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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Happy 9th 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 nine years were action-packed while the Ei Team initiated and completed the Ei Era of Recycling Refinement (RR) and segued into the Era of Regeneration.

Since inception, Ei lived the tagline Sustainability in ACTION! Working with a powerful team of Ei Pioneers and Ei Industry Experts, Ei evolved into a respected national non-profit known for introducing sustainable best practices within a range of industries.

Beginning with the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ), Ei initiatives epitomized the following mantra:

Ei is a creator, an incubator. 
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done. 
Ei brings the possible out of impossible. 
Ei identifies pioneers and creates heroes.

Ei was formed as the home for the 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 - until fall 2013 Ei flowed within the metamorphosis stage. As the year drew to a close, the three-platforms approach emerged. The IMPACT Blog, Ei Emerges Strong from Metamorphosis, introduced the three platforms: Product Stewardship, Recycling Refinement and Water Use | Toxicity. The IMPACT Blog article, Another Year, Another Annual Ei Partner Meeting, recaps the formation of the new Ei three-platform approach for pilots and initiatives.

2014: Year of Foundations | Evolution - 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' following significantly increased and Ei was recognized as a respected 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 IMPACT Blog article, Happy 8th Birthday, Ei!, recaps the empowering year as Ei segued from the Era of RR to the Era of Regeneration.

2018: Year of Regeneration - in 2018 Ei welcomed new partnerships, participated in global events, revitalized the Ei site, and embarked on Ei Explorations. It was an action-packed year as Ei lived the new tagline Regeneration in ACTION!

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 website section lists Ei endeavors considered complete via a sale, term expiration or simply mission accomplished!

Global Impact
In 2018, Ei segued from national to global impact via three profound events.

2018 WorldChefs Congress & Expo
At the 2018 WorldChefs Congress & Expo hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the educational plenary program on day three was dedicated to Feed the Planet. A World Chefs' initiative, Feed the Planet is designed to inspire sustainable food consumption among communities and professionals.

Presentations focused on the current global food-waste scenario along with empowering programs committed to evolving the seemingly broken food system. After the "big picture" presentations, the focus narrowed down to local, effective initiatives and case studies on food-waste reduction in culinary operations.

The RiA Magazine article, Feed the Planet: an empowering WorldChefs' initiative, gives an overview of the session presentations and introduces the WorldChefs' Food Waste Challenge.

Holly speaking on the plenary
panel at the WorldChefs Congress
During the Feed the Planet session, Ei Founder & CEO Holly Elmore presented on The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food-waste reduction. After a quick overview of the successful ZWZ 2009 launch in Atlanta, GA, Holly shared a recipe for food-waste reduction success. In addition, Holly outlined the basics of where and why back-of-the-house food waste is generated.

Through powerful case studies, Holly emphasized key ingredients for success with the bottom line message:

A well-run kitchen generates minimal waste!

The Profitability of Waste presentation case studies featured three Ei Supporters' impressive food-waste reduction practices to a global audience:
  • Ted's Montana Grill: Stopping food waste starts with prevention.
  • Affairs to Remember Caterers: Sustainability is integral to the business model.
  • Georgia World Congress Center | Levy Restaurants: A hospitality industry pioneer.
The RiA Magazine article, The Profitability of Waste: the business case for food-waste reduction, highlights Holly's recipe for food-waste reduction success as well as the three prominent case studies.

Subsequent to the WorldChefs Congress, Ei and the WorldChefs Association Feed the Planet program officially joined forces for the January 7 launch of the Feed the Planet Food Waste Challenge. Ei is listed on the Feed the Planet website as a Collaborative Partner and Feed the Planet joined the Ei Strategic Ally program. Below is copy from a WorldChef's Food Waste Challenge Facebook post:
Chefs have a special responsibility to reduce food waste in their kitchens. Worldchefs can help. Together with Electrolux, AIESEC, and Elemental Impact, we’ve committed to doing our part to #feedtheplanet. Join us for the Food Waste Challenge! 
In the RiA Magazine article, Elemental Impact /  WorldChefs Collaborate on Global Food Waste Challenge, the Food Waste Challenge parameters are detailed as well as the long-term history at the foundation of the powerful collaboration.

From a Circular Economy to a Circular Society
A POCACITO - Post‐Carbon Cities of Tomorrow - delegation from Croatia and Munich, Germany visited Atlanta September 17 and 18 for two whirlwind days of meetings, tours, and vibrant dialogue. Ei co-hosted the From a Circular Economy to a Circular Society Town Hall Meeting.

In January 2014, the Ecologic Institute created the POCACITO project as a platform to educate and share challenges, lessons learned, and successes between European and U.S. cities.

POCACITO delegates at the
town hall meeting
Ecologic Institute US (EIUS) orchestrates delegations of European industry leaders on visits to select U.S. cities. Delegates represent a diverse cross-section of government stewards, activists, entrepreneurs, and non-profit executives from the European Union. For a POCACITO visit, EIUS organizes a series of meetings, tours, workshops, lectures and town hall meetings designed for interactive sharing of in-place circular-economy practices.

It was an honor the EIUS selected Atlanta for a POCACITO delegate visit. Events over the two days were perfect venues for the delegates and Atlanta hosts to share their accomplishments and benefit from each other's experiences. Ei facilitated numerous introductions for EIUS President Max Gruenig as he planned the excellent visit.

The RiA Magazine article, From a Circular Economy to a Circular Society, introduces POCACITO and gives an overview of the two-day visit, highlighting the town hall meeting.

In late 2018, Max connected with Ei on a return visit to Atlanta in 2019. Discussions are underway for a potential fall Atlanta visit with a German delegation.

The Savory Institute (SI) Global Network Reunion
The first annual Savory Institute (SI) Global Network Reunion held on November 10 & 11, 2018 at White Oak Pastures (WOP) was a global gathering with attendees traveling from around the world: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Argentina, France, Scotland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Canada, and across the U.S residents attended the event.

Holly attended the reunion as a SI guest. On Saturday, Holly represented Ei while on Sunday she wore a dual Ei | media hat. Ei Partner Nancy Suttles of Veracity Media Group joined Holly on
Sunday as media covering the event.

Reunion attendees heading into
lush field for soil tests
Dating back to 2005, Holly has a long-term relationship with WOP. In 2008 Holly orchestrated the first chefs tour of WOP's recently opened beef slaughterhouse. The tour was in partnership with the American Culinary Federation, Atlanta Chapter. The November 2011 The IMPACT Magazine article, White Oak Pastures - Dignity & Respect @ Its Core, chronicles the early years of the WOP metamorphosis from a conventional cattle ranch operation to an icon in regenerative agriculture.

A comprehensive introduction to WOP, SI, regenerative agriculture as well as an overview of the Global Network Reunion is provided in the RiA Magazine article, Regenerating a Bright Future for Planet Earth. The Ei FB album, Savory Institute 2018 Global Network Reunion, gives a pictorial recount of the powerful weekend from Holly's camera-lens perspective.

Ei Explorations
Tours are excellent vehicles to learn first-hand about industry practices and fellow partner business expertise. During the Era of RR, Ei hosted a plethora of tours including Sustainable Food Court Initiative, Industry, and Ei Partner Tours. In the Era of Regeneration, Ei evolved beyond tours to Ei Explorations.

Ei Explorations bring industry leaders and experts together to strategize on solutions for challenges facing humanity and life on our planet.

Ei Team members at the
On October 16, 2018, Ei hosted the first Ei Exploration. A group of diverse, passionate industry leaders traveled from California, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to participate in the Ei Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health, and World Hunger in Upstate South Carolina. The empowering day was in partnership with Ei Strategic Ally Feed & Seed.

Many profound seeds were planted at the Ei Exploration. Time will reveal how, when, and where the seeds germinate.

The RiA Magazine article, An Exploration of Fungi, Soil Health, & World Hunger, chronicles the empowering event; the Ei FB album, An exploration of Fungi, Soil Health & World Hunger, gives a pictorial recap.

In 2016 Ei segued from a valuable media and industry resource into respected environmental journalism. A few years earlier press-interview inquiries validated Ei as recognized industry media. ... and then the prominent invitation arrived 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.
In June 2016 Holly, author of the Ei magazines, launched as home to the Fingertip Press. When she publishes a magazine 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.

The Ei Magazines continue to garner impressive global readership! In 2018 The IMPACT Magazine surpassed 155,000 views and the RiA Magazine topped the coveted 400,000 views milestone on October 22. Below is a quick blog stats overview:

The Impact
  • 158,200 pageviews 
  • 131 published articles
  • Average 1,200 pageviews per article
  • Most popular article: Ei New Mission Statement (12/12) 2,974 views
Regeneration in ACTION
Holly expanded her communication repertoire beyond publishing articles in the Ei Magazines and trade journals and crafting 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.

In the SF&G spring 2018 issue, a six-page feature article, Restoring Pollinator Populations, gives an overview of challenges facing pollinator populations along with tips for pollinator-friendly gardens. Announcing the SF&G article, the RiA Magazine article, Redefining WASTE: impact of common landscape & grounds maintenance practices on urban wildlife, introduces the paradox of how neat, clean yards and landscapes are wasteful to the local ecosystem. 

Ei Strategic Ally Park Pride's Pollinators in Parks program was featured in the RiA Magazine and SF&G articles. Park Pride Visioning Coordinator Teri Nye educated Holly on the empowering role of pollinator gardens and proofed the articles for accuracy.

The Ei Digital Books launched in August 2018 are in partnership with Holly Elmore Enterprises and comprised of Fingertip Press publications supported by Holly Elmore Images photos. Created and published by Ei Partner Veracity Media, the digital books augment Ei’s profound work within the Soil Health and Water Use | Toxicity platforms.

Mission Accomplished
During the Ei RR Era, Ei inception through June 2017, the Ei Team accomplished a tremendous amount of impressive, important work within an array of zero-waste frontiers. The projects, initiatives, and grant work are well documented in a myriad of Ei Magazine articles, conference panel presentations, and as award recipients. 

Refreshed website homepage
With the Ei Era of Regeneration launch, the Ei RR Era website pages were moved into a comprehensive Mission Accomplished section and out of the main site navigation. Thus, it was time to relaunch the Ei site with a refreshed design, new colors, and updated navigation. The Mission Accomplished section is included as the final sub-navigation item under Ei in ACTION.

Thanks to In-Kind Ei Partners Thompson Creative and Atlanta Web Design, the refreshed Ei site launched as 2018 came to a close.

2019: Year of IMPACT
With the Ei Era of Regeneration well established, 2019 is staged for the Year of IMPACT!

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