Search This Blog

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Elemental Impact: a business approach to sustainability

In conjunction with the Fourth Annual National Zero Waste Conference - The Stars of Zero Waste -  hosted in Los Angeles, ecotopiaU media interviewed a series of the Zero Waste Stars presenting at the conference. For an overview of the excellent U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC) conference, visit the ZWA Blog article, Business NOT as Usual: fine-tuning the zero waste journey.

Holly @ USZWBC Conference
Photo courtesy of Scott Lutocka
Elemental Impact (Ei) Founder Holly Elmore was included in the interview series hosted by Michelle McGinnis of ecotopiaU media. USZWBC Business Advisory Council Member Tom Wright of Sustainable Bizness Practices co-hosted the interviews with Michelle. In her thirteen-minute filmed interview, Holly covered Ei's zero waste origins, major strides at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and current initiatives within the Ei Recycling Refinement platform.

When asked about her background, Holly emphasized her strong business acumen was grounded in early career years as an Arthur Andersen auditor, followed by Controller, Southeast Region for Trammell Crow Company

A national non-profit, Ei maintains a business focus when developing new programs. Whether improving the bottom-line, meeting customer demands, serving as media | public relation opportunities or increasing employee morale, Ei initiatives make good, solid business sense.

In 2009 the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) were launched in response to Atlanta losing a convention as the client perceived another city "greener." Thus, the ZWZ were grounded in strengthening Atlanta's economic vitality. Via the ZWZ, Atlanta took a leadership role as THE forerunner in the commercial collection of food waste for compost.

When the National Restaurant Association purchased the ZWZ in late 2012, Ei shifted focus from zero waste to Recycling Refinement (RR), moving beyond landfill diversion. Recycling Integrity - maintaining maximum material value, minimal energy expended - is the premise for RR initiatives.

Sign @ SFCI Vendor Fair
for ATL concessionaires
While the ZWZ focused on "easy wins" via back-of-the-house food waste collection for compost, the Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI) moved into challenging front-of-the-house collection. With perfect timing, the SFCI - ATL Pilot launched in unison with the 2011 new airport concessionaire contract RFP - request for proposal. 

As documented in the ZWA Blog article, Atlanta Airport Makes a Bold Sustainable Statement, ATL Director of Asset Management & Sustainability Michael Cheyne spearheaded the following concessionaire contract provision:
“Concessionaire shall use compostable serviceware along with consumer facing packaging and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off airport composting facilities.”
The ATL contract provision has far-reaching implications and set new industry standards. Of the thirteen-minute interview, almost five minutes was dedicated to the ATL contract provision.

In the interview, Holly emphasized Ei supports contract provisions that require the teamwork necessary for zero waste success. At the conference Holly moderated the Zero Waste at Multi-Tenant Faculties panel. Ei General Council Greg Chafee of Thompson Hine closed the powerful panel with his Contract Provisions: A New Zero Waste Resource presentation.

The ZWA Blog article, Contract provisions require teamwork necessary for zero waste success, announces Ei's foray into educating on contract provisions with Greg taking the leadership role.

first SSMRT aluminum
bale at GWCC
Within the closing minutes, Holly gave an overview of the Source-Separated Materials Recycling Template (SSMRT) where Atlanta serves as the pilot city; the Georgia World Congress Center Authority - the GWCC (nation's fourth largest convention center), Georgia Dome (home of the Atlanta Falcons) and 20-acre Centennial Olympic Park - is the Lead Pioneer. 

Although national in scope, Ei often creates templates in Atlanta designed for replication across the country. Atlanta was a bright sustainability star during the interview.

In addition to Holly, the Michelle & Tom dynamic co-host duo interviewed Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute President Bridgett Luther, USZWBC Board Member Gary Liss of Gary Liss & Associates, Eco-Cycle International Executive Director Eric Lombardi, University of Colorado Boulder Development Director, Recycling Jack DeBell and Elvis Nolasco of ABC's American Crime.

Ei initiatives - the Zero Waste Zones, Sustainable Food Court Initiative and the Source-Separated Materials Recycling Template - use a business approach to sustainability. Success is inevitable as Zero Waste Makes Good Business Sense!

To watch the interview, visit the ecotopiaU media Holly Elmore Interview @ USZWBC link.

No comments:

Post a Comment