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CodeGreen: From Grassroots to Green
March 27, 2012
Eight years ago Caesars established a commitment to conservation with the formation of its Corporate Energy & Environmental Services, a corporate-level function to identify and implement energy and water conservation projects across Caesars portfolio of resorts. In 2008, Caesars Entertainment launched CodeGreen, an employee-driven sustainability strategy where its nearly 70,000 employees develop and implement hundreds of sustainability programs throughout the year to reduce energy, water and waste consumption at each property.
That same year, Caesars became the first casino company to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders industry-government partnership of leading firms committed to targeted, measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The company has proven itself a green leader in environmental responsibility as it continues to achieve industry-first green accomplishments, implement innovative programs and practice transparency in environmental/ social impact reporting.
As part of its next stage CodeGreen strategy, Caesars will raise the bar on its operations to meet aggressive carbon reduction goal commitments by 2020 including:
- reduce energy use by 25 percent per air-conditioned square foot of space
- water use by 15 percent per air-conditioned square foot of space
- increase renewable energy 15 percent
- divert half of its waste from landfill
In Caesars thousands of hotel rooms there is a variety of educational collateral for guest education, including videos, tent cards and mirror clings to inform guests about Caesars sustainability initiatives, and how guests are involved by simply staying at the resort.
Last year, Caesars Entertainment’s employees volunteered more than 173,000 hours that includes supporting CodeGreen and are well versed on sustainable practices and programs that assist in keeping the company on track to meet its sustainability goals. One of the more unique programs has been the Green Meetings & Events Certificate training provided for all meeting and banquet managers to complete, which covers green meeting planning strategies and initiatives. To date, 200 managers have graduated and 17 resorts have completed the course.
In addition to specific initiatives, each resort has a CodeGreen leader who is responsible for engaging employees in green initiatives and at the property. Nationally and regionally, properties have participated in various CodeGreen programs including:
- Participation in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour: More than 40 of Caesars casinos and resorts powered down exterior and non-essential lighting for one hour to bring attention to the issue of global climate change.
- Power Down Campaign: Caesars employees were encourage to take incremental steps toward saving energy such as turning off lights when rooms are not occupied, turning off computers at the end of the day, setting room thermostats to neutral temperatures.
- Earth Day: Caesars distributed 45,000 energy efficient light bulbs such as Compact Florescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) to low-income residents in the communities they serve across the United States reducing more than 45 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Big Green Bus Tour (BGBT): Dartmouth College students travel from coast-to-coast on a bus with a fuel system converted to run on waste vegetable oil in an effort to educate and engage publics about energy and environmental responsibility. Caesars Entertainment has sponsored the BGBT through monetary and in kind donations including the refueling of the bus with recycled vegtable oil from its resorts and casinos.
Caesars encourages all employees to extend their commitment to sustainability beyond the work environment and into their homes. The CodeGreen At Home program encourages employees to submit conservation projects they have implemented at home to qualify for Total Reward credits.
By enabling employees to present green programs and solutions and by giving them the support to implement them, Caesars Entertainment has not only been able to drive its strategy and reduce its impacts but it has also been able to positively impact whole communities.