creator, the National Restaurant Association acquired the ZWZ program with intentions to expand the program nationally within the state restaurant association network. Exciting news as the program may evolve and increase its impact within the depth of the NRA's educational, training and policy resources. 

The NRA ZWZ acquisition substantiates Ei as a creator and incubator for developing programs within the corporate, government and educational communities.  A common phrase in Ei founder Holly Elmore's speaking engagements summarizes the overall driving force in Ei initiatives:
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done. Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
Ei's tagline Sustainability in ACTION moved into evolved dimensions of impact and prominence.

An Integrated Approach to
In the zero waste arena, the SFCI moves to a leading role complemented by Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value with minimal energy expended.  Inherent within Recycling Integrity is replacing waste and recycling cost centers with recycling profit centers. The ZWA Blog posts, Emerging Trend: Recycling Profit Centers and Beyond Landfill Diversion, give overviews of the new focus. Replacing End of Life terminology with Perpetual Life Cycle is another emerging focus area - the post, Perpetual Life Cycle Systems - Simplicity is Key, introduces the concept.

With the 2009 ZWZ launch Ei gained national prominence as an expert in the early adoption of commercial food waste collection for composting. Future programs envelope two food waste frontiers: 1> front-of-the-house food waste collection in public venues via the SFCI and 2> wasted food "leakages" in the foodservice produce distribution channels - see the ZWA Blog post, Food Waste Reduction in Foodservice Distribution Channels, for the program concept and inherent challenges.

Using the powerful foundation built over the past years, Ei projects expand into Product Stewardship and Toxin-Free Environments focus areas. Many early zero waste adopters are complete with material management practice shifts within current technology and infrastructure and are eager to move their sustainability needle to new dimensions.  The new focus areas are in the development stages - stay tuned for exciting updates!

The new mission statement emphasizes the role industry leaders play in creating sustainable operating practices as best operating practices.  At Ei's core is ensuring the corporate bottom line is maintained or improved when developing programs and initiatives. Industry leaders ground theoretical solutions into practical applications while Ei team members document easy-to-follow steps for others to follow.  

As 2012 closes into 2013, Ei enters new sustainability frontiers, continuing to bring the possible out of impossible!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Integrated Approach to Sustainability

Elemental Impact programs take a holographic approach to discovering solutions where all parties, including the environment, benefit.  As Ei's zero waste foundation expands into Toxin-Free Environments and Product Stewardship, health economics is a natural segue to further explore program impact.

According to Wikipedia, health economics is defined as "a branch of economics concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value and behavior in the production and consumption of health and health care. In broad terms, health economists study the functioning of the health care systems as well as health-affecting behaviors such as smoking."

Susan Montgomery
Adding health economics to Ei's solid business sense approach is a powerful formula for creating systems where the global community benefits, including the population sector living in impoverished conditions.  Susan Montgomery, Ei program director, is the driving force for the health economics filter within existing and developing programs.

Under Susan's stewardship, Ei plans to work with complementary non-profits and government agencies to determine the health impact and benefits within our program implementation.  Ei will retain the three-tier program foundation structure:
  • First, Safety - food, personal, or health safety is maintained or improved.
  • Second, Solid business sense - from a holographic standpoint, including tangible and intangible costs | benefits, the end result must improve the bottom line (or least be neutral)  for the individual business and the community as a whole.
  • Third, Smooth implementation - business operations may not be disrupted. Thus, program stages and phases let operators implement new procedures with baby steps.
In addition to her excellent organizational skills, Susan has an impressive academic resume. From an educational standpoint, Susan earned a MBA from Boston University with a focus in Environmental Development after her undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College.  Respected among peers in the public health arenas, Susan was a guest lecturer in November, 2011 at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health  in their program on Global Sustainability and Health.

Susan with posters in Zurcih
In July, 2012 two of Susan's poster presentations were selected for display at the European Health Economics Conference"Progress in Health Economics:  9th European Conference on Health Economics,held at the University of Zurich.  The poster-style articles presented were:
When not orchestrating Ei's programs, Susan is busy with her own company, Health Comes First!!!, where health | environmental issues are analyzed via a systems-based approach.  Using the "Cousin Industry Analysis" format, three non-related industries  - food, energy and health - are brought together for simultaneous review. The goal is to reduce illness and climate impacts prior to occurrence. 

While bringing a health perspective to Ei initiatives, Susan plans to encourage health economics professionals to integrate sustainability into their platforms.  The tagline to Ei's Sustainable Food Court Initiative, An Integrated Approach to Sustainability, seems to encapsulate Ei's expanded directions.  Thank you Susan for bringing the health perspective to Ei!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ei Partner Tours Launch in Indy

In February Elemental Impact announced the sponsorship program evolved into a partnership program.  National and global leaders join Ei to work in unison on creating scenarios where sustainable best operating practices are standard practices as they make sound business sense.  
Ei is a creator and incubator for developing programs within the corporate, government and educational communities.  A common phrase in Ei founder Holly Elmore's speaking engagements summarizes the overall driving force in Ei iniatives:
Ei determines what could be done, that is not being done, and gets it done.  Ei brings the possible out of impossible.
The mini-bus was perfect to
maximize time together
With few to no competitors among the Ei Partners, the synergies are tremendous along with an openness to share internal operations and programs.  An added benefit of Ei Partner participation is the strong business potential among partners.  Selling is not permitted within Ei introductions yet relationship development that segues naturally into business transactions is highly encouraged.

In July Heritage Interactive Services hosted fellow Ei Partners in Indianapolis for the first in a series of Ei Partner Tours.  To facilitate transportation, Interactive hired a mini-bus with flexible seating and tables for the group as two of the tour sites were over an hour from Indy. Thanks to Interactive foresight and hospitality, transportation time was filled with productive business including introductions, networking and bonding.

First on the agenda was the Hilex Poly Plastic Film Recycling Plant in North Vernon, the nation's only plastic film-dedicated recycling plant. Located next to one of their bag manufacturing plants, a significant portion of the post-consumer recycled plastic resin pellets have a zero carbon footprint back into the production process.

For an overview of the plastic film recycling process, see the Ei FB album, 07-01-11 Hilex Poly Tour, that supports the ZWA Blog post, Getting a Handle on Plastic Film Recycling.  Last July Ei Partner Simon Property Group toured the plant in preparation of launching a plastic film recycling program for their malls.  The ZWA Blog post, ACTION - Theme for SFCI Shopping Mall Pilot, announces the plastic film recycling pilot at Concord Mills in Charlotte.
Dinner atThe Mesh on Mass
Interactive hosted a fabulous dinner for their Indy guests at The Mesh on Mass in a perfect atmosphere for new friends to further explore their relationship potentials.

The second day started at the Interactive offices where the group once again loaded into the mini-bus for travel to the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, about an hour north of Indy. Working in partnership with Interactive, the Subaru plant achieved 99.9% zero waste in their manufacturing facility. Absolutely amazing, impressive are understatements for the systems developed and implemented.  Even the dust in the welding areas is filtered so valuable metal particles may be sold. 

Entrance to Heritage Environmental
Services offices
After a lovely lunch at a local restaurant the group returned to the Interactive offices.  Bob Zetty, Interactive President, gave a tour of their innovative offices.  It was nice to see the well-used recycling bins in their offices and know Interactive walks their talk behind the scenes.  Creativity is integral to Interactive success - a large corner room with window walls along with comfortable chairs and couches serves at the "think tank room" for strategy sessions.

Last on the formal agenda was a tour of Heritage Research Group's Research & Development Lab. Located in an industrial office park, the lab serves as the backbone to The Heritage Group of 27 companies, 2 IPO's and approximately 4,000 employees. Chief Scientist Sibel Selcuk gave the group an in-depth tour of the outstanding facility. Integrity is woven within the foundation of The Heritage Group. The R&D Lab exemplifies the Heritage commitment of resources to ensure services and operations are substantiated with truth down to the molecular level.
The Heritage Team 

With the formal tours complete, the Ei Partners departed Indy impressed and inspired to cultivate the fertile seeds planted throughout the two-days spent together. To keep the momentum building on the first tour series, a sequel  two-day Ei Partner Tour is slated for New York City in October.  

Bob & Amy outside the
THANK YOU to Bob Zetty for the Interactive investment in hosting your fellow partners for two days in your hometown.  THANK YOU Amy Moreland, Interactive Director of Business & Supplier Development, and Ann Germann for your excellent organizational and planning skills - the entire two activity-filled days flowed with ease, grace and FUN!

For a pictorial recap of the Indy Ei Partner Tour, visit the Ei FB album, July, 2012 Ei Partner Tours in Indy,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Integration Key to Sustainability Success

An integrated approach to sustainability is necessary for integrity to prevail in evolved industry operating standards.  Zero waste initiatives are an important first-step and one of the lower hanging fruits within responsible business stewardship.  Material management by its nature works with tangible items that may be seen and easily quantified.

With many Zero Waste Zones Participants moving into recycling refinement, the time is NOW to move into frontiers with Product Stewardship and Toxin-Free Environment focus areas.  The pioneers who took leadership roles necessary to arrive at the "EASY, no-brainer" testimonials for back-of-the-house food residual collection are enthusiastic to embark on new journeys. 

As the focus areas mature, the interweave between zero waste initiatives and other sustainable operating practices will emerge.  The definition of zero waste will expand to include energy and water reduction, elimination of toxins flowing into sewer systems to name a few. Toxins may be perceived as waste sent to water treatment plants for removal.

Anselm @ ELS NRA Show booth
During a June Atlanta visit, EcoLogic Solutions founder Anselm Doering's introduced their innovative cleaning technology to several ZWZ Participants.  The ELS system eliminates toxins inherent within current cleaning systems used to maintain safe operations, especially in kitchens. ELS has a stellar foundation with impressive clients like Whole Foods and received a recent U.S. EPA Award.  The IMPACT Blog post, EcoLogic Solutions Receives EPA Award, congratulates ELS on the award.

Anselm presenting to the ATR tram
During the Atlanta visit Anselm met with Ted's Montana Grill and Affairs to Remember.  In addition to standard kitchen cleaning, ATR h
as a significant laundry operation for their in-house linen service and kitchen cloths.  Assessment is underway to determine how to evolve cleaning systems that make good business sense, including effective cleaning and neutral to improved bottom line impact.

Another focus inherent within toxin removal from cleaning systems is water use reduction. Industrial Steam Cleaning | GreaseBusters' Atlanta operators purchased the local distribution rights for Grease Lock commercial hood system filters that catch 90% of the cooking grease before it reaches the hood.  Thus, water-intensive hood cleaning required via fire safety regulations may be significantly reduced.  Grease Lock pilots are in the formation stage.

commercial kitchen hood system
For the pilots, an independent consultant is engaged to quantify the water savings and reduced toxins going into the sewer system from fewer hood cleanings.  Regulations require regular hood inspections to determine if cleaning is necessary.  A bottom line improvement is anticipated with filter costs more than offset by hood cleaning and water savings.

While in Atlanta, Anselm met with ISC | GB to determine if ELS green cleaning solutions may replace current products used.  In the next few weeks, ISC | GB crews will test ELS solutions in the field to determine their grease removal capabilities and how they compare to current toxic products used.

As with zero waste initiatives, Elemental Impact places food and workplace safety along with solid economics at the foundation for Toxin-Free Environment program development.  It is an honor to work with a network of industry leaders enthusiastic to evolve industry operating practices that make good business sense and benefit the environment.  Stay tuned as the FUN is escalating!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 NRA Show - Powerful!

Chris Moyer (NRA) & Ruth
Watts (BASF, Ei Partner)
The 2012 National Restaurant Association Show held at McCormick Place in Chicago was the catalyst for powerful Elemental Impact Partner gatherings, some planned and many spontaneous encounters.  In partnership with the NRA ConSERVE program on the Zero Waste Zones, the Sustainable Food Court Imitative and other focus areas under development, Ei was honored to actively participate in the Show.

In addition to many Ei Partners exhibiting on the Show floor, Ei Chair Scott Seydel orchestrated an educational session moderated by Lily Kelly, Project Manager at Global Green's Coalition for Resource Recovery. The formal session name was Challenging the Value-Chain to Transform Transport Packaging:  Eco-Friendly , Wallet-Friendly Solutions and included a strong focus on the waxed cardboard box dilemma.

Panel @ end of session
Ei Partner Linda Dunn,  HMSHost VP Supply Chain & Analysis, closed the formal session presentations with the foodservice operator's perspective along with an overview of their sustainability commitment. See the ZWA Blog post, Waxed Cardboard Boxes = Landfill Destiny = $$ Lost, for a session overview. 

Ei Partners @ CleanRiver booth
CleanRiver Recycling Solutions' booth served as the Ei central gathering point.  Impressive and spacious, it was a great place to connect and confirm later meeting times. At the opposite aisle end was the NRA ConSERVE booth complete with appreciated tables and seating, perfect for impromptu meetings.  

In the middle of the ConSERVE aisle Ei Partner Ecologic Solutions created a green oasis on the show floor to educate attendees about their toxin-free cleaning systems and products. In the general floor area, Asean | Stalkmarket booth was an excellent venue to educate the show attendees on their compostable foodservice product line.

Anselm Doering @ EcoLogic
Solutions booth
With a multitude of Ei Partners in Chicago for the Show, Matt Hupp of Simon Property Group organized an all-day tour of Gurnee Mills and the Waste Management MRF (materials recovery facility) north of Chicago.  

At day's end, the group convened at a Chicago restaurant for a wonderful dinner where fun and camaraderie intertwined with business chatter among the Ei Partners.  The ZWA Blog post, Simon Property Group @ Sustainability Helm, gives an overview of the tour including details on the Gurnee Mills Goes Green accomplishments.

Wonderful, fun, important and somewhat exhausting are a few words to describe the 2012 NRA Show.  Ei Partners left with plenty of action points and enthusiasm for the 2013 Show.  The Ei FB album, 2012 NRA Show in Chicago, gives a pictorial recap of Ei's Show participation.

Congratulations to the NRA for another successful show!  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ecologic Solutions Receives EPA Award

Congratulations to Elemental Impact Partner EcoLogic Solutions!  On Friday, April 27 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored 26 individuals and organizations across New York for their achievements in protecting the public health and environment with the annual Environmental Quality Awards.  From the EPA press release, EPA Honors New York State Environmental Leaders, here is the specific copy on ELS:

EcoLogic Solutions Inc.Anselm Doering founded EcoLogic Solutions in 2001 after seeing a poster in a New York Thruway rest stop bathroom that bragged about being cleaned with toxic chemicals. Since that day, EcoLogic Solutions’ entire product line, sales and business practices have all been 100-percent focused on sustainability. Most recently, Doering pioneered game-changing Electro-Chemical Activation technology that allows users to make their own all-natural cleaners and disinfectants using only tap water, salt and electricity. EcoLogic Solutions continues to lead the way in all-natural, plant-based cleaning chemicals and technologies for offices, schools, hotels, hospitals and more.
We are humbled by this award, and hugely appreciative of the E.P.A. for shining a ‘green light’ on the many people who make New York a healthier, more sustainable place,” said ELS CEO Anselm Doering. “In truth, the real honor should go to our customers -- the chefs and janitors and maintenance supervisors who have decided to clean without compromising human health or the environment.”
At the center of the ELS’s sustainability efforts is their ECA (Electro-Chemical Activation) technology, which takes tap water, adds salt, and then passes the brine solution through low-dose electrolyzing chambers that split the liquid into a sodium hydroxide formula (eWater) for all-purpose cleaning and a hypochlorous acid mixture (SANeWater) for sanitizing and disinfecting.
Ei Partners Scotto Seydel
& Anselm @ Annual mtg
A certified B-Corporation, ELS's customer base reflects the integrity of their products and includes Whole Foods Market, Chipotle, conEdison, NBCUniversal, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and the Statue of Liberty.

For additional information on the prestigious award and ELS, read the official award press release, EcoLogic Solutions Wins Highest EPA Award

ELS joined the Ei Partner Team in December, 2011 and is co-chair of the soon to-be-announced Toxic-Free Environment Focus.  The IMPACT Blog post, New Sponsor | New Ei Focus, gives an overview of ELS.

What an honor to call EcoLogic Solutions, an award-winning industry pioneer, our partner!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Facts in a Little Book - 2012 Update

Each year the National Restaurant Association produces a pocket factbook that details the important role restaurants play in our lives and the economy.  Along with the standard facts, 970,000 restaurant locations produce $632 billion in sales, the 2012 book includes interesting anecdotes on technology advances and industry trends impact.  The IMPACT Blog post, BIG Facts in a Little Book, gives an overview of the 2011 pocket factbook.

If quickservice restaurants offered self-service ordering terminals, 41% of adults would likely use the system. Twitter, Facebook and other social  media have strong influence over decisions to dine at a new restaurant - 28% of adults use cyberspace recommendations for first-time restaurant visits.  With an increased focus on nutrition, 36% of adults have used the internet to search for nutritional information about restaurant food.

The above facts show technology plays a strong role in the industry's customer interactions.  In many instances, utilizing technology reduces paper and other waste generated along with increasing operational efficiency.   Electronic customer communication methods are often more effective, less expensive AND prevent paper use | waste generation.

Chef Ahmad of Affairs to Remember
at his herb garden in front of their
According to the factbook, 72% of adults are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers locally-produced food items.  Consumer and industry demand for local and regional products is instrumental in revitalizing the small farm system. Urban agriculture programs are included in most city sustainability plans and chefs are planting herb and vegetable gardens in the nooks and crannies available at their restaurant or facility.

Employing 12.9 million individuals in the U.S., the restaurant industry is vital to our economy and provides an educational platform to reach a significant portion of the population.  Through their ConSERVE, Solutions for Sustainability, program, the NRA is committed to educating the nation's second largest private sector industry on the significant role sustainability and social responsibility play in successful operations.  

Elemental Impact and the Zero Waste Zones are honored to work in partnership with the NRA.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Global Green Hosts NOLA Rebuilding Tour

On March 01, 2012 the New Orleans Global Green office hosted an amazing tour of the Rebuilding of NOLA subsequent to the devastation brought in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Beginning at their Green Building Resource Center, tour leader Linda Morgano, Global Green Program Associate, gave an excellent recap of the hurricane-related flooding, including why some areas experienced more tragedy than others. The overview focused on rebuilding efforts in place by Global Green and other partner organizations including government agencies.
Musicians' Village home

First on the tour list was Habitat for Humanity's Musician's Village where Harry Connick, Jr and Branford Marsalis were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. The colorful, neat houses are indicative of the artists who call the neighborhood home.

On to the Lower Ninth Ward to the Make It Right project spearheaded by Brad Pitt among others. Much more than lending his name and presence for fund-raising, Pitt was one of the judges who selected twelve winning architectural designs for the energy efficient, eco-friendly homes. C
ommon Ground Relief also calls the neighborhood home and provides a broad range of services along with a wetlands restoration station.
Holy Cross Project Welcome Center
Picture courtesy of Global Green 
With her office in the amazing Visitor Center, similar to a model home. Linda oversees Global Green's Holy Cross Project  The showcase home gets 100% of its electricity needs from the Sun, including air conditioning in the NOLA steamy summer, and is 73% more efficient than a typical household. Throughout the center are plaques detailing the home's eco-sound building materials and|or methods.

The Bayou Bienvenue restoration program was the next to last stop. For those living on more solid ground, it was fascinating to learn about the imperative role wetlands and bayous play in Delta regions. Urbanization destroyed many of these critical areas and it is heartening to witness the care taken in areas like the Bayou Bienvenue.

As an excellent NOLA steward, Linda ensured the tour finale was a French Quarter visit complete with Cafe Du Monde beignets.

The NOLA tour group
Thank you to Linda and the Global Green NOLA office for taking the time to educate the tour group on your important work. Lily Kelly with Global Green's NYC office joined the tour and tied in the NOLA rebuilding to the following day's NOLA Resource Recovery Conference.

For a pictorial recap of the tour, visit the Elemental Impact FB album, 03-01-12 Global Green's NOLA Rebuilding Tour.

With organizations like Global Green bringing together national | global synergies directed towards resource recovery and rebuilding, a promising energy permeates the potentials inherent within humanity.