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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!