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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ei: New Website, New Era!

With Elemental Impact strong into our 7th year living the tagline - Sustainability in ACTION - it was time to overhaul the website. Along with a fresh look, the navigation was reorganized to reflect completed projects and new endeavors.

The homepage simply communicates the Ei site's three main focus areas utilizing Ei Founder Holly Elmore's photographs as background images. For the first section, the Ei mantra takes center stage: 

In the second section, the three Ei Platforms - Product Stewardship, Recycling Refinement and Water Use | Toxicity - are featured with links to their respective sections. For the final focus area, the Ei Blogs - The IMPACT and The Zero Waste in ACTION (ZWA) - are featured with links along with designated space for three recent article previews.

New cool apps are incorporated throughout the site to give a creative edge and increase functionality. The Ei Leadership | Ei Team apps are the most dramatic evolution.

With the IMPACT Blog at almost 80,000 pageviews and the ZWA Blog near the coveted 250,000 pageviews milestone, the Blogs are prominent throughout the site. In addition to the homepage section, each supporting page sidebar includes "live" blog logos under the sub-navigation. As appropriate, a "related blog articles" image lists articles pertinent to the page topic.

The ZWA Blog article, Ei Blogs: respected media & valuable industry resources, chronicles the blogs' history along with detailing impressive stats supporting the strong global following.

Supplementing the Ei Partner & Ei Supporter Programs, the Ei Team is comprised of Ei Industry Experts and Ei Industry Pioneers on the new site. Experts educate, advise and provide support as the Pioneers craft new standard operating practices that make good business and environmental sense. Once tested and proven effective, the Pioneers share the evolved practices with their industry colleagues.

Beginning in 2011 Ei took a leadership role in commercial plastic film recycling with the Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI) Shopping Mall Pilot announcement. It is likely the Concord Mills plastic film recycling pilot was the first shopping mall film recycling program in the nation. 

Ei Supporter FreshPoint, the nation's largest produce distributor, announced their plastic film recycling pilot in a video produced by Ei Chair Scott Seydel. When the SFCI Event Venue Pilot, the Georgia Dome, joined the plastic film recycling template, the pilot evolved into the Source-Separated Materials Recycling Template.

The important work was well-documented yet incorporated within numerous website sections. In the new Recycling Refinement Platform section, the Commercial Plastic Film Recycling page consolidates the documentation into an easy-to-follow format. In addition, the comprehensive Ei FB album, Ei Plastic Film Recycling, chronicles the plastic film recycling work in a pictorial format.

At the 2015 Annual Ei Partner Meeting, three new initiatives were announced. Within the Water Use | Toxicity Platform, the Ei Airborne Kitchen Grease (AKG) Initiative and Ei Cooling Tower Blow Down Initiative are documented in individual pages. Atlanta is slated to serve as the Ei AKG Initiative Pilot City; the pilot template four stages are included as Ei AKG Initiative sub-navigation.

The Ei PetroWax-Free Cardboard Box Initiative within the Product Stewardship Platform is the culmination of work begun in 2012.

Since 2010 the Ei Team served as a leader in pioneering frontiers with a myriad of completed projects | programs. The new Mission Accomplished section lists the following Ei endeavors considered complete via a sale, term expiration or simply mission accomplished:
  • EPA Scaling Up Composting in Charlotte, NC Grant – Ei was a lead sub-grantee under the EPA Grant to GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition; the grant term ended September 30, 2015.
  • Food & Beverage Packaging Value Chain Meetings - Each December 2011 through 2014, trade association and non-profit executives from the entire sustainable food & beverage packaging value chain met in Washington D.C. for a day of vibrant dialogue and sharing. Mission Accomplished: solid industry synergies grounded in joint programs.
  • GREASE – Grease Recycling & Energy Alternatives for the Environment – The Ei AKG Initiative evolved GREASE from a task force into the precursor of a prominent Ei initiative. Mission Accomplished!
  • POWER – Perishable Organics Waste to Energy Recycling – From 2009 through 2011 Ei-hosted POWER meetings served as a platform to catapult an emerging industry into an established industry. Mission Accomplished!
  • ZWZ - Zero Waste Zones -  In 2012 the National Restaurant Association purchased the esteemed program that pioneered the commercial collection of food waste for composting.
As a national sustainability forerunner, the media loves Ei! With the plethora of media over the years, the new Ei in the Media section is segregated into the following page format:
The Ei in the Media page lists Featured Media beginning with the CNN ZWZ story and front-page New York Times article.

A BIG THANK YOU to Ei Friend Jim Harrell of Renaissance Technology for his in-depth website copy and technical aspects proofing.

Though time-consuming, it was important to review Ei's important work with a fine-toothed comb and ensure documentation was complete as well as organized. With a solid foundation in-place, Ei is soaring into new dimensions of respect, influence and Sustainability in ACTION!