Zero Waste Event Case Study: National Aquarium
This Zero Waste Event Case Study highlights how Reduction In Motion helped the National Aquarium. With the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conference coming to Baltimore, the National Aquarium wanted to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability while hosting the event’s icebreaker dinner, so they set out to make it a zero waste event by diverting 90% of waste generated by guests from the landfill or incineration. The event welcomed 2,200 industry peers to the National Aquarium for drinks, food, and entertainment on 8/29/22.
The National Aquarium formed a team with its Food Services provider, SSA Group, and a local waste and sustainability consultant, Reduction In Motion. Planning began several months prior and included:
- Identifying potential waste streams
- Ensuring purchased items were recyclable or compostable
- Creating a waste separation plan for the event with color coded and labeled bins
- Recruiting and training ‘zero waste champion’ volunteers
- Communicating zero waste guidelines to guests prior to and during the event
- Weighing and analyzing waste generated during the event
- Reporting results with our community of supporters
Zero Waste Event Case Study Results
|Zero Waste Metric||Number||Definition|
|Total Waste Generated||5,568 lbs||Pounds of waste generated during the entire day of the event|
|Total Waste Diverted||4,343 lbs||Pounds of waste diverted from landfill during the entire day of the event|
|Guest Waste Diversion Rate||95%||% of waste separated as composting or recycling by guests, bars, and food stations during the event|
|Total Waste Diversion Rate||78%||% of waste disposed as composting, recycling, or donation from the entire day of the event|
Zero Waste Event Feedback from the National Aquarium
In 2022, the National Aquarium committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Reducing waste will not only help us meet that goal, but also helps us protect our precious natural resources. By committing to making this signature event zero-waste, we’ve created a template for future events and have made a significant step towards climate-friendly operations. Although we had a general understanding of how a zero waste event would function, we realized quickly we needed support to make the vision a reality. Working with Reduction In Motion was amazing. Their communication, responsiveness and problem-solving skills were crucial to the success. Even after the Event, Reduction In Motion continued their support by presenting a comprehensive report, complete with pictures, and metrics to show where we succeeded and where we have opportunities. We now have a solid foundation to offer this type of event to our guests!
Hire a Zero Waste Consultant
We can help an organization host a single zero waste event or fully transition its event operations to zero waste. Our team will work with event planners and operators to identify an event waste management plan that includes equipment, procedures, communication, purchasing guidelines, and data tracking. Our support can help an organization that is looking to formally achieve zero waste or demonstrate their environmental commitments to their guests.
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