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June 12, 2018

Supplier News: Big Week for Sustainable Events

A number of major resort operators announced new sustainability initiatives this week. Here's what meeting planners need to know. 

The recently renovated Caesars Las Vegas.

Caesars Looks to Cut Carbon Emissions by 95% by 2050

Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which operates venues in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and more, has announced it has committed to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the company and throughout its supply chain. Caesars said that the ambitious goals demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to fighting climate change and mitigating long-term risk.

Caesars is one of over 400 global organizations that has committed to business leadership and policy alignment on climate through the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), and one of just over 100 companies to have their targets approved.

The SBTi is a collaboration among CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered "science-based" if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.

Caesars Entertainment reports that it has commited to:

  • reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions 30 percent by 2025, and 95 percent by 2050 from a 2011 base-year;
  • have 60 percent of suppliers by spend institute science-based GHG reduction targets for their operations by 2023.

Caesars said that it is the first gaming company to include a scope 3 goal in its verified science-based targets. This level of commitment helps to further accelerate the momentum of reducing environmental impact as it relates to the operations a company doesn't directly control, including supply chain, vendors, etc. This indirect influence also makes it one of the most ambitious goals for a company. With thousands of suppliers throughout the company, Caesars said it recognized the importance of engaging the full supply chain in order to create meaningful impact.

One of the first demonstrations of how Caesars will achieve its goals is a Request for Proposal (RFP) that will be issued in June for a major utility-scale purchase of solar energy in the Las Vegas desert, which will deliver power to its Nevada properties.

The carbon and management strategy developed by Caesars is a cornerstone of the company's CodeGreen environmental program, which was established in 2008 and entails engaging employees and guests to understand and reduce energy use, GHG emissions, waste and water use. Caesars Entertainment has reduced its total GHG emissions by 22.9 percent since 2011.

Additional progress includes:

  • Reduced water use by 21 percent per square foot since 2008;
  • Diverted 41 percent of waste from landfill in 2017.

Visit www.caesars.com

Wynn Creates New Chief Sustainability Officer Role

Wynn Resorts has created a new Chief Sustainability Officer role, and the company has appointed Erik Hansen to the position. 

In his new role, Hansen is responsible for the development of the company's global sustainability strategy and energy procurement goals.

Originally serving as Director of Energy Procurement for Wynn Resorts since 2016, Hansen has been instrumental in instituting several large-scale sustainability and renewable energy projects that have moved Wynn Resorts into a leadership position in environmental stewardship. Most notable have been the negotiation, build, and opening of the 160-acre 20 MW Wynn Solar Facility; management of Wynn Las Vegas' shift to the open energy market; and the creation of an energy supply plan that integrates the first micro grid to be implemented at an individual resort at the Encore Boston Harbor property.

Hansen has more than 25 years of experience, and is a current member of the Nevada Governor's Committee on Energy Choice. He began his career in the energy industry at NV Energy where he spent more than 10 years in various capacities including power trading, transmission policy and contracts, business development, and project leadership. Before joining Wynn Resorts, Hansen served as Vice President at EnergySource, where he represented a broad base of Nevada's largest energy customers across industries including mining, gaming, data centers, utilities, and technology.

Wynn Resorts owns and operates Wynn Las Vegas (wynnlasvegas.com), Wynn Macau (wynnmacau.com) and Wynn Palace, Cotai (wynnpalace.com). Wynn and Encore Las Vegas have two luxury hotel towers with a total of 4,750 hotel rooms, suites and villas and approximately 290,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

wynn solar

Wynn Opens New Solar Facility Ahead of New Venue

Also from Wynn: Wynn Las Vegas reports that it officially began commercial operation of its Wynn Solar Facility on Saturday, June 2, which the resort says will allow it to offset up to 75 percent of its peak power needs with renewable energy. According to Wynn, that’s the largest percentage of renewable energy used by any resort in Las Vegas

The new 160-acre facility will also eventually be used to power the resort’s new meetings and conventions space expansion, which is set to open in March 2020, with 100 percent renewable energy. 

Owned and operated by Enel Green Power North America, Inc., the Wynn Solar Facility is a standalone solar photovoltaic project located in Fallon, Nevada, adjacent to the existing Stillwater hybrid facility, and shares the existing connection infrastructure with the geothermal-solar hybrid plant. The Wynn Solar Facility generates up to 27 MWdc of renewable energy, equivalent to 20 MWac, to power the resort. With this renewable energy resource offsetting a sizable percentage of Wynn's peak power needs, the resort will exceed requirements outlined in the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard, Wynn said.

Combined with the recently installed solar panels covering 103,000 square feet of Wynn's rooftop, enough renewable energy will be generated to power 5,056 homes and eliminate 33,734 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the environment annually, according to the resort. Wynn Las Vegas said it is committed to increasing sustainable design practices, creating and sourcing renewable energy, and exceeding LEED Gold Building Certification standards for projects in Las Vegas, as well as Encore Boston Harbor, currently under construction in Everett, Massachusetts.

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