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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Art Makes an Impact Beyond Words

Building public awareness of humanitarian injustices and environmental challenges requires a myriad of communication vehicles. Traditional written print and online media, network news shows & documentaries, and independent short films reach a broad audience. Yet, traditional media often falls short of conveying intended messages.

Pamela Longobardi speaking
at The Plastic GYRE Symposium
In its many formats, artwork provides tactile renditions of challenging situations that communicate in a profound manner. Whether mystically beautiful or a harsh depiction of the scenario, artwork speaks in a language unavailable with the written or spoken word.

Distinguished Georgia State University (GSU) Professor & global renowned artist Pamela Longobardi, eloquently states the important role artworks plays in educating and creating awareness of plastic's invasive presence in remote places:
"Artists have the ability to make the invisible visible, allowing viewers to see previously hidden truths about the world around them. My primary interest in my work is to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world, how human culture impacts the non-human world. My exploration of remote places all over the world reveals plastic’s invasive presence, and simultaneously nature’s interaction with this material.  My photographs and sculptures are the forensic evidence of this invasion, and in this way, deliver messages from the natural world about its state of being.”
The Plastic GYRE Symposium
In June 2013, Pamela was the Lead Artist in the Alaska Gyre Expedition. Launched by the Alaska Sealife Center and the Anchorage Museum, the Gyre Expedition assessed the impact of plastic debris washing onto Alaskan shores from the Pacific Ocean gyres. The expedition was an amazing collaboration of elite scientists and artists working together for a common cause.

National Geographic (NatGeo) adventure filmmaker, producer and director J.J. Kelly joined the gyre team to document the four-year in-the-making expedition. On August 21, 2013, the NatGeo twenty-minute film GYRE: Creating Art from a Plastic Ocean was released on the monumental expedition.

Pamela Longobardi with works
 “Economies of Scale" (L),
and “Bounty, Pilfered” (R),
photo by Kip Evans
Pamela worked collaboratively with Howard Ferren, the GYRE Project originator, and Julie Decker, curator of the GYRE exhibition, to form the team of artists aboard the ship; the artists created art from the foraged plastic debris collected on the expedition. Subsequently, GYRE: The Plastic Ocean exhibition expanded to scores of esteemed global artists working with plastic pollution. The David J. Sencer Museum of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosted the exhibition January 26 - June 19, 2015.

Along with a committed team, Pamela orchestrated The Plastic GYRE Symposium: Artists, Scientists, and Activists Respond to coincide with the CDC Museum exhibit. Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) Co-Founder, Dianna Cohen provided tremendous support on multiple levels for the empowering Symposium. In addition, Dianna's artwork was included in the GYRE: The Plastic Ocean exhibit.

On March 26 & 27. 2015 nationally renowned scientists, filmmakers, artists, and activists converged on Atlanta for The Plastic GYRE Symposium. Hosted jointly by the Welch Foundation at GSU, CDC and the PPC, the Symposium was an effort to raise awareness and discourse on the global plastic pollution crisis. 

Then Elemental Impact (Ei) Chair Scott Seydel was one of the esteemed Symposium speakers. The RiA Blog article, The Plastic GYRE Symposium: Artists, Scientists, and Activists Respond, recaps the impressive, well-attended Symposium.

Crossing Over
As a continuation of her profound work with plastics found in global oceans and coastal zones, Pamela expanded her Greece travels to the island of Lesvos in 2015. Nearly 400,000 refugees mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia landed on Lesvos beaches in 2015. A plethora of plastic items arrived with the refugees. Remnants of human migration including life jackets and personal belongings joined the water bottles, fishing nets, and other plastic detritus already washing up on the once pristine beach.

Pamela Longobardi & Susan Knippenberg,
Flying Free, digital photograph, 2017
Pamela's Crossing Over exhibition is an artistic compilation of photographs, sculptures, and installations that explore and document the intersection of a humanitarian crisis and an environmental catastrophe. Crossing Over is open to the public at the CDC Museum July 9 – October 5, 2018; reservations are required.

Crossing Over complements The Refugee Journey to Wellbeing, an immersive museum experience. Created by various CDC divisions in 2016, The Refugee Journey to Wellbeing installation provides insights into refugee health and the resettlement process. The exhibit is open to the public at the CDC Museum July 9 – October 5, 2018; reservations are required.

Ei Integrates Art & Impact
Known for articulate written and spoken communication, Ei Founder Holly Elmore is an artist at heart and understands how visual art speaks the unspoken. Holly's art medium is photography.

In late 2017 Holly expanded her communication repertoire beyond publishing articles in the Ei Blogs, trade journals, and industry papers to photojournalism in nationally distributed Southern Farm & Garden (SF&G). Rather than document Ei's important work, the SF&G articles complement and intertwine Ei Pioneers, Strategic Allies, and initiatives within the copy.

The recently launched Ei Digital Books are in partnership with Holly Elmore Enterprises and comprised of Fingertip Press publications supported by Holly Elmore Images (HEI) photos. Created and published by Ei Partner Nancy Suttles, the digital books augment Ei’s profound work within the Soil Health and Water Use | Toxicity platforms. Over the years, the Fingertip Press evolved into Holly’s nomenclature for her published articles, documents, and other written communication.

In May 2018, Holly accepted the invitation to present at the 2018 Phlorographers Unite workshop hosted in Denver, CO by Jackie Kramer of LuvBlooms Photography. Holly presented on Creating Your Legacy: making an impact with your photography. The HEI Nature Photography video served as an intro to Holly’s presentation. 

Cigarette butts collected on a
four-mile walk in Holly's neighborhood
In her presentation, Holly encouraged the audience to use their images for broadening horizons and making a difference. One example given was a creative capture of a pile of cigarette butts collected on a four-mile walk in her neighborhood. With no words, the image conveys the impact of careless tossing of cigarette butts on our roadways.

Holly's PPT presentation is available for download on the Holly Elmore Images website page.

Ei is honored to join artists like Pamela Longobardi and use art to make an impact beyond words.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Baltimore: revitalization in-process

The Lambda Alpha International Baltimore Chapter hosted the Spring 2018 Land Economics Weekend (LEW) attracting a global contingency eager to learn about Baltimore's history, challenges, and accomplishments. With limited time, the LEW tours and presentations focused on neighborhood revitalization, Inner Harbor industrial | commercial development, and community-based initiatives.

Lambda Alpha International (LAI) is an 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. LAI chapters provide 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 LEWs address wider international, national and regional issues and include project tours within the host city.

Under Armour Inner Harbor facility
In late April the Baltimore Chapter welcomed over 100 LAI members and guests from around the globe to their grand city for the 2018 Spring LEW. The day prior to LEW festivities is slated for global LAI business meetings, including the Executive Committee, Land Economic Foundation (LEF) Board, President's Roundtable, and the Board of Governance meetings. Elemental Impact (Ei) Founder Holly Elmore represented the Atlanta Chapter in pre-LEW business meetings and enjoyed the LEW festivities.

During the business meetings, the Spring 2019 Puerto Rico LEW was officially approved. As there is no Puerto Rico chapter, LAI Global Executive Vice-President Cassandra Francis is the LEW Chair; Holly volunteered to serve on the LEW committee and will oversee the LEW sustainability commitment. Could the Puerto Rico LEW be plastic-free??!!!!!

After the business meetings, Holly met with the LEF Board to preview a potential LAI Atlanta Chapter Finding the Flint project for a grant application. The Zero Waste in ACTION Blog article, The Flint River: a river ready to regenerate, gives an overview of the Flint River headwaters current scenario. A local Atlanta team is in place and project development is underway for an anticipated early 2019 launch.

Founded in 1965, LEF is a not-for-profit charitable foundation organized to administer an investment fund which provides grants for research projects related to land economics. LEF commits capital (5% of assets) to a number of significant and worthwhile endeavors across the country on a matching basis with other non-profit entities. After the LEF Board of Directors' review, qualified applications are submitted to the LEF Board of Trustees for approval.

Inner Harbor view
As the business day closes, the LEW opens with the President's Reception where attendees are treated to delicious cuisine, cocktails and a heartfelt welcome to the hosting city. The Baltimore LEW President's Reception was hosted at Top of the World, 27th Floor of the World Trade Center and opened the formal LEW festivities. With 365-degree glass windows, the Baltimore Inner Harbor views were spectacular.

On Day One LEW attendees gathered for breakfast while prominent Baltimore professionals educated on the city's history, current status and projects under development. Lunch was provided on a comprehensive cruise of the Baltimore Inner Harbor and beyond. Within the Inner Harbor, Baltimore retains its manufacturing roots with prominent facilities located harborside; Domino Sugar and Under Armour are two industry leaders with Inner Harbor facility locations.

Raymond Skinner
In the afternoon, LEW attendees toured East Baltimore via buses and witnessed the neighborhood redevelopment underway. East Baltimore is an area in transition with the community coming together to restore historic row houses into affordable homes for local citizens. At the Eager Park amphitheater stage, East Baltimore Development President & CEO Raymond Skinner educated on the comprehensive, aggressive plan to redevelop an 88-acre tract of land adjacent to Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Displaced residents are well taken care of within the redevelopment, whether they choose to return to the neighborhood or not.

The full day ended with fun, educational dine-around dinners hosted by LAI Baltimore Chapter members. As an introduction to Baltimore neighborhoods and local cuisine, members hosted groups of 8 - 10 LEW attendees for a cocktail reception at their home. Dinner followed at a nearby restaurant.

Holly joined hosts Joanie & David Millane for a lovely evening in the Federal Hill neighborhood. After meeting at the Baltimore Visitor Center, the small group strolled past Baltimore's tallest building and into the eclectic neighborhood. Joanie & David arranged for a tour of a famed Otterbein "Dollar Home."

In the mid-1800's Otterbein was thriving and home to St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, the largest parish in Baltimore. By the 1970's the neighborhood was in shambles and the City intended to tear down the disheveled row houses for parking. Due to strong neighborhood advocacy, the City instead offered shabby yet salvageable homes for $1.00 along with responsibility for restoration. The Baltimore Sun 2014 article, Remembering the homesteaders of Otterbein, chronicles Otterbein's history and revitalization from author Jacques Kelly's perspective as a neighborhood advocacy journalist in the 1970's.

Remington Neighborhood
Following the "Dollar Home" tour, Joanie and David welcomed the dine-around group into their renovated Harbor Walk 1980's townhome. Joanie's housemade Maryland crab dip was the star of the cocktail reception. The lovely evening ended at Sobo Cafe for a delicious dinner prepared with local ingredients. Holly and her companions opted to walk back to Pier 5, the LEW host hotel.

On Day Two the LEW attendees enjoyed an educational breakfast prior to boarding buses headed for Central Baltimore. At the MICA Graduate Center, a comprehensive panel shared their work and experience with revitalizing Central Baltimore neighborhoods. Lunch was enjoyed at the R House food hall, located in the heart of the revitalized Remington neighborhood. After lunch, Holly left the organized bus tour for her self-guided walking tour back to the hotel.

Following tradition, the Baltimore LEW ended with an excellent Awards Banquet. As the dinner closed the Baltimore Chapter President handed the LEW baton to the Orange County President in anticipation of the 2018 Fall Orange County LEW.

Renowned photographer Bob Madden was in-charge of a LEW pictorial recap. What an honor: Bob was a staff photographer for 15 years with National Geographic where he won many impressive awards.

"Hi Joan: "Past & Current LAI Presidents
Steven Gragg & Robert McBride
Augmenting Bob's official photos, Holly published the Ei FB album, 2018 Spring Baltimore LEW, with images from her LEW perspective. The album includes a "Hi Joan" section in honor of Founding Atlanta Chapter President Joan Herron, a well-loved icon in the LAI community. As her health prevents travel, Joan's dear friends enjoy posing for a series of "Hi Joan" photos.

Beyond attending semi-annual LEWs, Holly serves on the Atlanta Chapter Board as the Communications Chair. In addition, Holly is a member of the Global PR & Communication Executive Committee. With Ei's Soil Health and Water Use | Toxicity focus, LAI is a valuable investment of Ei time and resources.

Via Holly's nomination, Ei Strategic Ally Park Pride Executive Director Michael Halicki and Sustainable Facilities Initiative Chair Tim Trefzer, Georgia World Congress Center Authority Director of Sustainability, were inducted into LAI membership in December 2017. Ei Advisor Wayne King, ERTH Products President & CEO, was inducted into LAI membership in December 2015.

Congratulations to Baltimore LEW Chair Susannah Bergmann for spearheading an amazing weekend. Thanks to the dedication of a strong committee, LEW attendees left Baltimore impressed with innovative neighborhood revitalization and inspired by the community involvement of industry leaders like Johns Hopkins Hospital and Under Armour.

... and the Fall 2018 Orange County LEW is a mere six month away!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Atlanta: the greenest convention, sports, and entertainment destination in the world

On October 28, 2014, the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) announced the 3.9 million square feet conference center was awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The announcement thrust Atlanta into the national | global sustainability spotlight as home to the world's largest LEED-certified convention center AND the 14th largest LEED-certified building.

GWCCA Executive Team
with the LEED Silver  plaque
Recertifying two years early, on November 28, 2017, the GWCC was awarded LEED Gold certification, the second highest level in the rating system. In the recertification, the GWCC was thirteen points higher than the 2014 application and five points higher than the minimum requirement. The majority of the additional points related to the energy-saving performance contract referenced below.

Improving our performance from LEED Silver to Gold reflects our commitment to having better buildings, being better neighbors, and hosting better events,” said Tim Trefzer, LEED Accredited Professional and the GWCCA’s Director of Sustainability. “It’s a testament to our leadership’s vision to anchor the greenest convention, sports, and entertainment destination in the world.” 

LEED - Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design - is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices within the USGBC umbrella.To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different certification levels. For a pre-existing building, LEED certification is often a multi-year endeavor.

As an industry leader in sustainability, the GWCCA 220-acre downtown campus boasts an impressive list of accomplishments:
  • GWCCA diverted more than 14 million pounds of material from landfills since 2010. 
  • GWCC reduced water consumption by 41% since 2009 through the installation of new irrigation, restroom fixtures, and chillers. 
  • GWCC is approximately 28% more energy efficient than similar buildings. 
  • GWCCA uses janitorial paper and cleaning products that meet sustainability criteria, including recycled content materials and|or reduced harmful chemicals. (86% of the products meet the criteria) 
    New equipment in the
    energy-saving performance contract
  • GWCC’s 1,900-solar panel canopy located in the marshaling yard produces enough energy to power 89 Georgia homes annually. 
  • GWCCA employees donated 1730 lbs. of clothing, recycled 152 lbs. of batteries and electronics, and donated nearly 500 meals worth of food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank during the 2016 holiday season.
  • GWCCA finished construction in April 2017 of a $28 million energy-saving performance contract that is expected to save at least 39% on utilities. The contract earned the majority of the additional thirteen LEED certification points in the 2017 recertification.
  • GWCCA-managed Savannah International Trade and Convention Center earned LEED Gold in July 2017, making it the first convention center in the State of Georgia to achieve Gold LEED status. 
Atlanta is home to one of the densest (if not the densest) district of LEED-certified event space in the world and is the greenest convention, sports, and entertainment destination in the world. 

The list of downtown Atlanta LEED-certified facilities is impressive: GWCC (world’s largest LEED-certified convention center), Mercedes-Benz Stadium (first professional sports stadium in the world to achieve LEED-Platinum certification), Philips Arena (world’s first National Basketball Association/National Hockey League arena to get LEED certified), as well as the College Football Hall of Fame (LEED Silver), the World of Coca-Cola (LEED Gold), and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (LEED Silver).

Atlanta was a driving force in sustainability rising to a key component for large event site selection. As host to the 2013 NCAA® Men’s Final Four®, the second most popular sporting event across the globe, Atlanta set a high standard for sporting event sustainability practices. One of the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee (ALOC) stated goals was to make the 2013 Final Four the "greenest games ever." Tim took the helm for achieving the lofty goal.

SUCCESS: the comprehensive ALOC plan culminated in impressive green footprints before, during and after the games. The ZWA Blog article, Final Four green footprints continue after the games, gives an overview of event sustainability stats; the May 2013 Final Four Sustainability Report is the official in-depth report.

Post-event, Tim and an EPA colleague drafted the Final Four Sustainability RFP sustainability section. Thus, new industry standards were established!

GWCCA Senior Director of Client Services Erik Waldman, validates the role LEED certification plays in event location decision making:
“The meeting planners of today are much more conscious of the effects that their events have on communities than in the past. LEED certifications allow venues to highlight their performance and even benchmark it against competitors. With these two factors alone, Atlanta is easily recognized as one of the most sustainability-friendly sites for events, led by the Georgia World Congress Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.”
Environmental and community stewardship are strong drivers within the GWCCA culture. Management understands sustainability is a journey without a specified destination; continued improvement in facility practices are always available. As the anchor to Atlanta's convention, entertainment, and sports downtown sports district, the GWCCA takes their role as a major economic driver seriously.

Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Atlanta Stephanie Stuckey, confirms the GWCCA's leadership role:
The Georgia World Congress Center achieving LEED Gold certification is more than simply the culmination of implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment by the GWCCA towards making Atlanta a more resilient place to live, work and play. Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the major impact of the building industry in that effort, GWCCA is leading our city by example.” 
In 2019, the GWCCA hosts GreenBuild, the USGBC annual conference attracting an estimated 20,000 attendees from a wide spectrum of the sustainability community. It is a perfect occasion to celebrate Atlanta's status as the greenest convention, sports, and entertainment destination in the world!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Happy 8th 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 eight 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.

The following is a recap of Ei's evolution:
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. The IMPACT Blog article, Ei 2016: A Year of RECOGNITION, gives an in-depth overview of accomplishments, completions, and recognition. 
2017: Year of Shifting Gears - in 2017 Ei announced Soil Health, regenerating the foundation of life, was a prime focus, replacing the prominent RR work. In addition, Ei Leadership experienced a changing of the guard and Ei welcomed new Strategic Allies.
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!

Soil Health
In 2017 Ei shifted gears within the spiral of humanity's environmental impact. Ei evolved from a focus on RR and food waste collection for compost to Soil Health, regenerating the foundation of life.

GWCCA Team on
Hickory Grove Farm Tour
Initial work relates to the education of depleted soils' direct relationship with out-of-balance carbon cycles, contaminated waterways, excessive water usage, erosion control, stormwater management, and production of nutritious food. In addition, Ei addresses the microplastic pollution within the soils, similar to the plastic smog prolific in the oceans. The inaugural Soil Health focus areas are:

Ei served on The Compost Story Launch Team for the impressive May 2017 release in conjunction with the International Compost Awareness Week. As The Soil Story sequel, The Compost Story explains compost's role in soil regeneration and balancing the carbon cycles.

Ei-hosted panel during
Q&A session
In the November 2017 released Kiss the Ground (KTG), how the food you eat can reverse climate change, heal your body and ultimately save the world book by Josh Tickell, the well-searched chapters dive deep into the destruction of the Earth's soils. The ZWA Blog article, Beyond Sustainability: Regenerative Solutions, was inspired by KTG; the article explains trigger points for the mass desertification and ocean acidification underway across the globe, culminating in a pending oxygen deficiency and food crisis.

At the January 2018 U.S. Composting Council (USCC) Conference in Atlanta, Ei Founder Holly Elmore moderated the popular Ei-hosted panel, Compost's Empowering Role in Sustainable Soils, to a near room capacity audience. Per the program, the following is the panel description:
Soil is the foundation of life. Healthy, vibrant soil eco-systems are the building blocks for healthy communities with effective stormwater management programs, solid erosion control systems, and nutritious urban food production. … and compost feeds the soil eco-systems!
Industry experts shared about compost’s empowering role in carbon sequestration/climate change, soil management systems grounded in solid economics, and green urban infrastructure.
The ZWA Blog article, GAME WON: 2018 compost conference a record-breaking success, features the Ei-hosted panel. PPT presentations are available for download on the Ei-Hosted Conference Panels page.

Simultaneous with the Soil Health platform announcement, the RR platform was moved to Mission Accomplished. RR, zero waste, and other related expertise are available via Holly's private consulting practice at

Changing of the Guard
SFCI Chair
In August 2017, Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) Director of Sustainability Tim Trefzer joined the Ei Leadership Team as the new Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI) Chair.
Past SFCI Chair Doug Kunnemann
& current Chair Tim Trefzer

Founding SFCI Co-Chairs Scott Seydel and Doug Kunnemann of NatureWorks lead the SFCI through grand successes within the RR and Post-Consumer Food Waste focus areas. With Ei's shift to a Soil Health focus, Scott and Doug pass the SFCI leadership baton to Tim with strong accolades.

The ZWA Blog article, Changing of the Guard: Welcome Tim Trefzer to the Ei Leadership Team!, gives a brief SFCI history, chronicles Tim's impressive achievements, and includes Scott and Doug's accolades.

The SFCI evolved into the Sustainable Facilities Initiative (SFI) with a soon-to-be-announced leadership team. A formal SFI launch is slated for late spring 2018.

Strategic Allies
To support new directions in Soil Health endeavors, Ei welcomed Kiss the Ground, One More Generation and Park Pride to the Ei Strategic Ally Program. The IMPACT Blog article, Ei Welcomes New Strategic Allies, provides a brief synopsis of each non-profit and their strategic role related to Ei work.

Michel Halicki & Tim Trefzer
With impeccable timing, Park Pride Executive Director Michael Halicki and Tim were recognized for their outstanding environmental leadership at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's E3 Awards. The IMPACT Blog article, Ei Leadership Recognized for Contributions to Atlanta's Economy & Environment, gives details on the impressive awards.

Respected Industry Resource
Urban Biocycles scoping paper
On March 28, 2017, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) issued the groundbreaking Urban Biocycles scoping paper as an introduction to a Circular Economy approach for urban nutrient cycles. The paper addresses the valuable nutrients within current organic waste streams and how urban environments disrupt nature's perfected nutrient cycles.

A combination of global, long-term, research-oriented planning coupled with immediate, action-oriented, grassroots efforts is a recipe for a Circular Economy to emerge. Ei is honored to support the global planning and grassroots efforts.

The Urban Biocycles paper credits Ei Advisory Council Member Brenda Platt with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Holly as Expert Input and Case Study Contributors.

The ZWA Blog article, A Circular Economy Approach to Urban Nutrient Cycles, introduces the important EMF scoping paper.

Southern Farm & Garden feature article
Holly provided the copy and photographs for a seven-page, multiple-article feature in the Southern Farm & Garden fall issue. An Icon in Sustainability and Hickory Grove Farm: Regenerative Agriculture Revives Soils & Local Ecosystems, gives an overview of Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) stellar sustainability commitment at the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality, The Commons (KSU’s Gold LEED certified dining hall), and Hickory Grove Farm. 

The Ei-hosted Hickory Grove Farm tour for the GWCCA team, including Tim, GWCCA Grounds Maintenance Manager Steve Ware, and Levy Restaurants Executive Chef Matt Roach, is featured in an article sidenote along with a photo of Tim.

Ei Blogs
The Ei Blogs, The Impact Blog and Zero Waste in ACTION Blog, detail project status and tales from Ei's empowering journey. In July 2017, the ZWA Blog pageviews surpassed the coveted 350,000 views milestone – the article, Ei: Respected Journalism, chronicles the blogs’ evolution from a powerful industry voice and resource to respected journalism.

As of this article's publication, The IMPACT Blog's views were at 142,450 while the ZWA Blog boasted 371.250 views.

GaTech Facilities Sustainability Forum
On October 24, 2017, Georgia Institute of Technology (Ga Tech) hosted the first annual Facilities Sustainability Forum to an enthusiastic audience from the university and beyond.

At the invitation of Ga Tech Associate Director, Office of Solid Waste Management & Recycling Cindy Jackson, Holly was the forum featured speaker. Within her opening remarks, Holly shared the long-term, powerful Ga Tech | Ei relationship dating back to the ZWZ's 2009 launch.

The ZWA Blog article, Collaboration + Culture = Sustainability Success, is a forum overview featuring the impressive Building Services, Office of Solid Waste & Recycling, and Landscape Services presentations. A comprehensive forum PPT presentation is available for download on the Ei Speaking Engagements page.

The Power of Connection
Ei plays a valuable industry role by introducing organizations and individuals who share synergies for powerful relationships and action. The year began with a series of Ei Farm Tours for SFI Chair Tim Trefzer, culminating in the Southern Farm & Garden article referred to above.

Lambda Alpha International (LAI)
At Holly's invitation, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) General Manager Scott Jenkins gave an empowering Sustainability: an economic driver presentation at the February 15, 2017, LAI Atlanta Chapter luncheon meeting.

Ei entourage @LAI meeting
A strong Ei entourage attended the LAI meeting to show their support for their close Ei friend: LAI member Wayne King (U.S. Composting Council | ERTHProducts), Boyd Leake (City of Atlanta, Office of Sustainability), Jim Harrell (Renaissance Technology) and Tim Trefzer (GWCCA).

The IMPACT Blog article, Sustainability: an economic driver, gives an overview of Scott's presentation. Scott's PPT presentation is available on the LAI page for download. 

LAI is a prominent, global land economics honorary. In December 2013, Holly was inducted into LAI and in early 2017 joined the Atlanta Chapter Board. SFI Chair Tim Trefzer and Ei Strategic Ally Michael Halicki accepted their 2017 LAI membership nominations on December 1, 2017.

U.S. Green Building Council Atlanta Visit
In late July 2017, Ei hosted U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Global Zero Waste Director Stephanie Barger on a whirlwind Atlanta zero waste-focused visit. For three days, Stephanie met with Atlanta's sustainability leadership to educate on the USGBC Zero Waste Certification and their commitment to building a Zero Waste Economy. 

The ZWA Blog article, Building a Zero Waste Economy, one city, one step at a time, gives the history of the strong relationship dating back to the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council timeframe along with details on the whirlwind visit.

Laura Turner Seydel | Kathy Kellogg Johnson 
On August 22, 2017, Laura Turner Seydel hosted a Sustainable Soils luncheon at the EcoManor, her LEED Certified home. An impressive cross-section of industry professionals representing the USDA Forest Service, The Conservation Fund, U.S. Composting Council, Turner Foundation, Captain Planet Foundation, Park Pride, Emory University, Ei, Growing a GreenerWorld, and Kellogg Garden Organics attended the empowering luncheon.

Kathy & Laura embrace before
the USCC plenary conversation
The luncheon was in honor of industry icon Kathy Kellogg Johnson's Atlanta visit. When Ei introduced Kathy and Laura in the spring, a lovely friendship blossomed.

At the 2018 USCC Conference closing plenary session, Kathy introduced her dear friend and joined Laura on stage for a conversation on an array of topics. In her opening remarks, Kathy graciously thanked Ei for the introduction to Laura. The profound conversation is one of three main features in the ZWA Blog article, GAME WON: 2018 compost conference a record-breaking success, chronicling the conference. 

Kiss the Ground
During pre-USCC conference activities, Ei hosted Kiss The Ground Co-Founder Finian Makepeace on a series of introductory meetings focussed on regenerative landscape & grounds maintenance. The busy day included meetings with Ga Tech, GWCCA, Southern Farm & Garden and the Atlanta Airport.

The Ei Connects page details an array of Ei introductions over the years. Photos from important meetings are included in the Ei FB album, Ei Connects.

2018: Year of Regeneration
With gears shifted and new leadership in-place, Ei soars into a Year of Regeneration!