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Sunday, April 15, 2012

SFCI Team Tours New ATL Airport Int'l Concourse

The tour group
What a important treat! The Sustainable Food Court Initiative Team toured the near complete Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Concourse F, International Concourse, with Kyle Mastin, Airport concessions manager, and Tim Slaney, HMSHost Atlanta general manager. HMSHost is the contracted foodservice operator for the International Concourse, the first concourse with restaurants under the new airport concessions contracts.

Kyle & Tim during tour
Along with SFCI co-chair Doug Kunnemann of NatureWorks, Elemental Impact chair Scott Seydel, Ei program director Susan Montgomery and Ei founder Holly Elmore, three new SFCI Team members joined the fun, educational tour: Chris Bradlee of BASF, Laura Keck of Kimberly-Clark and John Lopez of Filta Environmental.  Atlanta Airport director of concessions Paul Brown accompanied the tour.

chandelier in concourse atrium
In addition to gorgeous aesthetic design, the International Concourse layout includes ample back-of-the-house space, including the loading dock area, to integrate recycling and organics collection into standard operating practices. Speaking of aesthetic design, a local Atlanta publication posted an article, sneak peak of the new international terminal, that gives a great  preview of the amazing artwork with a link to a photo gallery. 

The Atlanta Airport - the first SFCI Pilot - is committed to incorporating sustainable best practices into their operations and works closely with the SFCI on the landfill diversion component. The new airport concession contracts include a provision requiring all food vendors to use compostable consumer-facing packaging and serviceware and source-separate organics for composting or other permitted uses.  For details on the contract provision, read the ZWA Blog post, Atlanta Airport Makes a Bold Sustainable Statement.

Scott & Susan checking out
the disposal containers
Concourse F opens with all  foodservice operations under the new contract and serves as the prime 2012 action area for the SFCI Pilot.  The remaining concourses segue into the new contract in phases over the next 18 months as new concepts replace those from the previous contract period.  

While in the transition period, the concourses will be hybrids of food vendors under the old and new contracts - hybrids of those required and those NOT required to use compostable foodservice packaging. The hybrid scenario envelopes short-term challenges and opportunities.

On the tour it was powerful tour to witness the Airport's sustainability commitment in action within their design. The Ei FB album, 04-12-12 SFCI Team Tour of ATL Airport, gives a pictorial overview of the tour.

The SFCI Team is excited to work in partnership with the Atlanta Airport on creating logistical paths for clean, contaminant-free material collection for front and back-of-the-house operations.  Concourse F is a top priority for action once opening phases are complete. Stay tuned for tales from the journey.

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