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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Georgia Dome - SFCI Event Venue Pilot!

It is official:  The Georgia Dome is the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Event Venue Pilot!

At a mid April lunch Georgia World Congress Center Authority Sustainability Director Tim Trefzer delivered the exciting news the Dome accepted the SFCI Event Venue Pilot invitation.  The three GWCCA facilities, the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, are Founding Zero Waste Zones Participants.

Inviting the Dome to serve as the SFCI Event Venue Pilot was a natural.  In the fall of 2008, the GWCCA was the first downtown facility to say YES to ZWZ Participation! The acclaimed ZWZ press conference launching the program was hosted by the GWCC with Kevin Duvall, now GWCC chief operating officer, speaking on behalf of a participant's role.

Georgia Dome
The Dome joins Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International as a pilot food court - the June 27, 2011 ZWA Blog post, Atlanta Airport - First SFCI Pilot!, announces the Atlanta Airport accepting their invite to serve as the SFCI Airport Pilot.  This summer Elemental Impact anticipates announcing a Simon Property Group mall with HMSHost-operated concessions will serve as the SFCI Mall Pilot.

Invitations for SFCI pilots in the office complex, university and government center categories are pending.

By accepting the SFCI Pilot invitation, a facility commits to working with a SFCI Pilot ACTION Team on developing a game plan to initiate zero waste practices into food court operations.  Projects often extend beyond the food court parameters and may well embrace expanded sustainable practices such as toxic-free environments.

Lunch where Tim on far right gave
the great news.
Photo courtesy Scott Seydel 
One of the first action points is to create the supporting team who works closely with the pilot facility management.  Tim's great news came with impeccable timing during a lunch meeting with new SFCI Team member Chris Bradlee of BASF.  Chris intends to play a leading role in the Dome action plan.    

Note BASF sponsored the Seattle Mariner's Sustainable Saturdays at Safeco Field launched on April 21, the first Saturday game of the 2012 season. The Waste & Recycling News article, Mariners tout sustainability efforts at ballpark, gives a nice overview of the initiative.

SFCI Co-Chair Doug Kunnemann of Natureworks has extensive zero waste event venue expertise from his teamwork with the Portland Rose Garden. Along with fellow SFCI Team Member Buzz Chandler of StalkMarket, Doug worked closely with the Rose Garden for their effective 2010 Green Game launch. The November, 2011 ZWA Blog post, Innovation Key to Zero Waste Packaging, gives a snippet of Doug and Buzz's role in bringing zero waste initiatives to the Rose Garden.

With SFCI expertise aligned with event venues and the Dome's sustainability commitment an effective, efficient game plan is imminent.  Levy Restaurants, the GWCCA foodservice operator, uses compostable packaging for most of its single-use service ware - one major action point is checked off before the fun begins!

The goal is to implement the first phase of the action plan by the August 2012 Atlanta Falcons season opening.  Stay tuned for tales from the journey filled with unraveling challenges and achieving success.  These are indeed exciting times!


  1. Holly and the EI team are shifting paradigms and creating sustainable memes on the way to making the world a better place to live!

    1. Thanks so much Ernie! Later this week I will have a better idea of your inaugural active role with Ei - VERY excited!