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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Food Waste Focus @ Zero Waste Conference

On May 8 & 9 the national zero waste community converges upon Cincinnati, Ohio for the second annual U.S. Zero Waste Business Council Conference. In 2012 the stellar inaugural conference was held in Costa Mesa, CA with an enthusiastic crowd from across North America, including attendees from Hawaii, Toronto and each quadrant of the continent. 

For an overview of the 2012 USZWBC Conference, visit the ZWA Blog post, U.S. Zero Waste Business Council hosts first-rate conference. Stephanie Barger - USZWBC executive director - and the USZWBC Board are staged for an excellent encore performance, building off the solid foundation from the first conference.

Ei Ptrs @ 2012 USZWBC Conference
With a myriad of  topics addressed, the conference is an excellent educational experience for industry professionals seasoned in zero waste practices and those taking the initial steps.Topics range from innovations & markets, supply chain management, program promotion, food waste, property | facility management along with "how to achieve zero waste" success stories. A strong industry cross section is interwoven within panelists and keynote speakers. The conference program gives the details.

Food waste takes center stage on the second day with Lori Scozzafava,  U.S. Composting Council executive director, opening the plenary session with his State of Commercial Food Scrap Policies and Process in the United States presentation. Following Lori, the Greater Cincinnati Green Council.hosts the plenary panel The Composting Project and Tool Kit.

Scott show Amy pkging
during Piazza tour
For the mid morning break out sessions, Elemental Impact founder Holly Elmore moderates a powerful panel discussion, Zero Waste is a Team Sport. comprised of Ei Partners. The ZWA Blog post, Zero Waste is a Team Sport, inspired the panel name and topic.

Scott Lutocka, Plazza Produce facilities manager, leads the discussion with a presentation on the supply chain's critical role in zero waste success. Speaking with authority, Scott brought Piazza Produce to zero waste though ingenuity, determination and working with Piazza's suppliers. On the other hand, Scott understands Piazza's produce packaging integrity directly impacts their customers' ability to achieve zero waste. The ZWA Blog post, Supply Chain Critical to Zero Waste Success, gives a foundation of the supply chain's role in zero waste programs.

Amy Moreland & Chris Bradlee
in Newark for zero waste education
Second on the panel agenda is Chris Bradlee with BASF who presents on Sustainable Saturdays at Safeco Field where teamwork was integral to success. Working in partnership with the Seattle Mariners, BASF pulled together community, corporate and non-profits to develop a fun, educational program. Last fall Chris presented on the Seattle Mariner's Sustainable Saturdays during the two-day City of Newark zero waste workshop and meetings. Chris' PPT presentation is available on the Ei Meetings & Events Page.and the ZWA Blog post, Ei Team Visits Newark for Zero Waste Education, is a Newark visit overview.

Rounding out the panel is Perry Kranias - HMSHost food & beverage manager at the Tampa International Airport - who presents on food donation programs. HMSHost's amazing food donation commitment is featured in the ZWA Blog post, Reduce First, Donate Second and Compost Third. Perry's unwavering community commitment along HMSHost's partnership with the The Food Donation Connection built an impressive donation program that makes a tremendous difference in Tampa and beyond.  

Perry w/ food donation - YUM!
After the Zero Waste is a Team Sport panel, the conference convenes for lunch where Jim Larson with The Food Donation Connection is the keynote speaker.- impeccable timing! The Food Donation Connection model focuses on the tax benefits derived from food donation to organizations meeting the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. It is important to ground sustainable practices as good business practices.

Ei is well represented at the conference. In addition to the Zero Waste is a Team Sport panel,  Ei Partners Bruce Buchan of CleanRiver Recycling Solutions and Amy Moreland of Heritage Interactive Services present on panels.

Conference registration remains open yet space is filling quickly.  What an opportunity to learn from the pros on the important role zero waste practices play in sustainable business models!


  1. Holly, you are a very gifted and authoritative writer. Your passion for Zero Waste and good Sustainability Practices not only illustrates but actually demonstrates as well as documents the many successful Zero Waste initiatives that Elemental Impact has lead or created or having been involved in. I am extremely grateful to serve on your panel & Ei Team at the upcoming USZWBC Event in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 9th! I'm also looking forward to meeting additional Ei and other sustainable champions, too!

    1. Scott, thank you so much for your unwavering Ei support and most importantly your zero waste convictions within your professional & personal life. You are an icon and I am honored to call you my friend & colleague. Holly

  2. Holly, Thanks for sharing this! All Zero Waste businesses save money, reduce their greenhouse gases, increase their efficiency and their bottom line! I look forward to hearing all the stories first hand from businessess that have actually achieved all these benefits at this conference. See you there!

    1. Thanks Gary - it will be great to see you at the conference! VERY excited about the powerful, pertinent program; as I said in the post, a valuable experience for industry professionals seasoned in zero waste practices and those taking the initial steps. See you in days!!!