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Monday, August 15, 2011

Ei|NRA's Meeting Marathon

The week of August 08 Scott Seydel, Elemental Impact's Advisory Council Chair and Global Green Chair, and Holly Elmore, Zero Waste Zones Director and Elemental Impact Founder, traveled to Washington D.C. for a multiple-day meeting marathon.  Chris Moyer, National Restaurant Association Conserve Program Manager, joined most of the meetings and offered the NRA offices as home base.

After a late afternoon arrival, dinner Monday evening was with Zach Pogue and Glenn Schatz of ECoRe Ventures to discuss the POWER - Perishable Organics Waste to Energy Recycling -Website under construction.  

Dr. Bob Peoples, Holly & Scott
The following morning started with breakfast at The Mayflower with Dr. Bob Peoples, Director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute (ACS = American Chemistry Society).  With toxic-free environments on Ei's horizon, it was powerful to find an ally who is working on solutions at a molecular level for cleaning, paints, pest control and other generators of toxins in the workplace.

Scott, Chris, Lynn Dyer & Clark Seydel
Lynn Dyer, Foodservice Packaging Institute President, recently joined the Ei Advisory Council (see the IMPACT Blog post, Ei Welcomes New Advisory Council Members, for details).  The D.C. meeting was an opportunity to strategize on how our organizations may use the mutual synergy to maximize impact.  

Chris, Clark, Frank Hurst,
 Bob Tonetti and \Scott
Lunch with Frank Hurst, John Roderique and  Bob Tonetti of UNICOR was powerful and fun!  UNICOR is a division of the Federal Prison Industries that seeks to employ and provide job skills training to the greatest practicable number of inmates confined within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  With his 32 year U.S. EPA background, Bob (UNICOR's Recycling Business Group General Manager) is taking UNICOR's recycling programs to new levels.  Ei is working with UNICOR on their exploration of expanding recycling systems beyond the current electronic recycling offered.

Holly, Scott, Linda Dunn and
Chris Moyer
HMSHost, an Ei Sponsor (see the IMPACT Blog July post, Ei Welcomes New Sponsors) and Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team Member, is instrumental in creating zero waste solutions for concession and quick service restaurant operations. The HMSHost corporate sustainability commitment directed by  Linda Dunn, VP Supply Chain & Analysis, is incredible.  Linda spent several hours educating on current HMSHost airport operations and exploring pilot projects to move closer to the zero waste goal.  Stay tuned for future posts on Tampa and Charlotte developments.

Scott, Linda Chipperfield and
Chris Moyer
Certifying products that meet the highest environmental standards and performance since 1989, Green Seal is a pioneer in educating consumers, personal and corporate, on the importance of understanding product integrity. Green Seal President & CEO Arthur Weissman and VP Marketing & Outreach Linda Chipperfield met for drinks and dinner with Scott, Chris and Holly.  In addition to Ei|NRA project discovery, potential Global Green|Green Seal synergies were explored.

Day Two began with another wonderful breakfast at The Mayflower with Darryl Young, Sustainable Cities Program Director, The Summit Foundation.  Darryl is one of the most connected individuals in the sustainability community!  The breakfast was a fantastic mutual update for long-time friends Scott and Darryl and an appreciated Ei introduction to the Summit Foundation.

Chris, Holly, Lynn Bragg,
Conni Kunzler & Bryan Vickers
The Glass Packaging Institute meeting was an opportunity to put faces with conference call voices and meet incoming President Lynn Bragg.  Conni Kunzler and Bryan Vickers are a strong and guiding force in the Atlanta glass recycling pilot in the research stage.  

With the nation's restaurant and bars major generators of glass from alcoholic beverages, the NRA support is key to mobilizing the foodservice industry to demand a glass recycling option other than single-stream.  Refer to prior ZWZ Blog posts, Single-Stream Recycling:  The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, Glass Recycling Kiln Ignited, The Continuing Glass Dilemma, and Single-Stream Recycling Controversy, where glass recycling is addressed and glass is identified as a contaminant in single-stream recycling.

Neil Seldman &
Brenda Platt
Lunch was a vibrant connection with dear pals Neil Seldman and Brenda Platt of the Institute of Local Self Reliance.  With Ei a working partner in the Institute's Waste to Wealth Program, the lunch was excellent timing for Scott to spend relaxed time with Neil and Brenda.  See the ZWZ Blog post, GOT QUESTIONS?  ZWZ Has Answers, where Brenda turned around a Compostable Products FAQ in less than 24 hours - Brenda ROCKS!

The Meeting Marathon ended with meetings attended by NRA executives Scott DeFife (Sr. Executive VP of Government & Public Affairs)  and Sue Hensley (Sr VP Public Affairs Communications).  Future announcements, press releases and blog posts will document the outcome of the decisions  made in these two meetings. 

 It is a thrilling time for foodservice operators as the National Restaurant Association is committed to leading the industry down the path to sustainable and healthful operating practices.

For the pictorial recap of the Ei|NRA Meeting Marathon visit the Ei FB album, 08-11 Ei Washington, D.C. Visit - A Meeting Marathon.

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