Each year we inch closer to the City’s goal of reaching zero waste to landfill by 2030. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are on the front lines of testing and scaling approaches to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste. Many Union Square businesses are already demonstrating that it’s possible to reduce wasted materials, donate surplus food, improve waste station signage to nudge behaviors, and empower customers to reduce their waste footprint without disrupting operations or profits.
Now we want to help all businesses and organizations in the Union Square - 14th Street district take the next step. Getting to Zero Waste - the Union Square Partnership's first-ever forum on waste reduction - aims to provide all attendees with the practical knowledge, resources, and relationships required to move toward zero waste. Confirmed speakers include: Gadi Peleg, Owner of Breads Bakery; Erik Eibert, Assistant Director of Sustainable Initiatives at The New School; Muriel Poure, Facilities Services Specialist at Eileen Fisher; Ushma Mehta, Co-Founder of ThinkZero; Christina Grace, CEO and Founder of Foodprint Group; Taylor Lanzet, Director of Supply & Sustainability of Dig Inn; Kelly Jacques, Operations Manager at Breads Bakery; Timothy Meyers, Executive Chef of Bocce Union Square, and more.
At Getting to Zero Waste, join experts from local businesses, institutions, consultancies, and more who will share their insights on how to reduce waste in offices, eateries, and retail settings, comply with the City’s recycling and organics rules, and engage customers, staff, and vendors. Solutions providers will be available to help attendees explore waste measurement, collection, disposal, and procurement solutions.
Registered attendees can also learn how to participate in the Union Square Partnership's new program to offer small and mid-sized organizations a free waste audit, as well as other Zero Waste initiatives the Partnership is undertaking.
Tickets to Getting to Zero Waste are $10 (plus processing fee). All proceeds from the Forum will be used to support the Union Square Partnership's sustainability programming.
A high-level schedule for Getting to Zero Waste can be found below. Additional details and speakers will be announced shortly.
3:00PM – 3:30PM | Registration and Networking
3:30PM – 3:45PM | Opening Remarks
3:45PM – 4:25PM | Panel: Transform Your Office and Waste Less
On average, Americans spend a third of their day at work. And no matter the size of your company or organization, offices and commercial tenants generate volumes of trash, much of which is recoverable through recycling and reuse. With the right set up, protocols, and resources, virtually any office can reach zero waste. This panel helps commercial tenants, property managers, and companies understand best practices of waste management in offices and effective communication to encourage participation among coworkers.
4:25PM – 5:00PM | Panel: Waste Reduction Warriors Changing the Game in Food Service and Retail
Reducing food and packaging waste is one of largest cost-saving opportunities for large and small restaurants, grocers, retailers, and hotels. It's also an opportunity to reduce hunger and create sustainable solutions for waste reduction. This panel features a range of success stories demonstrating how consumer-facing businesses implemented waste reduction into their own operations.
5:00PM – 5:15PM | Closing Remarks
5:15PM – 6:00PM | Networking Reception with Attendees, Speakers, and Waste Experts