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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Integrity Matters: EcoLogic Solutions staged to evolve industry cleaning standards

Earlier this year Elemental Impact Partner EcoLogic Solutions (ELS) received the first Green Seal GS-53 certification for a sanitizer| | disinfectant! Specifically,the certification pertains to ELS SANeWater. According to independent testing, SANeWater is more than 99-percent water, non-toxic to humans and aquatic life, and is effective in killing bacteria and viruses.

Before Energy Star, before LEED, and before “green” became a marketing buzzword, there was Green Seal -- America’s first independent, third-party certifier of sustainable products and services. The 25-year-old non-profit works with leaders among product manufacturers, service providers, hotels and restaurants to help them be more sustainable, earn certification and|or institute green purchasing.

By rewarding industry leaders Green Seal successfully reduced the use of toxins and dangerous chemicals and preserved natural resources. For example, recognizing that asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism in schools according to the Center for Disease Control, Green Seal led the drive to eliminate asthmagens use in cleaning products as the first ecolabeling program to prohibit them. 

Green Seal is proud to recognize EcoLogic Solutions for the leadership it has demonstrated in achieving certification for the SANeWater product,” said Arthur Weissman, President & CEO of Green Seal. “Not only does this product derive from an innovative production process, but it is also the first in this category to be certified under our specialty cleaning products standard.”

At the foundation of the ELS’s "green cleaning solutions" is their ECA (Electrical Chemical Activation) technology. In layman's terms, ECA 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.

Anselm @ ELS NRA Show booth
ELS Founder & CEO Anselm Doering plays a leadership role in the Ei Water Use | Toxicity Platform. The Green Seal certification adds another third party validation to ELS products along with qualifying points to facilities applying for or renewing LEED certification. 

In the ELS  press release, Anselm sums up the Green Seal Certification profound industry impact:
We are beyond thrilled, and deeply proud, to bring the first ever GS-53 Green Seal-certified sanitizer/disinfectant to market. SANeWater is a game-changer, and Green Seal is the gold standard in our industry. Together, we’re letting commercial users know there’s a new, non-toxic option to effectively sanitize and disinfect operations.”
The prominent Green Seal certification is another accolade in ELS's well-earned recognition for their outstanding technology and products. In April 2012 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored ELS for their achievements in protecting the public health and environment at the annual Environmental Quality Awards. The IMPACT Blog article, EcoLogic Solutions receives EPA Award, gives details of the prestigious honor.

Last November, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) named  ELS 2013 Green Business of the Year. The MCC selects an annual “Green Business of the Year” from more than 100,000 companies that do business in Manhattan. .

one of two McCormick Place's
two ELS system installations
In addition to industry honors, awards and certifications, the ELS ECA system is the cleaning solution for a plethora of prominent organizations, including Whole Foods  Markets, Amtrak, and the Statue of Liberty. In time for the 2014 National Restaurant Association Show in May, McCormick Place - nation's largest convention center - installed two ELS systems to service their central dishwashers along with producing sanitizer | disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner.

At the Show, Ei founder Holly Elmore and Cerise Bridges with Grean Seal were treated to a back-of-the-house tour of the ELS system installation - impressive! The IMPACT Blog article, 2014 NRA Show: a powerful, magical event, includes a feature on the tour along with the ELS booth. The Ei FB album, 2014 NRA Show, is a pictorial recap of the NRA Show from Ei's perspective with a section dedicated to the ELS tour.

SANeWater containers
 ready for donation
A long-time partner, ELS hosted the New York City Ei Partner Tours in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In true humanitarian spirit, ELS donated more than 20,000 gallons of SANeWater to New York area businesses and homes impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The IMPACT Blog article, NYC Ei Partner Tours, gives an overview of the NYC tours with details on ELS' operations.

Simplicity often unlocks solutions to complicated scenarios. ELS provides a simple solution - water + salt + electrical charge - to eliminate toxic cleaning agents harmful in a holographic manner. 

ELS is ingrained with keys for success: superb technology & product, an uncompromising work ethic and integrity of spirit. Ei is honored to work with ELS on evolving industrial cleaning practices. ELS success equates into a cleaner environment, improved bottom lines and community outreach by an organization committed to humanity.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Ei shifts gears into ACTION mode

From inception through late 2012 Elemental Impact’s focus was zero waste-oriented through the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) and the Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI). In September 2012 the National Restaurant Association purchased the ZWZ and took over program stewardship. 

The Zero Waste in ACTION Blog post, National Restaurant  Association Purchases Zero Waste Zones, announces the monumental acquisition. Ei was propelled into an amazing metamorphosis filled with opportunity and promise for tremendous impact. 

First on the agenda was evolution of the Ei mission statement beyond zero waste and the foodservice industry. The IMPACT Blog post, New Mission Statement | New Directions, announced the new Ei 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.
Committed to effective action, Ei projects create easy-to-implement templates that make good business sense. Within the new mission statement, Ei announced a tri-platform focus in the IMPACT article, Ei Emerges Strong from Metamorphosis:
Holly @ Pratt offices during Ei Ptr
Tours with Myles Cohen (Pratt) &
Scott Jenkins (New Falcons Stadium)
The early June 2014 Atlanta Ei Partner Tours marked completion of the metamorphosis. Ei founder Holly Elmore stated the transition with the following phrase:
For the past 18 months, Ei worked within Sustainability in Strategy staging for entry into the Ei tagline Sustainability in ACTION. Truly exciting times, indeed. 
For an overview of the powerful Atlanta Ei Partner Tours, visit The IMPACT Blog article, Atlanta Ei Partner Tours.

Within Recycling Refinement, the focus is on post-consumer food waste collection and source-separated material recycling. The ZWA Blog article, SFCI targets post-consumer food waste, announced post-consumer food waste as the primary 2014 | 2015 SFCI focus. In the ZWA Blog article, Sustainability in ACTON at Georgia Dome, initial action steps in the source-separated material recycling template were introduced.

First SMAT tour @
ATL Airport
In perfect timing, SMAT - Sustainable Materials ACTION Team, an Ei task force - formed to support Recycling Refinement initiatives. SMAT members include new Ei Partners who joined this spring or early summer.

Sarah Martell of Innovia Films chairs SMAT with her solid leadership skills. At a lovely dinner in Seattle during the spring Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) meeting, Sarah and Holly reunited after an initial introduction years ago by SFCI Chair Doug Kunnemann of NatureWorksInnovia Films is a leading global producer of specialty high-performance films for food packaging, tobacco overwrap, and labels. Cellulose-based NatureFlex™ films are certified to compostable standards.

After reuniting with Holly in Chicago at the NRA Show, Wendell Simonson of Eco-Products gave the big YES to joining the Ei Partner program and serving on SMAT. Wendell traveled to Atlanta in early August for the first SMAT tours at the SFCI - Atlanta Airport and the SFCI - Georgia DomeEco-Products is the nation's leading brand of single use foodservice products made from renewable and recycled resources.

Recruited by Doug, Rick Lombardo of Natur-Tec | Natur-Bag joined the Ei Partner program and serves on SMAT. Rick met the Ei Team in Charlotte for a busy, exploratory visit in late July and traveled to Atlanta for the above referenced SFCI tours. The ZWA Blog article, Ei Charlotte Visit: Busy, Productive & Fun!, gives an overview of the powerful three days. Natur-Bag® compostable bags and liners are ideal for residential, municipal, and commercial food scrap and organic waste collection programs. Engineered strong, they help keep bins clean and control odors.

SMAT members Grant & Rick
@ pre-season Falcons game
Founding Ei Partner NatureWorks is represented on SMAT by Grant Braasch with support from Doug. During the August SFCI tours, Grant shared his compostable plastic industry expertise during the many packaging discussions. NatureWorks is the first company to offer a family of commercially available low carbon footprint Ingeo™ biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers.

Kim Charick with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV serves on SMAT, showcasing the strong EPA | Ei working relationship.

In alignment with the EPA SPC Grant, Scaling Up Composting in Charlotte, NC, the SPC joined the Ei Strategic Ally program with a formal Memorandum of Understanding. As noted in the ZWA Blog article, Scaling Up Composting in Charlotte, NC, Ei is a sub-grantee and works closely with the team on Charlotte initiatives. SMAT supports the grant work via industry expertise in compostable packaging. Synergies abound: each SMAT member also participates in the SPC!  

One of the source-separated materials recycling template components is local end markets when possible. Last year Pratt Industries joined the Ei Partner program as the mixed paper destination for Recycling Refinement programs. Located in Conyers, GA - less than 30 miles from the Georgia Dome and the Atlanta Airport - the Pratt North American headquarters includes a paper mill. Pratt is America’s 5th largest corrugated packaging company and the world’s largest, privately-held 100% recycled paper and packaging company. 

Group ready for the Novelis aluminum
recycling plant tour
In time for the November 2013 Ei Partner Annual Meeting, Atlanta-based Novelis joined the Ei Partner program as the aluminum end market for programs under development. With an aluminum recycling plant in Greensboro, GA, less than 100 miles from downtown Atlanta, Novelis is a local destination for the Atlanta pilots. Novelis is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and aluminum recycling. 

Pratt, Novelis, the Atlanta Airport and the Georgia World Congress Center hosted the June 2014 Atlanta Ei Partner Tours. The first day consisted of the Pratt and Novelis recycling plant tours while the second day focused on material generated at the Atlanta SFCI Pilots. The above referenced article gives an overview of the tours.

For their third annual renewal Ei Friend Hilex Poly committed to the Ei Partner program. In 2011 | 2012 Hilex Poly was instrumental in launching the plastic film recycling program at the SFCI - Concord Mills in Charlotte. The ZWA Blog article, ACTION: Theme for the SFCI Shopping Mall Pilot, announced the mall plastic film recycling and food court back-of-the-house food waste collection programs. An industry leading manufacturer and recycler of plastic bag and film products, Hilex Poly serves as the plastic expert for the source-separated materials template pilot.

Founding Ei Friend M-PASS Environmental serves as the logistics vortex for the source-separated materials recycling template. In August, M-PASS committed to the Ei Partner Program in synergy with their leadership role. M-PASS is an independent waste management and recycling consulting company based in Atlanta, GA.

Concord Mills GM w/ Sarah & Kim
next to his Orwak baler
Mini-balers are the foundation of the source-separated materials recycling template. Orwak continues their long-standing Ei Partner status with annual renewals. For two source-separated material pilots, Orwak delivered a baler under a deferred purchase plan. 

In early 2014 Matt Hupp with Keter Environmental Services joined the Ei Partner program as an industry pioneer. Ei worked with Matt during his tenure as Simon Property Group waste & recycling director and is honored to continue the close friendship. Matt met the Ei team in Charlotte to strategize on future projects with the yet-to-be formed SMAT. Keter is a full service environmental management company specializing in the design, management, and reporting for large multi-tenant commercial buildings nationwide.

HMSHost maintains their long-standing Ei Partner status via their August renewal. With concessions contracts at Concord Mills and the Atlanta Airport, HMSHost is instrumental to SFCI Pilot successes. Ei also works closely with the HMSHost - Tampa Airport and HMSHost - Charlotte Airport folks. HMSHost is part of Autogrill S.p.A. – the world’s largest provider of food, beverage and retail services for travelers. 

In addition to Recycling Refinement, Ei Partners bring industry expertise to the Water Use | Toxicity platform. The initial focus is on water reduction in areas where the “spent water” released into sewer systems or other waterways is laden with toxic chemicals. Thus, water use and toxicity are addressed in unison.

AKG team poses on roof of
ATL Airport @ first mtg
With Ei Partner Ellis Fibre Products' (EFP) patented Grease Lock Filter (GLF) system at the foundation, Ei launched the Airborne Kitchen Grease (AKG), a proactive approach to a costly cooking by-product. initiative. SFCI - Atlanta Airport garnered approval for a campus-wide GLF installation, which is in the compliance stage with the airport's concessions department. The ZWA Blog article, Atlanta Airport Presents a Proactive Approach to Airborne Kitchen Grease, announces the campus-wide GLF installation plan along with a prominent industry magazine article.

Once the installation is complete, the airport estimates an annual 1.1 million gallons of water usage reduction while each concessionaire experiences approximately $7300 per annum in cost-savings. Although significant, the prevented roof damage savings was not factored into the business case.

HMSHost executed a national GLF purchasing contract with preferred pricing for their 100+ North American airport concession operations. Turnpike service centers may also benefit from the national pricing. In addition, Ei Supporter Sysco-Atlanta is piloting a GLF distribution model in the Atlanta market.

For the first year renewal, EFP stepped forward as the FIRST Ei Sustainer!!!  

EFP is the manufacturing division for GLF, a disposable grease filtration method used for commercial kitchen exhaust hoods. EFP is a leading New Zealand exporter with markets in Asia, UK, USA and Australia.

ELS system installation @
McCormick Place
Another long-time Ei Friend, EcoLogic Solutions (ELS), is a driving force in the Water Use | Toxicity platform. In time for the 2014 NRA Show, McCormick Place installed two ELS systems in the nation's largest conference center. Within the same timeframe ELS received GreenSeal certification for their Electrical Chemical Activation cleaning products. ELS renewed at their Friend status with a vow to segue into Partner status next year.

ELS's  mission is to bring the safest, most effective and cost competitive cleaning products and solutions to institutions. We recognize that everyday chemicals are not only dangerous for the user, but also are exceedingly toxic to the environment.

Within the Product Stewardship platform renewing Ei Friend Chemol takes a leadership role in alternative coatings to paraffin-based waxed cardboard, often used for protein and produce transportation. The May 2012 ZWA Blog article, Waxed Cardboard = Landfill Destiny = $$ Lost, educates on the scenario where food is delivered in "trash" instead of valuable, recyclable material. Chemol is a leading manufacturer of 100% recyclable coatings for the paper, packaging and corrugation industries. 

As Ei shifts gears into Sustainability in ACTION mode, new partners take leadership roles and long-time partners renew with stronger active participation commitments. The Ei Partner model epitomizes the team work required to evolve industry operating standards.