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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Happy Seventh Birthday Ei!!!

On February 5, 2010 Elemental Impact (Ei) incorporated as a Georgia non-profit corporation and embarked on an incredible journey. Whew, the first seven years were action-packed while the Ei Team lived the tagline: Sustainability in ACTION

Ei was formed as the home for the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) launched in 2009 by the Green Foodservice Alliance (GFA) within the Georgia Restaurant Association. Over the years, Ei's work evolved well beyond zero waste initiatives.

At the 2016 Annual Ei Partner Meeting, Ei Founder Holly Elmore gave a Ei Year in Review presentation, an overview of Ei's amazing 7th year. The following is a recap of Ei's evolution from the opening slide:
2012: Year of Accomplishments | Completions - in late 2012 the ZWZ were sold to the National Restaurant Association catapulting Ei into a major metamorphosis.The ZWA Blog article, The NRA Acquires ZWZ, announces the monumental acquisition.
2013: Year of Transitions | Introductions - in 2013 the three-platforms approach for Ei initiatives | pilots emerged from a metamorphosis stage. The IMPACT Blog, Ei Emerges Strong from Metamorphosis, introduces three Ei platforms: Product Stewardship, Recycling Refinement (RR) and Water Use | Toxicity
2014: Year of Foundations | Evolutions - in 2014 the platforms were grounded with initiative launches and supporting taglines. The IMPACT Blog article, Ei 2014: A Year of Evolution, provides a summary of the platform foundations. 
2015: Year of ACTION - in 2015 Ei lived up to its tagline: Sustainability in ACTION! The IMPACT Blog article, Ei 2015: A Year of ACTION, summarizes the empowering year.
2016: Year of Recognition - in 2016 Ei's important work was recognized in published industry case studies and Ei-hosted national conference panels. In addition, the Ei Blogs' readership significantly increased and Holly was recognized as a respected environmental journalist.
Written as a synopsis of the 2016 Annual Ei Partner Meeting, The IMPACT Blog article, Ei 2016: A Year of RECOGNITION, gives an in-depth overview of recent accomplishments, completions and recognition. 

The Ei Team is comprised of Industry Experts and Industry Pioneers. Experts educate, advise and support the Pioneers; the Pioneers craft new standard operating practices within their operations that make good business and environmental sense. Once tested and proven effective, the Pioneers share the evolved practices with their industry colleagues. Ei’s work is complete and the Team moves into a new industry frontier.

Since 2010 the Ei Team served as a leader in pioneering frontiers with a myriad of completed projects | programs. The Mission Accomplished page lists Ei endeavors considered complete via a sale, term expiration or simply mission accomplished!

New Frontiers:
Ready for new frontiers, two new RR platform focus areas - Carbon Sequestration and Macro Cost of Micro Contamination - were introduced in Year Seven to complement existing RR areas:
Ei Partner Rick Lombardo
introducing Macro Cost
of Micro Contamination

In 2015 the SMAT - Sustainable Materials ACTION Team, an Ei task force - formed to support RR initiatives. SMAT members include Ei Industry Experts as well as local and federal government associates.

A college campus cooling tower
Under the Water Use | Toxicity platform, the Ei Cooling Tower Blowdown Initiative gained strong traction in 2016. Via an Ei introduction, Ei Partners Renaissance Technology | Filters Plus are in the midst of an Atlanta Airport RFP (request for proposal) for toxic chemical-free cooling tower maintenance; the RFP process serves as the formal WCTI technology assessment process for the 2018 FY Budget, beginning July 1, 2017. 

If installed, the Atlanta Airport is staged to save an estimated 7 - 10 million gallons of water annually. The intent is for the Atlanta Airport to serve as a Lead Pioneer in the Ei Cooling Tower Blowdown Initiative along with formal City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability support. 

Since 2011, the Atlanta Airport served as the SFCI - Airport Pilot.

The ZWA Blog article, Proactive Approach + Simple Solutions = BIG Toxic Chemical-Laden Water Savings, announces the Ei Cooling Tower Blowdown Initiative and gives an overview of the technology.

At the Podium:
During Year Seven, Ei's industry expertise was recognized in a series of diverse speaking engagements, ranging from colleges | universities to national conferences to an industry webinar.

Holly speaking @ Ga Tech
The March 2016 GA Tech Engineers for a Sustainable Future: Sustainability of the Spirit 60-minute session w/ Q&A was empowering. The IMPACT Blog article, Sustainability of the Spirit, recaps the inspirational session; in June an Ei cousin blog, Sustainability of the Spirit, launched to incorporate heart-based perspectives into Ei's important work.

In addition, Holly gave a 60-minute lecture to the GA Tech Supply Chain Modeling class and served on the Innovative Practices in Corporate Environmental Sustainability panel at the Emory University Planet, People, Profits: A Conference on Business and the Environment. The ZWA Blog article, The Zero Waste Journey: Supply | Value Chain, WE Consciousness & Power of Consumer Demand are Integral to Success, is an overview of Holly's supply chain lecture along with in-depth copy on discussed concepts.

As the Official NZWBC Media Partner for the third consecutive year, Ei hosted two powerful conference panels: Food Waste Composting: Challenges, Lessons Learned & Successes and the above referenced Macro Cost of Micro Contamination. The ZWA Blog article, A "Tuned In" Industry Catches a Vibrant Zero Waste Beat, chronicles the conference. 

In addition, Holly joined Ei Strategic Ally Susan Collins, Container Recycling Institute president, as co-hosts for the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) | U.S. Green Building Council Recycling: The Business Case webinar. The ZWA Blog article, Recycling: The Business Case, is a webinar overview and serves as the second article in the A Recycling or Contamination Crisis? series.

Case Studies:
Industry recognition continued with publication of prominent case studies. In time for the Annual Ei Partner Meeting, Ei Partner NatureWorks (NW) published global case studies on the 2015 Ei Zero Food Waste Journey Pilots. The ZWA Blog article, NatureWorks publishes zero food waste case studies, showcases the two case studies: RayDay Embraces Path to Waste Reduction and Proven Steps Culminate Into Waste Reduction Success.

The ZWA Blog article, Zero Waste Journeys: Successes, Challenges & Lessons Learned, supports the NW case studies with event details.

Prepared by Ei on behalf of W.R.A.P. - Wrap Recycling Action Program, the Comparative Case Study: Plastic Film Recycling at Two Simon Malls chronicles the Charlotte plastic film recycling programs pioneered within the SFCI - Shopping Mall Pilot

Ei's leadership role in commercial plastic film recycling is chronicled on the Plastic Film Recycling website page. The ZWA Blog article, Comparative Case Study: Plastic Film Recycling at Two Simon Malls, announces the case study publication.

The Fingertip Press:
When she publishes a blog article, Holly writes a Facebook post beginning with “PREVIEW: Hot off the Fingertip Press an article …” Thus, the Fingertip Press evolved into Holly’s nomenclature for her published articles, documents and other written communication.

In addition to writing the Ei website copy, the Fingertip Press publishes the two Ei blogs:

  • 118,200 pageviews
  • 121 published articles
  • Average 980 pageviews per article
  • Most popular article: Ei New Mission Statement (12/12) 2,845 views
The ZWA Blog article, Ei Blogs: respected media & valuable industry resources, celebrates strong readership, acknowledges teamwork necessary to build the solid foundation, and details interesting reader analytics.

With a fresh look, the Ei site was relaunched in April. Along with updated graphics, the navigation was reorganized to reflect completed projects and new endeavors.

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

For an overview of the new site, visit the IMPACT Blog article, Ei: New Website, New Era!.

In October two prominent industry trade associations - the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) - published front-cover zero waste articles in their October hard copy magazines.

For the ISM cover article, Full Circle, Supply management can play a key role in the circular economy, working with suppliers to eliminate waste and drive financial value, Holly served as an industry resource for the author. As a "thank you" the article ended with a prominent quote by Holly.

The NWPCA Pallet Central September | October issue cover article, Zero Waste Makes Good Business & Environmental Sense, was published by the Fingertip Press on behalf of the USZWBC. With three industry magazine-published articles, a new website page Ei-Published Articles was created.

For details on the national trade association articles, visit the ZWA Blog article, Zero waste moves from "best" to standard operating practices.

In 2016 Holly's Fingertip Press moved from respected media to recognized journalist with the following invitation:
In early November the U.S. State Department invited Ei to join the invitation-only COP22 preview press conference call. Journalists from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times were among the respected, mainstream media on the call.
The IMPACT Blog article, Ei: Respected Journalism, chronicles 2016 events validating the Fingertip Press as a respected industry journalist.

In June, Holly launched as home to the Fingertip Press as well as Holly Elmore Images and At Your Service (for contracts that may not fall within Ei's non-profit status). Ei documentation is a prominent site feature within the site.

The Ei FB Albums include comprehensive albums documenting conferences, meetings and events. Within albums, images are organized in chronological sections and each photo has a unique description along with individuals identified when practical. Albums contain an overview description along with links to related Ei Blog articles.

In addition several albums document an Ei industry focus. For example, the Ei Plastic Film Recycling album is a comprehensive 150+ photo album chronicling Ei's pioneering work in commercial plastic film recycling from the first action steps in 2011.

With over 175 albums, the Ei FB albums are a valuable industry resource.

Photos are available for download from the FB albums and are often used in industry-related presentations and published studies. Ei requests a donation for photo use, especially for media placement.

Lambda Alpha International
In 2013 Holly was inducted into Lambda Alpha International (LAI), the Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics. LAI provides a forum for the study and advancement of land economics where the "winnowing and sifting" of ideas takes place in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

LAI operates through a network of chapters. A LAI Chapter provides a variety of programs and forums for its members to share information critical to understanding important land-use issues. The IMPACT Blog article, Lambda Alpha International Atlanta Chapter: growing membership, influence and impact, introduces LAI along with its designated purposes.

Twice per year chapters sponsor "Weekend Experiences" giving members an opportunity to meet and learn about land economic issues in cities throughout the world. Open to LAI members and their guests, the Land Economics Weekends (LEW) address wider international, national and regional issues and include project tours within the host city. As an active LAI member, Holly attended the 2016 Spring LEW in Memphis and Fall LEW in Toronto. 

Toronto  Ismaili Centre in evening
In Toronto Holly represented the LAI Atlanta Chapter at the LAI Board & Executive
Meetings. Holly serves on the LAI International Public Relations & Communications Executive Committee and was recently invited to serve on the Atlanta LAI Chapter Board. 

The IMPACT Blog article, Memphis: an amazing city redefining itself, chronicles the Memphis LEW while the Toronto: crafting a livable city amidst staggering population shifts and growth article is a Toronto LEW overview. Each article articulates unique challenges, lessons learned and successes as the respective cities redefine themselves amidst shifting economic, demographic and urban design parameters.

Indeed, Year Seven was a magical year for Ei with the plethora of recognition and honors. ... and the Ei Team soars into Year Eight prepared to forge new frontiers with tremendous impact in newfound dimensions!