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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Local Flavor + Zero Waste = Balanced Sustainability

HMSHost is a forerunner using an integrated approach to sustainability where the many facets intertwine into a balanced system, addressing profitability, social responsibility and the environmental impact. Sustainability focus areas such as zero waste, local|nutritious food, energy efficiency, and toxic-free environments (to name a few) interrelate.  For a balanced system to emerge, an integrated approach to sustainability is a must.

Thanks to HMSHost, the Tampa International Airport is getting an infusion of local flavor and talent in the airport's dining scene.  With five new Tampa area concepts in various stages of openings, HMSHost brings "local" as an added ingredient and balance to their impressive sustainability commitment.

First Flight, A Wine Bar by Mise En Place - Tampa's premier restaurant for modern cuisine - is serving wine flights in the main terminal with an open-air space that complements the restaurant's style.  In the concourse area, travelers may enjoy the oasis created by the local favorite the Green Iguana. In a recent citywide burger competition, the Green Iguana was awarded "Best Burger in Tampa Bay" by a panel of celebrity and culinary judges.  

Cigar City brewing equipment
Staged for opening are Shula's Bar & Grill - a namesake concept for retired Dolphin's Coach Don Shula, Cigar City Brewing, and the Columbia Restaurant CafeFor those who love tasting local brew, stop by Cigar City where beer is brewed on-site. Yes, the Tampa Airport has its own brewery!  Be sure to sample Cigar City's signature brew, Tony Jannus, named for Tampa area hero and first commercial airline pilot.  

With an over 100-year tradition along the central Gulf Coast, the Columbia Restaurant is an all-time favorite among locals and tourists.  The Tampa Airport Columbia Restaurant Cafe holds to its tradition with tile and pictures imported from the homeland.  Manager Casey Gonzmart's title, fifth generation, clearly states the airport's commitment to the iconic restaurant's authenticity.

The thirsty traveler is the inspiration for new Bacardi Mojito Bars and Stella Kiosks located near the gate hold areas.  For those in a hurry to catch a flight, three new Ciao Gourmet Deli kiosks give a quick option for healthy grab and go meals along with nutritious snacks.

Mixed plastic bales ready for sale
With the chaotic times associated with opening a multitude of concepts simultaneously, the HMSHost team keeps its zero waste rhythm at a fast and effective pace. 

In the last year, an Orwak baler was installed in the loading area for mixed plastic.  Previously landfill destined, the mixed plastic bales are sold to a local recycling company.  

Metal from broken equipment and Starbuck's spent whipped cream chargers are sold as scrap metal.  Valuable, the chargers are now stored indoors due to dumpster pirates snatching them when kept in the loading area.

condiment station in
employee cafeteria
HMSHost eliminated condiment packets, common contamination in recycling and composting feedstock, from the airport operations.  Condiments are now served into paper cups at pump stations.

With HMSHost's high quality standards and commitment to providing the traveler with an abundant grab and go food item selection, each day there is an inventory of delicious, nutritious food no longer suitable for sale.  HMSHost vendors typically produce a 10 - 15% overage to maintain selection standards. Working in partnership with local non-profit organizations, HMSHost donates this food to a children's center during the week where it may serve as the child's main meal of the day. On the weekend the food is donated to area homeless folks.

Perry with delicious food
ready for donation
Since September, 2010 HMSHost - Tampa Airport recovered the equivalent of 225,000 meals and spurred similar programs in 13 other airports.  The ZWA Blog post, Reduce First, Reuse Second and Compost Third, features the Tampa Airport's impressive food donation program.

For a pictorial overview of the recent Tampa Airport visit, see the Ei FB album, 05-23-12 Tampa Airport Tour.

It is an honor to include HMSHost - Tampa Airport as a founding Zero Waste Zones National Zone Participant. Kudos to Perry Kranias, HMSHost Tampa Airport food & beverage director, for his passion and tenacity to create systems that make strong business sense and benefit the environment.  Heroes like Perry are paving the pathway to a paradigm where zero waste practices are standard operating practices.

Stay tuned as the FUN at the Tampa Airport is ready to escalate!

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