Las Vegas Sands Lays Out Progress, Goals in Environmental Report

7/27/2012 By Glenn Hasek

Two weeks ago Las Vegas Sands Corp. released its first Environmental Report. It summarizes the company’s environmental initiatives through 2011. This past week I had an opportunity to chat with Katarina Tesarova, executive director, Global Sustainability for Las Vegas Sands about the report and her company’s sustainability efforts. For those of you not familiar with Las Vegas Sands, the company’s properties include The Venetian, Sands Expo and Convention Center, and The Palazzo in Las Vegas; Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao and Sands Cotai Central in Macao, China; Marina Bay Sands in Singapore; and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.

I encourage you to read through the Environmental Report. While Las Vegas Sands’ green programs were formalized fairly recently—in 2010 with its Sands Eco 360° program—the company’s progress has already been impressive. Proof is the third party certifications Las Vegas Sands has earned for its properties: LEED Gold for the Venetian Resort; LEED Silver for the Palazzo Las Vegas; and Green Mark Gold for the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore being just a few examples.

Third party certification, which it also got for its Environmental Report (from Global Reporting Initiative), adds credibility to their green efforts, Tesarova says, and enables them to catch their mistakes.

In its report, Las Vegas Sands lays out numerous examples of its environmental accomplishments and also details its improvement goals. Did you know, for example, that the Palazzo is home to one of the largest rooftop solar thermal systems in the United States? It includes a collection area of 18,200 square feet and 364 panels. The rooftop also features 680 photovoltaic panels. “Solar is a great application for our property because there is a lot of roof space,” Tesarova says.

Goals Set for 2015

Las Vegas Sands reduced its carbon emissions by 1.6 percent from 2010 to 2011. From 2010 to 2015 it has a goal of a 5 percent emissions reduction. The company also has a goal of reducing its water consumption by 3 percent by 2015 (2010 baseline) and improving recycling rates by 10 percent from the 2011 baseline by 2015.

Almost two years ago I interviewed Tesarova when she was Director of Sustainable Operations at MGM Resorts International. Now a year in to her time with Las Vegas Sands, she has spent a lot of time visiting the company’s properties to find out what their challenges are in order to put together a strategy.

“There was so much good stuff happening but nobody knew how a program in Singapore compared to one in Las Vegas,” Tesarova says. “Once we knew where all the properties stood, we developed an action plan for the year.”

Tesarova says her company will produce an Environmental Report every other year and an addendum on the off years. “It is necessary to keep reporting,” she says.

Be sure to check out the report.

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