At an event recognizing the sustainable efforts of two of its pioneer members, the National Restaurant Association’s Zero Waste Zones program officially re-launched in Atlanta on Veterans Day.
The kick-off, held Nov. 11 at Coca-Cola Co.’s headquarters, highlighted the work of caterer Affairs to Remember for diverting 1 million pounds of recoverable material away from landfills. This achievement followed the recently announced Georgia World Congress Center certification of Silver LEED status by the U.S. Green Building Council. The GWCC, also a ZWZ founding member, has diverted 602 tons of material from landfills in 2014 alone.
“We are proud of what these two long-time Zero Waste Zones members have accomplished in just five years,” said Jeff Clark, director of the NRA’s Conserve sustainability initiative and the ZWZ program. “Environmental sustainability is a complex issue and achieving zero waste is even more difficult, but these two pioneers have shown that with hard work and commitment, it can be done successfully.”
At the event, Atlanta Councilwoman Felicia Moore told attendees that the city of Atlanta proclaimed Nov. 11 “Affairs to Remember Caterers Day” in honor of its sustainability achievements. Supporters in attendance included environmentalist and Captain Planet Foundation chairwoman Laura Turner Seydel; Jon D. Johnston, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of materials and waste management; and Holly Elmore, CEO of Elemental Impact.
Clark said the Zero Waste Zones program would focus on educating restaurant operators about how to recover and recycling food waste materials.
“At Zero Waste Zones, we’re seeking to make sustainability more approachable for businesses,” he said. “We want to connect operators with the community at large so they can share, learn and work together to make sustainability a part of doing business in Atlanta.”
The event was sponsored by the Coca-Cola Co. and the Georgia Restaurant Association.
Learn more about sustainable best practices for restaurants with Conserve and Zero Waste Zones.