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Friday, October 14, 2011

Sustainability = SHARING

In two recent National Restaurant Association blog posts, the common ground is the Zero Waste Zones leaders' commitment to SHARING  their sustainable practices, experiences and successes with industry comrades.

Scott Fister
getting the micro view
The October 07 post, Atlanta operators help SC peers aim for zero waste, gives the micro and macro experiences from the August tour hosted by Atlanta ZWZ Champions for their SC neighbors.  See the ZWZ Blog post, ATL Zero Waste Team Hosts SC Hospitality Tour, for tour details.  

Scott Fister, sustainability coordinator at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, took the micro viewpoint:  "I was looking at it from the ground level: What do your bins look like? What kind of wheels do they have? Have you had any problems with employee resistance?"
The big ah-ha moment for him: employees had readily adopted whatever procedures were needed to strive for zero waste. "They all shrugged and said, 'It's just how we do it now,'" he recounted.
Tom Sponseller & Douglas
OFlaherty of SCHA during ATL tour
Tom Sponseller, SC Hospitality Association president and chief executive, took the macro perspective and focussed on the necessary infrastructure to bring zero waste initiatives to his state's hospitality industry.  "We went to Atlanta to see how it could be done and whether it could be brought back here [to South Carolina]," he said.
Zero waste initiatives must make solid business sense for the individual operator and the community.  "It has to be economically feasible; we're trying to figure that out," Tom said. "Hopefully by the first of the year we'll have something going."  
Kudos to Atlanta ZWZ Champions Patrick Cuccaro (Affairs to Remember), Steve Simon (fifth group restaurants), Paul Baldesaro (Buckhead Life Group), and Jimmy Chancellor|Wes Shirley (Hyatt Regency) for taking time out their busy schedules to SHARE with their northern neighbors.
A second Atlanta tour is scheduled for mid November that will focus on infrastructure, permits, logistics and government, non-profits and business|trade association support necessary for success.  
HMSHost Banner @ Tampa
Airport loading area
The October 03 blog post, Sustainable initiative aims to green food courts, gives an overview of the Sustainable Food Court Initiative, co-chaired by Chris Moyer (NRA ConServe Program Director) and Doug Kunnemann (NatureWorks Business Segment Director), along with the pilot projects underway.  With its mission to bring zero waste initiatives to food courts, the SFCI Team is identifying the numerous challenges and roadblocks inherent within food court operations that prevent strong recycling programs.
SFCI Team member HMSHost is taking the lead role in two pilot projects ready to launch at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the Concord Mills shopping mall owned by Simon Property Group, also a SFCI Team member.  
Clarice Turner of
Starbucks with Linda
@ NRA Board Mtg
During her presentation at the September NRA Board meeting, Linda Dunn (VP Supply Chain & Analysis) emphasized the prominent role the SFCI and their NRA|Ei|ZWZ relationship plays in their sustainability commitment.  The September ZWZ Blog post, HMSHost Presents @ NRA Board Meeting, gives a recap of Linda's presentation.
In addition to the formal pilot projects, HMSHost is working with the NRA|Ei\ZWZ Team on projects at the Tampa and Charlotte Airports.  Details of those projects and impressive results are forthcoming in future posts.
A true leader, HMSHost is equally committed to blazing the sustainability trail for the foodservice industry and SHARING their experiences with fellow operators.  "The whole process is about learning - identifying the best practices and bringing more participants aboard in our effort to reduce waste," Dunn says. "We want to share those learnings."

When it comes to sustainability, industry leaders put their competition hats on the shelf and work together with their competitors on discovering solutions for practices that harm the environment.  SHARING and collaborative spirit is integral to the leaders' sustainability commitments. These are thrilling times!

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