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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Active Participation Maximizes Impact

Active participation is key to Elemental Impact's success. Whether an Ei Partner, Supporter or Strategic Ally, organizations align with Ei to take an active role in evolving sustainable practices into best business practices that improve the bottom line.

Ei lives its tagline, Sustainability in ACTION, within three platforms: Product Stewardship, Recycling Refinement, and Water Use | Toxicity. Industry pioneers work with the Ei Team to create replicable templates via the Sustainable Food Court Initiative or platform pilots. The IMPACT Blog article, Ei Emerges from Metamorphosis, introduces the three-platform approach along with corresponding initiatives under development. With the expanded focus, Ei attracted new partners, supporters, strategic allies along with strong renewals.

Welcome New Ei Partners

Ellis Fibre | Grease Lock Filters

Within the Water Use | Toxicity Platform, Ei’s initial focus is on Airborne Kitchen Grease (AKG) via installation of the Grease Lock Filters (GLF) system, a proactive approach to AKG maintenance. GLF collect 90% plus of the kitchen grease particulates before entering the kitchen exhaust system. By eliminating grease build-up in the system, the nightly baffle filter cleaning is generally reduced to weekly; the number of third party contracted kitchen exhaust system cleanings are significantly reduced.

Installed GLF system at
Pei Wei in ATL Airport
The Water, Chemical, & Cost Savings in Commercial Kitchens By Using Grease Lock Filters, A Report on Restaurant Pilots prepared by an independent engineer substantiates the water, toxic chemical use, labor and cost-savings experienced by the foodservice operator and is available for download on Ei’s Airborne Kitchen Grease page.

Note the Atlanta Airport is exploring a campus-wide GLF installation with an estimated annual 1.3 million gallons of water usage reduction annually. Concessionaires receive an anticipated $7,500 annual cost-savings per unit due to reduced labor and kitchen exhaust system cleaning.

A national fire & safety training organization produced an informative six-minute video, Introduction to the Grease Lock Filter System, which gives a solid system overview with an emphasis on fire safety. GLF produced the Installing the GLF System to show the simplicity and ease of installing the filters.

Ei's Airborne Kitchen Grease page documents the project's mission and current status. Below are the Zero Waste in ACTION grease-related blog articles: 

ATL Airport tours WCTI system
installation at GA Tech
To show their support, three local GLF distributors joined the Ei Supporter program:  GreaseStop, GreaseBusters, and Premier Grease.

Another Water Use | Toxicity Platform focus is reducing cooling tower water usage via WCTI Technology represented by Renaissance Technology. The Ei FB album, 05-22-13 Tour re: WCTI System @ Tampa Verizon Data Center, is a pictorial recap of the system.

Novelis is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and aluminum recycling. Novelis supplies premium aluminum sheet products to the automotive, transportation, packaging, construction, industrial and electronics markets.

SFCI Team with Novelis
Recycling Bins
Beginning with the 2012 season, Novelis stepped into the Atlanta Falcons Recycling Partner role. First action steps included installing two brightly decorated eight-yard recycling dumpsters in the four Georgia World Congress Center Authority owned parking lots used as pre-game tailgating venues. For the 2013 season Novelis provided outdoor & indoor recycling bins. The Novelis bins complement the Coca-Cola bins in service for the past years.

With the Georgia Dome, home to the Falcons, the SFCI Event Pilot, it was synergistic for Novelis to join the Ei Partner program. Last fall GWCCA director of sustainability Tim Trefzer and Ei founder Holly Elmore toured the Novelis aluminum recycling plant in Greensboro, GA. Local recycling destinations is a SFCI commitment and integral to Recycling Refinement. The Novelis Greensboro plant is local to metro Atlanta markets.

With immediate action participation, Novelis associates joined the SFCI Team on November 10 for a Falcons game day recycling tour and attended the November 21 Annual Partner Meeting. For an overview of the Falcons game day tour, visit the ZWA Blog article Refining Recycling Practices at the GA Dome. The IMPACT Blog article Another Year, Another Ei Partner Meeting is an overview of the powerful annual meeting.

Pratt Industries 

Australia-based Pratt Industries is America’s 5th largest corrugated packaging company and the world’s largest, privately-held 100% recycled paper and packaging company. The company operates an extensive recycling company to supply three of the most modern, cost-effective 100% recycled paper mills in the U.S. Pratt is dedicated to the sustainability of the environment, its customers and its people.

The Pratt tour group including
the GWCC & ATL Airport 
With their recycling and mill complex located at the American headquarters in Conyers, GA, Pratt is a natural local destination for paper and other fiber material generated in metro Atlanta. Each Falcons game approximately 35,000 programs and 140,000 promotional flyers are distributed among the seats. The majority of the valuable fiber is landfill destined.

In June 2013 Ei hosted a Pratt Mill Tour for Tim and Michael Cheyne, Atlanta Airport director of asset management and sustainability, to learn about the local option for paper | fiber generated at their respective facilities. Note the Atlanta Airport is the SFCI Airport Pilot. Ei Supporter Republic Services is the Airports waste & recycling service provider and contracts with Pratt for recycling Atlanta Airport material.

In addition to hosting the tour, Pratt vice-president operations Kurt Schmitz joined the SFCI Atlanta Airport Team for an on-site meeting designed to better understand the Airport's recycling logistics. Mary Place, Southeast sales manager, represented Pratt at the Annual Partner meeting.

Thank You Renewing Partners

Doug & Holly in action mode
delivering food waste to compost
Doug Kunnemann, NatureWorks global segment leader - foodservice retains his important, active SFCI co-chair role. With their 2013 renewal, NatureWorks is Ei's longest standing partner! Ei Partner HMSHost remains a powerful pioneer willing to make the effort required to create new industry practices. Note HMSHost's Pei Wei restaurant in the Atlanta Airport International Terminal served as one of the three pilot restaurants in the independent engineer's report referred to in the above GLF section.

Chris Bradlee, BASF market development manager - biodegradable polymers, hosted his fellow partners to the Ann Arbor Ei Partner Tours in August 2013. The IMPACT Blog article, Ann Arbor Ei Partner Tours, is an overview of the excellent two-day tours. In addition to sharing their recycling expertise with fellow SFCI Team Members, CleanRiver contributes excellent design services via Jamie Maclellan.

Chemol recommitted as an Ei Partner to embark on the wax-free corrugated cardboard initiative in the planning stages. The ZWA Blog article, Waxed Cardboard = Landfill Destiny = $$ Lost, laid the foundation for the pending pilots. Ei Partner EcoLogic Solutions (ELS) is awaiting their shining star once the AKG programs shift focus from water usage to water toxicity. In 2012 ELS hosted their partners during the NYC Ei Partner Tours - the ZWA Blog article, NYC Ei Partner Tours, is a tours overview in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Always smiling, Heritage Interactive Services director of business & supplier development Amy Moreland wins the award for most-pictured in ZWA and IMPACT Blog articles! Understanding the magnitude of Ei's works, Amy makes Ei meetings, tours and other activities a priority in her hectic schedule.

Amy & Chris in Newark for
an Ei Zero Waste Workshop
.... and then there is the City-Wide Plastic Film Recovery Pilot Template under development! Requiring team work and pioneering spirit, the Ei Team - Tomra | Orwak, M-Pass Environmental and Hilex Poly - is building an infrastructure system to capture valuable plastic film considered a contaminant in single-stream recycling. FreshPoint, the nation's largest produce distributor, stepped forward as a true pioneer in its role as a film generator. The ZWA Blog article, If it was easy, it would already be done, introduces the pilot and Plastic Film Recycling: A New Frontier is an in-depth update on action to date.

During the early Zero Waste Zones days, Ei called upon industry leaders to serve as pioneers to create back-of-the-house food waste collection for composting practices. Many of these early pioneers are eager to step back into the invigorating leadership role. Thank you to Affairs to Remember, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center for stating your commitment by joining the Ei Supporter Program.

Welcome New Strategic Allies

Collaboration is key to Ei success. Ei Strategic Allies – consisting of institutions, non-profits, trade associations and business organizations - contribute industry expertise and  connections to Ei initiatives. 

The Container Recycling Institute (CRI) and Ei share Scott Seydel in a leadership role: Scott is Ei Chair and CRI Co-Chair. In addition, Ei & CRI take a strong stand on single-stream recycling. At the foundation of many ZWA Blog articles on single-stream recycling - Single-Stream Recycling Controversy, Single-Stream Recycling: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, and Source-Separate Key to Maximum Recycling Profits (to name a few) - is the CRI Understanding Economic and Environmental Impacts of Single-Stream Collection Systems 2009 white paper. 

Thanks to the strong relationship with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of the GreenBlue Institute, Ei is a subgrantee on the SPC EPA Region IV grant to "scale up recycling in Charlotte, NC."  The ZWA Blog article, Scaling Up Composting in Charlotte, NC, is a grant overview that details the many intertwining relationships. Fellow sub-grantee Earth Farms joined the Ei Supporter Program. For a recap of Ei's March Earth Farms tour, see the ZWA Blog article, Bring the Possible Out of Impossible, during the Charlotte Ei Partner Tours.

Stephanie w/ Suzanne Burnes of
Sustainable ATL, a long-time Ei Ally
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council | Ei relationship is synergistic and powerful. With Atlanta the host city for the 2014 USZWBC Conference, Ei works closely with executive director Stephanie Barger on local connections to create an amazing conference. The ZWA Blog article, Atlanta: Host City for 2014 U.S. Zero Waste Business Council Conference, announces the 2014 conference along with a USZWBC overview.

Sustainable America is a young non-profit whose goals are to make our food systems more resilient, reduce oil usage in transportation, and invest in new sustainable methods and products as appropriate. Executive director Kranowitz attended the Ei Partner meeting and is eager to move forward on joint adventures.

Elemental Impact has the active ingredients for success: national and global leaders working in partnership to achieve best sustainable operating practices that make solid business sense. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lambda Alpha International Atlanta Chapter: growing membership, influence & impact

On December 17, 2013 Elemental Impact founder Holly Elmore was inducted into Lambda Alpha International, the Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics. Holly's election to the LAI Atlanta Chapter membership was in recognition of a successful career in the foodservice industry and her work to implement sustainable best practices in the food industry.

Along with Holly, Atlanta LAI Chapter president Joan Herron, Herron Consulting president, initiated the following distinguished Atlanta land economics professionals into the local chapter:
Professor Richard Ely
Inspired by Professor Richard T. Ely - the "Father of Land Economics," Lambda Alpha was established in 1930 at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. From the original Ely Chicago Chapter, LAI grew to its current twenty plus chapters expanding the globe to include several Canadian chapters along with a Madrid chapter.

Membership includes outstanding individuals who distinguished themselves in disciplines and action related to land use and reuse. The membership diversity in professions ranging from architects, engineers, government officials, professors, bankers to non-profit organizations (to name a few) is key to LAI longevity and effectiveness.

LAI designated five major purposes:
  1. To recognize and honor men and women whose achievements contribute to the advancement of land economics and the development or better utilization of the world's land resources.
  2. To encourage and support the study of land economics and highest ideals of scholarship of all fields that impact land economics.
  3. To expand the world's knowledge of land economics principles and encourage application in public and private endeavors.
  4. To take action and give support to ideas which contribute to enrichment of our urban and rural environments and benefit the quality of human life.
  5. To advance the working relationships of those engaged in land economics disciplines and activities
Note the above is an abbreviated version of the stated LAI purposes. The "official purposes" are detailed on the LAI About page.

LAI Atlanta Chapter president, Joan Herron was initiated into the Ely Chicago Chapter in 1989. Following her move to Atlanta, Joan facilitated launching a Chapter in her new home city. The LAI Atlanta Chapter Charter was received on October 22, 2009 at the Board of Governor’s Meeting during the Lambda Alpha Weekend Experience in Chicago. Fifteen (15) members founded the chapter with Joan in the leadership role as president.

Atlanta Streetcar
Monthly Atlanta Chapter meetings are hosted at Skanska's Downtown offices featuring strong programs on local land economics successes and challenges. At the October meeting, Central Atlanta Progress presented on the Atlanta Streetcar system with an overview and construction update. For December, the program was the new member initiation along with an end-of-year lunch at Baraonda. In January, Tedra Cheatham, Clean Air Campaign executive director, presents on how their programs are intertwined with land economics.

Twice per year local chapters sponsor "Weekend Experiences" giving members an opportunity to meet and learn about land economic issues in other cities throughout the world. Open to LAI members and their guests, these meetings address wider international, national and regional issues and include project tours within the host city. 

Recent gatherings were hosted in Vancouver, Dublin, Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Glasgow, Sacramento and Phoenix. The Atlanta LAI Chapter hosts the spring Weekend Experience in April 2014 followed by the fall weekend in Madrid, Spain.

Ron Thomas - HGOR director of planning, Oconee River Greenway Commission chair, and University of Georgia, College of Environment & Design senior academic professional - sponsored Holly's LAI membership. In 2012 Holly met Ron during his tenure at the City of Chattanooga Department of Sustainability when the city hosted a Zero Waste Workshop orchestrated by Ei Advisor Neil Seldman with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The ZWA Blog post, Chattanooga Building a Green Brick Road, chronicles the conference where Holly presented on the Zero Waste Zones and the Sustainable Food Court Initiative.

Along with Joan, Ron joined the LAI Ely Chicago Chapter and later relocated to Atlanta. From the chapter launch, Ron worked closely with Joan and other founding members to create a strong, young chapter. One of the chapter milestones was co-hosting The Value of Green in Real Estate program with the Urban Land Institute - Atlanta District Council in April 2013. With over 100 attendees, the stellar program was impressive and a success.

The invitation from the LAI Executive Committee (international officers and committee
chairs) to host the Spring 2014 Weekend Experience in Atlanta is a major achievement for a young, smaller chapter.

Compost, The Quiet Hero
panel @ the 2011 NRA Show
As the self-appointed spokesperson for Compost, The Quiet Hero, Holly is enthusiastic to educate fellow LAI members on the important role food waste collection for compost plays in land economics. Within Ei's Platforms - Recycling Refinement, Product Stewardship and Water Use | Toxicity, developing initiatives in plastic film recovery, wax-free corrugated cardboard and airborne kitchen grease directly impact land economics.

With its strong leadership and expanding membership, the Lambda Alpha International Atlanta Chapter is growing in influence and impact. Stay tuned ...