As the nation’s food industry descends on Chicago for the latest culinary inspiration at the National Restaurant Association Show, there’s at least one item that won’t be on the menu: food waste.
McCormick Place, North America’s largest convention center and venue for the annual National Restaurant Association Show, is the latest location to install the innovative Grind2Energy food-waste-recycling system from Emerson (NYSE:EMR). Grind2Energy helps commercial facilities of all sizes – from restaurants to grocery stores to convention centers – convert food waste into renewable energy through anaerobic digestion.
“As one of the nation’s leading convention facilities, we are committed to doing our part to create a sustainable environment for our nearly 3 million annual visitors,” said Lori T. Healey, chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. “From our rooftop garden to our onsite recycling programs and excess-food donations to neighborhood charities, a sustainable approach is deeply ingrained in everything we do at McCormick Square. In 2017, we diverted 40 tons of food waste, and Emerson’s Grind2Energy system will help us take these efforts a leap forward.”
Each year, the United States sends approximately 133 billion pounds of food waste to landfills, releasing 18% of total U.S. methane emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Since 2014, Emerson’s Grind2Energy system has helped commercial kitchens divert about 30,200 tons of food waste, reducing the emissions equivalent of about 50.2 million miles driven by 4,386 vehicles, an Emerson analysis of internal and EPA data finds.
“McCormick Place is a global leader in sustainability, and as the venue looks to advance its goals even further, Emerson is proud to help them put their food waste to work harder,” said Tim Ferry, group president of Tools & Home Products for Emerson. “With annual food waste adding up to a $218 billion challenge in the United States alone, Grind2Energy offers a large-scale solution for venues and institutions working to make the most of discarded food.”
McCormick Place and SAVOR…Chicago, the venue’s exclusive food service operator, have nearly doubled their food-waste diversion rates since 2011, achieving at least 59 percent diversion through composting, recycling, food donations and supply-chain adjustments.
“Using Grind2Energy will allow SAVOR… Chicago to divert nearly 100 percent of preconsumer organic waste,” said Doug Bradley, vice president of culinary for SAVOR … Chicago.
Emerson’s Grind2Energy technology will help the venue close the loop further by using a specialized grinder from InSinkErator®, the inventor of the first garbage disposal and the world’s leading supplier of food waste disposers. This grinder processes remaining food waste into a slurry that is stored onsite, in safely sealed tanks, before being transported to an anaerobic digestion facility, where microbes break down the material to extract methane for energy production and to produce a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
McCormick Place was the first convention center in the world to receive Green Seal certification for environmentally responsible food purchasing, operations and management. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the waste diversion efforts of the venue and SAVOR… Chicago for the fifth time since 2011.
The Grind2Energy installation at McCormick Place is the latest in a line of projects helping institutions get more from their food waste. In March, the University of Notre Dame completed a Grind2Energy installation projected to reduce on-campus food waste by more than 2,000 pounds per day while contributing to the clean energy needs of a local farm.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximize production, protect personnel and the environment while optimizing their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information, visit Emerson.com.
Copyright Business Wire 2019