Caesars Entertainment expects to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% by 2025 and by 95% by 2050, from a 2011 baseline, per the company’s latest sustainability report. The company also set a Scope 3 target to have 60% of suppliers commit to their own science-based targets by 2023. Caesars achieved approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for targets that are aligned with the level of decaronization required to keep Global term-erasure increase below 2 degrees Celsius.
The company says its goals are aligned with the small number of corporations around the world that have publicly committed to science-based targets.
- 41% of waste diverted away from landfills in 2017
- 7.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy saved every year through retro-commissioning at Caesars Palace
- 17% increase in suppliers responding to CDP climate disclosure
- 11% reduction in absolute water use since 2008
- 23% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions since 2011
- LEED certification achieved for all newly-built and expanded properties in the US
How Caesars Is Meeting Its Goals
The company’s award-winning sustainability initiatives* are based on a strategy it developed in 2007, called CodeGreen. To achieve its CodeGreen goals, Caesars has:
- Named functional leads from a variety of company sectors, including facilities, engineering, procurement, food, meetings and conventions, communications, and marketing, among others;
- Appointed CodeGreen leaders and teams at each property;
- Engaged employee volunteers and community leader teams at each property.
The company has also identified certain food groups as priorities for seeking sustainable sourcing, engaging suppliers to join them in its sustainable sourcing process. The company follows the governance framework of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council for purchasing. Food waste in kitchens and restaurants is addressed by educating chefs and kitchen stewards and introducing food management protocols to minimize waste. The company is also “right-sizing” portions of dishes on its menus and in employee dining rooms.
Chefs are given the freedom to “use our creativity to take what we have, elevate it, and make sure we are wasting less product,” says Agatha Siwinska, a chef at Hell’s Kitchen, Caesars Palace.
Of course, meeting such goals is never a simple process. “Managing energy efficiency improvements in an environment of diminishing returns is the biggest energy challenge faced in 2017,” Eric Dominguez, head of facilities, engineering and sustainability for Caesars, told Environmental Leader last year. “Over the years we’ve implemented a multitude of efficiency projects, so the proverbial ‘low hanging fruit’ is hard to find. We’re now focused on more sophisticated strategies that leverage ‘big data’ and control strategies to better optimize pumping and air delivery throughout our buildings.”
Developing a long-term strategy that will significantly shrink its greenhouse gas emissions footprint to meet recently established “science-based” reduction goals was a another challenge, Dominguez told us. “Efficiency alone won’t get us to where we need to be, so a lot of effort is going into developing a renewable energy strategy that will help us achieve our carbon reduction goals.”
- In 2017-2018, the company replaced more than 115,000 light bulbs with LED technology at two of its properties, achieving annual savings of 6.4 million KWh of electricity;
- Used 20,000 square feet of artificial turf in place of green sod, saving an estimated one million gallons of water per year;
- Removed plastic straws from its purchasing system, replacing them with a 100% biodegradable, bleach-free paper alternative, and straws are no longer provided with every drink except as requested by customers;
- Finalized contracts in the UK to provide 100% “green” electricity purchased in the UK beginning in 2018;
- Successfully invited suppliers to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions data, with 54% of its top 150 suppliers disclosing data to CDP;
Caesars also introduced a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for processing bulk recyclable, recoverable and reusable materials, finding new life for materials no longer needed. Materials diverted from landfill covered by the new SOP include electronics, textiles and mattresses, furniture and kitchenware, construction and renovation materials, paint, convention supplies, soap and bottled amenities, and landscaping debris and wood.
For example, Caesars says, the company donated furniture from 3,800 hotel rooms to more than 500 families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The company emerged from restructuring in 2017 and is now “poised to expand globally,” president and CEO Mark Frissora. As it moves forward, the company plans to continue bringing economic and social benefits to communities in which its properties are based.
*Caesar Entertainment’s waste diversion project was recently named an Environmental Leader Project of the Year winner.
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