The Sustainable Food Court Initiative's pilot program at Hartsfield-Jackson International Atlanta Airport received a 2011 Airports Going Green award Oct. 31.
The pilot, developed by SFCI, a joint venture between the National Restaurant Association and its sustainable partner, Elemental Impact, received the award for its industry-leading sustainable efforts at Hartsfield airport. The award was given by the Chicago Department of Aviation during its annual Airports Going Green conference in Chicago. It was accepted by Michael Cheyne, director of asset management and sustainability at the Atlanta airport. Cheyne has worked closely during the last year with Holly Elmore, founder and chief executive of Elemental Impact, and the NRA to implement the pilot at the airport's various food concessions.
As part of the pilot, the airport's foodservice concessionaires are required to use sustainable packaging and source/separate compostable and recyclable materials for processing, versus hauling all waste materials to a landfill destination.
Chris Moyer, senior program manager of the NRA's Conserve Education Program, which manages the partnership with SFCI, said, "This award is extremely meaningful. Michael and Holly deserve a huge amount of credit for the pilot's success. The challenges that exist at food courts don't exist anywhere else. "The intangibles are exponential because you're not just working with staff. You also are working with the property manager, the concessionaires, sometimes the TSA and the waste haulers, too. You are not setting all of the rules. Everyone has to be in agreement and work together in order to achieve consistency and succeed."
In addition to SFCI, other winners of this year's Airports Going Green awards are: Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Denver International Airport and United Airlines.