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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2016 Zero Waste Conference: "Tuning in" to Zero Waste!

On June 1 - 4, 2016 sustainability leaders from across industry boundaries will converge on Austin, Texas for the Fifth Annual National Zero Waste Business Conference (NZWBC) hosted by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council (USZWBC). With the "Tuning in" to Zero Waste" theme, the conference program showcases how zero waste companies and communities top the charts in dimensions beyond landfill diversion.

The Fifth Annual NZWBC is the culmination of four powerful conferences beginning with the inaugural 2012 event hosted in Costa Mesa, CA. Moving to the Midwest, the Second Annual NZWBC - Creating Value Through Zero Waste - in Cincinnati, OH was amazing. It took three ZWA Blogs to document the incredible program: Know Your Trash Up-Close & Personal, Zero Waste Success Requires WE Consciousness, & Zero Waste is a Team Sport, a powerful USZWBC conference panel.

Next was the 2014 NZWBC hosted in Elemental Impact's hometown Atlanta, GA with a stellar program keeping with the Creating Value Through Zero Waste tagline. The ZWA Blog article USZWBC Conference Theme: Zero Waste Evolution emphasizes the plenary sessions along with the annual conference evolution; the Atlanta Shines as Zero Waste Conference Host City article is an in-depth synopsis on Ei Partners' and Strategic Allies' role in the conference program.

At the 2015 NZWBC in Los Angeles, the Stars of Zero Waste shined! The ZWA Blog article Business NOT as usual: fine-tuning the zero waste journey chronicles the conference's impressive plenary sessions while the Zero Waste Makes Good Business Sense article features the conference breakout sessions along with Ei’s strong conference participation.

Mathy Stanislaus
Building on the strong conference foundation, the Fifth Annual NZWBC program expands beyond the practicalities of zero waste within individual businesses and the local community to its global implications. Keynote presenter U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator - Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Mathy Stanislaus will "tune into" zero waste's role within the circular economy. In addition, Mathy will address how zero waste programs address climate action plans.

A chemical engineer and environmental lawyer with over 25 years of experience in the environmental field in the private and public sectors, Mathy was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by U.S. Senate in June 2009. Leading the effort to advance the transition to circular economy through life-cycle based sustainable materials management approach, Mathy represented the U.S. at the Group of Seven (G7) Summit that led to G7's declaration to take actions to advance resources efficiency | sustainable resources management. Mathy oversees an annual $1.3 billion operating budget and approximately 2,600 full-time employees.

It is a true honor for Mathy to educate on how zero waste integrates within global platforms beyond sound material management practices.

Austin takes zero waste seriously and is a perfect city to host the milestone Fifth Anniversary NZWBC. In late 2011, the Austin City Council unanimously approved adoption of the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan. A culmination of two years of research, stakeholder engagement and community input, the Master Plan sets the stage for the Department’s programs and services for the next 30 years and beyond.

NZWBC 4-Yr Club in 2015
Will all be in the 5-Yr Club?!
The aim is to reach the City Council’s goal of Zero Waste by 2040, which means keeping at least 90 percent of discarded materials out of the landfill. The Master Plan outlines aggressive milestones to ensure that goal is achieved on time, if not sooner.

City of Austin Senior Waste Diversion Planner Teresa Chapman moderates the conference opening plenary panel featuring industry and civic executives taking a leadership role in Austin's zero waste journey.

Additional plenary panels include: Food - Love it ... but don't waste it!, USZWBC Certification and Establishing Diversion Metrics. Complementing the keynote presentations. each conference day has two plenary panel discussions supported by two breakout sessions, filled with a multitude of panels available for attendees.

Ei Founder Holly Elmore is slated to moderate two breakout sessions: Ei Airborne Kitchen Grease Initiative, taking zero waste beyond materials management and Post-Consumer Food Waste: Compostable Packaging Plays a Vital Role for Clean Streams & SUCCESS. 

In addition to the stellar program, pre and post-conference activities include the ZWBA Scorecard 101 Professional Training Course, Zero Waste 101 Workshop, Achieving Zero Waste at Colleges &  Universities Workshop, and tours of local landmarks dedicated to zero waste. Scheduled tours to date include University of Texas at Austin and Organics by Gosh.

Stated conference goals are:
  • Helping businesses achieve zero waste to both help the environment and their bottom line.
  • Teaching businesses waste reduction methods from the leaders in the field including industry specialists and experts from zero waste businesses that have achieved more than 90% diversion. 
The conference is designed for zero waste veterans as well as those embarking upon the path with the following attendee profile:
  • Corporate sustainability managers and facility managers looking to cut costs through greener practices.
  • Small and mid-sized business managers looking to improve waste reduction practices.
  • State and local government employees who help businesses reduce waste and get to zero waste.
  • Environmental consulting firms that want to learn about the latest successes in zero waste and certification.
Holly & Industry Pals @ '15 NZWBC
Photo courtesy of Scott Lutocka 
For the third consecutive year, Ei serves as the Official NZWBC Media Partner. In addition, Ei is the USZWBC promotional partner. The USZWBC Press Room page includes a list of UZWBC-oriented ZWA Blog articles.

Registration is open for the 2016 NZWBC with early bird rates available through January 15. For those interested in conference sponsorship, the Sponsorship page details options available. Upon request, tailored sponsor packages are considered.

Join colleagues in Austin for the 2016 NZWBC Conference "Tuning in" to Zero Waste" and catch the beat of a World Without Waste!

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