Las Vegas Sands Corp., a developer and operator of integrated resort destinations, continues to set the industry standard in developing sustainable business practices with a significant expansion of its custom Sands ECO360 Meetings program.
Cognizant of the resources and surrounding environment of each location, Las Vegas Sands Corp. implements individualized programs at its hotels and meetings spaces in the U.S., Singapore and Macao. Also promoted internally, the corporation involves its employees to ensure internal operations are just as environmentally responsible.
What makes sustainability important to a venue? To the customer?
For Las Vegas Sands, our sustainable goals and operations improve efficiency and lowers operating costs; they can provide a competitive advantage; create a healthier and cleaner work environment; be a motivational factor for current employees and help attract new high-quality candidates; help retain existing customers or access new market segments; but above all, we think it is just the right thing to do.
For customers, the reasons are usually very personal. The principles of sustainability are very close to the principles of conservation that many of us grew up with and know are important to preserve our planet for future generations.
What aspect of a venue is considered the most wasteful?
When we evaluated the environmental impact of our hotel operations, we looked at the core functions of our business. Our product is our service. Therefore our Sands ECO360 global sustainability program focuses on four areas: (1) Green Buildings; (2) Environmentally Responsible Operations; (3) Sustainable Meetings; and (4) Stakeholder Engagement.
What is the total economic impact and savings of implementing sustainable and green practices for Las Vegas Sands Corp.?
The creation of operational efficiencies through energy and water conservation results in direct financial savings for the company. However, our conservation goals are set in terms of carbon emission reductions, water savings and improvement of recycling rate. The first step is understanding how much energy and water our resorts use and how much waste they generate. The old principle that you cannot manage what you don’t measure holds true. Understanding the utility consumption information allows us to prioritize projects that produce meaningful results. For example, using more efficient lighting not only saves energy, but also allows us to replace the light bulbs less often; lamps that were being changed every other month can now last up to three years.
With properties worldwide, which areas or countries do you find to be most environmentally conscious?
The Sands ECO360 program is our global framework for sustainability that we are using at our properties in the United States and Singapore as well as Macao. While the U.S. may have had a slight edge a few years ago, many of our sustainable best practices now originate in Asia.
What makes green meetings at the Las Vegas Sands Corp. ‘green’?
All meeting clients benefit from our standard sustainable practices, which are seamlessly incorporated into our operations.
- Resource conservation procedures: Equipment and lighting shutdown in unoccupied spaces;
- Waste diversion: Recycling, composting, donation program, partnership with Clean the World;
- Indoor air quality management: Green cleaning, CO2 monitoring;
- Responsible purchasing: Reduced packaging, office supplies with recycled content;
- Sustainable food practices: Reusable china and silver ware, compostable service ware; and
- Alternative transportation: Public transit within walking distance, electric vehicle charging stations.
- Additional options are also provided to help to customize an implementation plan.
- Green meeting concierge;
- Post-event impact statement with carbon footprint calculation, utility consumption, recycling and waste diversion, sustainable food and community benefit;
- Community volunteering programs;
- Carbon offsets;
- Sustainable food options; Sustainable seafood, local and/or organic food, fair trade certified coffee, water stations; and
- Sustainable decoration options: Potted plants.
With which third party vendors, if any, do Las Vegas Sands Corp. partner?
We partner with a number of suppliers when it comes to sustainability, but our most valued partnerships are with non-profit organizations in our local communities. For example, we donate our unused hotel bathroom amenities to the Clean The World (CTW) program, a social enterprise committed to protecting the environment and saving lives by collecting and recycling unused portions of hotel soaps to help fight the global spread of preventable diseases. Our partnership with CTW first started in Las Vegas, then we added our Pennsylvania property and just recently we extended to Asia by assisting CTW with establishing its first international presence in Hong Kong and Macao.
In what ways do Las Vegas Sands Corp. employees participate in sustainability efforts?
In 2013, we participated in the global “I Will If You Will” campaign promoted by the World Wildlife Fund, which challenged LVS management teams, Team Members and even other organizations to do something positive for the environment. Team Member participation in the Sands ECO360 program is a central part of the program; we welcome and reward Team Members’ sustainability ideas. One of the first ideas that started the Sands ECO360 Team Member recognition program involved replacement of conveyer belt toaster ovens in the employee cafeterias with pop-up style toasters. This simple suggestion saves 165,000 kWh every year.