An Integrated Approach to Sustainability


To develop industry best practices for sustainable facilities.


Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) Director of Sustainability Tim Trefzer

In July 2017, the ZWA Blog article, Soil Health: regenerating the foundation of life, announced the Ei Soil Health platform. Within the announcement, Ei evolved from a focus on Recycling Refinement and food waste collection for compost to Soil Health. In alignment with the new Ei focus, the Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI) evolved into the Sustainable Facilities Initiative (SFI). At the same time, Tim joined the Ei Leadership Team as the SFI Chair. 


With the National Restaurant Association purchase of the Zero Waste Zones (ZWZ) in late 2012, the SFCI emerged as Ei's central Recycling Refinement focus through 2016. Under the ZWZ, best-operating practices were established for back-of-the-house food waste generated in commercial kitchens. The SFCI addressed front-of-the-house food waste, recycling, and trash collection where the consumer source-separated material. 

In 2014, Ei announced post-consumer food waste collection for compost or a state-permitted destination other than landfill was the prime SFCI focus. The Sustainable Materials ACTION Team (SMAT) formed to support post-consumer food waste projects, ranging from compostable packaging education, post-game food waste collection, and a post-consumer food waste compost pilot at a state-permitted composting facility. In addition to the SFCI, SMAT supported the EPA Scaling Up Compost in Charlotte, NC Grant.

By 2016 numerous sporting event facilities, venues, outdoor festivals, and other food-related businesses achieved zero waste, including post-consumer food waste. Thus, Ei's post-consumer food waste-related work was complete.

In addition to post-consumer food waste, the SFCI Pilots were active in the Source-Separated Materials Recycling Template, plastic film recycling pilots. and milk jug recycling programs.

The SFCI - GWCCA is the first pilot within the evolved SFI.