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Saturday, October 20, 2012

National Restaurant Association Acquires Zero Waste Zones

ZWZ Two-Yr Press Conference
At the Zero Waste Zones February, 2011 Two-Year Anniversary Press Conference, the National Restaurant Association announced their collaboration with Elemental Impact and the ZWZ program.  In a formal statement, Scott DeFife - NRA executive vice-president policy and public affairs - voiced strong support for the program's impact:

Atlanta’s Zero Waste Zone program has been incredibly successful, and we are now looking to expand that success to communities nationwide.  Sustainability is imperative to our industry, other business communities and the general public. Working with Elemental Impact, we are bringing industry stakeholders together to enable our members to establish - and succeed in reaching - waste diversion and resource recovery goals.

In late September, the NRA acquired the ZWZ program with intentions to expand the program nationally within the state restaurant association network. Exciting news as the program may evolve and increase its impact within the depth of the NRA's educational, training and policy resources. 

The ZWZ program achieved national accolades as a pioneer in the commercial collection of food waste for composting when it launched at an acclaimed press conference in February, 2009.  By acquiring the program, the NRA validates the importance of the program and its potential impact within the foodservice industry, the nation's second largest private industry.

While in her tenure as the Green Foodservice Alliance executive director & founder, Ei founder Holly Elmore brought a vision into grounded action through the ZWZ program.  In January, 2010, the ZWZ transferred stewardship to Ei as the program continued to gain momentum in its national leadership role. For a brief history along with program criteria, visit the Ei ZWZ page.

Ei continues work in zero waste realms through the Sustainable Food Court Initiative, Recycling Integrity, speaking engagements and educational workshops. In October an Ei Partner Team consisting of Amy Moreland of Heritage Interactive Services, Chris Bradlee of BASF and Holly visited Newark for two days of zero waste meetings and a workshop hosted by the City of Newark Office of Sustainability.  The ZWA Blog post, Ei Team Visits Newark for Zero Waste Education, gives an overview of the visit.

The NRA ZWZ acquisition substantiates Ei as a creator and incubator for developing programs within the corporate, government and educational communities.  A common phrase in Holly's speaking engagements summarizes the overall driving force in Ei initiatives:
Ei determines what could be done that is not being done and gets it done.  Ei brings the possible out of impossible.

Ei's tagline Sustainability in ACTION moved into evolved dimensions of impact and prominence  Stay tuned for future exciting announcements from Ei and the NRA with respect to the ZWZ and beyond!

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