Today we are excited to unveil the new Caesars Citizenship Blog, where we will share stories and insights that reflect our commitment to being a responsible gaming entertainment company and to being a great place to work and play. At Caesars Entertainment, corporate citizenship is at the heart of everything we do in our mission to “inspire grown-ups to play.” It’s what guides the creation of better experiences for our employees and guests, and helps us to build resilience for our local communities and the natural environment.
In addition to our award-winning environmental sustainability strategy, CodeGreen, our efforts around city revitalization, employee wellbeing and development, responsible gaming programs, philanthropy and volunteerism, and even providing the best entertainment in the world for our loyal guests—all capture what corporate citizenship means at Caesars. Watch this space for a glimpse into what inspires and drives us as a company every day, and how we are working to make a real positive impact wherever we operate.
Here are some recent examples of corporate citizenship at work:
- In line with our efforts to advance low carbon economies and to make it easy for guests to continue their sustainable habits during their stay with us, we launched a network of electric vehicle charging stations at resorts in Nevada and California, with plans to expand in the near future.
- A few weeks ago, we announced the winners of our company-wide contest to send 3 employees to the Dominican Republic to help our partner Clean The World distribute hygiene products recycled from our resorts to people in need.
- Our newest casino-resort, Horseshoe Baltimore opened its doors on August 26th with a crowd-drawing ceremony joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who declared, “Horseshoe brings the promise of a better Baltimore.” With our move into urban areas, we aim to inject economic and social value into our new communities and become a valuable business partner to the cities.
“We define sustainability not as a green idea but as a way to manage complexity,” said Gary Lawrence, a global expert on sustainable development at Disrupt 100+ Innovation in Energy and Sustainability Conference earlier this month. This ideology is what is driving companies to abandon old paradigms and implement technological and framework changes in their industries.
Caesars Entertainment’s Gwen Migita, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, joined other established leaders throughout the energy, infrastructure and sustainability space in taking part in the two-day Agrion hosted event that focused on that innovations addressing the increasing demand for energy and growing risks brought about by climate change.
Day one of the conference featured a morning keynote address from Steve Cornell, Senior Vice President of NRG, and an evening keynote from Christine Bader, Author of The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girl Meets Oil.
During the afternoon, breakout sessions were divided between topics regarding energy efficiency, sustainability, and energy & the grid.
Gwen participated in a panel discussion titled, “Corporate Sustainability Leaders: Strategies for Embedding Sustainability.” The panel covered methods for integrating company-wide sustainability values into procedures and operations, job functions and management practices, and making sustainability a strategic priority. They also discussed the links between sustainability initiatives and corporate objectives.
Launched in 2007, Agrion is a global business network for energy, clean technology and corporate sustainability. Caesars Entertainment and Agrion have a history of working together. In April, Agrion interviewed Gwen on Caesars’ sustainability efforts. Representatives of Caesars have also attended previous iterations of the Agrion conference.
The conference broke the mold on the second day, sending participants out into New York City and the surrounding areas for one of three bus tours of sustainable businesses. Participants enjoyed up close and personal experiences with sustainability efforts, from green initiatives that turned the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a park to dual-purpose solar canopies at a local Whole Foods that shelter cars and provide 20 percent of the store’s electricity.
“Participating in conferences like Agrion’s Disrupt 100+ helps me stay on top of the latest issues and innovations in corporate sustainability, while also allowing me to share insights on some of the successes at Caesars Entertainment. The clean tech audience that the group draws is a great complement to the corporate sustainability and NGO audience,” said Gwen Migita.
Sustainability leaders and representatives from some of the world’s most influential brands met in San Diego on June 2-5 for the Sustainable Brands 2014 Conference, seeking to share and receive ideas and inspiration to build better, more resilient corporations for people, the planet and profit.
The Sustainable Brands Conference is predicated on the idea that innovative, sustainability-focused individuals should come together and channel their ingenuity and diverse perspectives into new ideas and more urgent actions. The conference affords an opportunity to collaborate across disciplines and industries with the shared goal of improving global sustainability efforts.
Caesars was well represented at the conference with a half-dozen employees in attendance to serve as guest speakers and to participate in workshops and networking events throughout the conference.
Eric Dominguez, Caesars’ Corporate Director of Facilities, Engineering & Sustainable Operations, contributed his perspective to a leadership and strategy panel, “The Path to Net Positive: Principles, Practical Metrics and Communication Tactics.” The panel examined emerging trends and drivers as a vehicle for reimagining brands for true, long-lasting sustainability.
In the time spent in between sessions, Eric enjoyed networking with like-minded professionals and trailblazers in the field. “The atmosphere was lighter after the sessions and people let their guard down to interact and get to know each other. I love the idea of getting smaller groups of members together to do a deep-dive on a topic discussed in the morning plenary.”
Jessica Rosman participates in a panel discussion at the 2014 Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego.
Jessica Rosman, Caesars’ Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, participated in a supply chain and procurement panel entitled “Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing: Key Approaches, Policies and Tools.” She spoke on the massive potential of sustainable purchasing to reduce unwanted environmental and social impacts, and the corresponding challenges. Her remarks on how Caesars treats the supply chain as an opportunity to empower its communities and to support diverse or women-run supplier businesses were a memorable component of the panel. Watch the post panel interview with Jessica Rosman here.
As an attendee, Lindsay Garcia, Caesars’ Sustainability and Public Affairs Manager appreciated the diverse viewpoints and experiences presented, which served to shift her perspective to consider new solutions to stale challenges.
Lindsay was especially inspired by the “Intrapreneurship for the Win: Skills, Tactics and Tools for Effective Change Agents” breakout session from the second day of the conference, which prompted her to rededicate herself to examining the whole picture when measuring a corporate footprint. She is hoping to adopt a new strategy when it comes to employee involvement in sustainability. As Lindsay aptly sums it up, “Enable, provide some structure, and then get out of the way! This allows team members to build on and create self-made communities.”
The Sustainable Brands event planning team redoubled their efforts for 2014, working closely with vendors and stakeholders to ensure sustainable operations. The entire conference was carbon neutral, water neutral and zero-waste, with 100% local food sourcing.
In all, the Caesars team returned with valuable insights and techniques that they are excited to implement, furthering sustainability efforts throughout Caesars Entertainment.
On April 9th, winery owners, winemakers, and other industry representatives came together with sustainability leaders across various fields at Yountville’s hotel Bardessono in Napa Valley. The theme: The Future of California Wines. Nomacorc, the event’s organizer, hosts a conference each year on a different theme related to wine industry growth.
Nomacorc produces synthetic wine closures and is dedicated to preservation performance as well as sustainable business practices. Their conference theme this year focused on pressing issues facing the future of California wines, including demographic shifts, climate-change, and the influence of technology and sustainability in the marketing of California wine.
Caesars’ Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, Jessica Rosman was invited to be one of three panelists for the event. The panel discussion was centered on trends in sustainability and how businesses are integrating them into operations and brand positioning to drive value for customers. During the session, Rosman identified six global trends affecting business today: climate change, energy and fuel, water scarcity, increased consumption, rise of urbanization, and connectivity and transparency.
Jessica went on to share insights into how Caesars looks at sustainability in the wine industry, considering issues like transportation, packaging, and waste. She also pointed out that customers, like the large-meetings segment, are increasingly interested in Caesars’ sustainability initiatives and ways they can integrate environmentally friendly practices into their events. Within the company’s supply chain, Jessica has been working to reduce the carbon footprint by initiating innovative solutions with its partners, including wine suppliers.
Caesars has implemented a number of sustainable business practices around wine purchases. It has reduced transport and packaging materials by replacing bottles for wines sold by the glass with stainless steel wine kegs at all Caesars Palace bars, and recycles corks across various restaurants.
John Paddon, Wine Director at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, remarked on the success of these efforts, “With the draft wine program in 2013 we were able to keep 4,325 bottles from ever needing to be recycled in the Colosseum alone. In a high volume by-the-glass program, it does not make any sense to open a bottle for every five glasses being poured. I would like to thank our friends at Simi Vineyards for being so aggressive in their draft wine programs, which allow us to pour such fantastic Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon for our guests at the Colosseum. World Class performances should have World Class wines.”
At the event, Rosman was joined on the panel by Kaj Johnson from Method Products and Nancy Light of the Wine Institute. Stephanie Gallo, Vice President of Marketing at E&J Gallo Winery, gave the final keynote address of the day. She shared her insights into the latest wine trends and the need to democratize wine consumption for market growth in the United States and abroad.
Jessica was delighted to represent Caesars at the Future of California Wine conference and have the occasion to share the company’s supply chain strategies and accomplishments. She and others involved with sustainability initiatives at Caesars seize opportunities to discuss new ideas with diverse stakeholders. Even so, an audience of wine aficionados was a first for Jessica- but hopefully not a last. Rosman left the event excited about the momentum behind wine sustainability and Caesars’ role in supporting the industry’s evolution.
As part of Caesars Entertainment’s corporate citizenship efforts, employees from Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe celebrated Earth Day by taking part in a local conservation project. Dozens of team members spent April 22nd volunteering at the River Fork Ranch Preserve in the Carson Valley, shoring up the watershed along the Truckee River. Working in shifts, HERO and CodeGreen volunteers, and even employees on their day off, came out to support the effort.
The Nevada Chapter of The Nature Conservancy led the project, partnering with the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment on the arts-meets-conservation initiative. The project was designed by San Francisco-based environmental sculptors, Mary O’Brien and Daniel McCormick, and involves creating natural, woven thickets out of willow twigs and arranging them in serpentine pattern to help re-establish damaged areas of the watershed. The natural installation is intended to hold flood waters, provide Flycatcher nesting habitat, and allow for the seasonal recharge of the wetlands.
Although the day started off with snow, which gave way to rain, and finally blowing winds, Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe volunteers showed up ready to work. Led by project leaders, team members were assigned tasks to help build the art-installation; including waddling, bundling, and weaving willow trigs into the hump-like structures. In spite of the weather conditions, they contributed a hard day’s work to move the conservation project forward. Robert Schilling, Volunteer Project Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy remarked that the Caesars’ volunteers were an “amazingly hardy group that withstood the harshness of nature and still produced an epic quantity of wattles.”
This Earth Day effort is part of an ongoing partnership between Caesars and The Nature Conservancy. In 2011, the Caesars Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Whit Hall Interpretive Center, a then-new facility located at River Fork Ranch and owned by The Nature Conservancy in Nevada. The grant helped remodel and transform an existing ranch home into an interpretive center for one of the state’s most ecologically important and biologically diverse areas.
A special thanks to Jane Flavin, Manager of Recruitment and Training, for her leadership in organizing this successful outing. You can view more photos from the Earth Day Event here. (All images © TNC/Simon Williams)
A new Business Roundtable report, “Create, Grow, Sustain: Celebrating Success,” highlights the remarkable results of the sustainability efforts of 150 companies, including Caesars Entertainment, which are driving investment, economic growth and job creation – while simultaneously improving the communities where we work and live.
At Caesars, we strive every day to improve the quality of life for people in the communities where we operate. As a result of our efforts and those of other leading companies, the business community has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, conserve water and protect the environment.
Learn more about our efforts here. Read the full Business Roundtable report here.
On Tuesday, April 22nd, Caesars Entertainment properties across North America will celebrate Earth Day by taking action on environmental issues. Earth Day is a time for Caesars employees to come together and demonstrate environmental stewardship, one of four pillars representing the Caesars Code of Commitment. This year’s celebrations will involve guests and communities, and showcase some of the sustainable initiatives properties practice year-round under the CodeGreen environmental strategy.
Here are just a few of the many Earth Day activities taking place at Caesars:
- Harrah’s Ak-Chin Sheds Light on Being Green: The Lounge has been illuminated green with energy efficient LED lighting in celebration of CodeGreen Month. On Earth Day, Total Rewards Guests can enter the free Go Green Sweepstakes to win energy-efficient electronics, but all participants will walk away with a seed paper coaster.
- Lake Tahoe Volunteers for Art-Conservation Project: Dozens of Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe employees will work with the Nature Conservancy to help create a natural art installation that will restore the watershed along the Truckee River on the River Fork Ranch Preserve.
- Shred It at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs: The public is invited to safely dispose of confidential documents and help the environment at the same time. Anyone can bring up to five boxes of documents to be shredded and recycled free of cost.
- Employees Get Green at Horseshoe Hammond: The employee dining room will have reduced lighting and provide organic, locally sourced food, as will the “Shuffle” station in Village Square Buffet. In addition, a recycling drop-off has been placed in the employee parking lot for the month of April.
- It’s in the Bag at Horseshoe Cincinnati: The first 5,000 Total Rewards Guests will receive a reusable shopping bag on Earth Day.
- Take a Chance for the Environment at Horseshoe Southern Indiana: When guests swipe their Total Rewards card on Earth Day, they’re entered into a drawing to win one of 38 environmental prizes like eco-friendly cookware, solar farm, and energy efficient appliances.
- Harrah’s Laughlin Recycles Your Electronics: The public and employees are invited to bring unwanted electronics to the Electronic Waste Recycle Drive.
Harrah’s Metropolis will be giving away Earth Day seed packets to guests.
- Harrah’s Metropolis Celebrates Employee Dedication: CodeGreen materials and seed packets will be distributed to patrons, and employee accomplishments will be celebrated over cake.
- Caesars Windsor Puts In the Work: More than 50 employees have signed on to clean the local Little River on April 23rd and even more will be attending an Earth Day Tree planting with their families on April 27th.
We hope that you will join us on Earth Day in renewing your commitment to a sustainable future- and take the extra steps necessary to green your day, your life, and your community. The founder of Earth Day, Congressman Gaylord Nelson, had a clear vision of this sustainable future, “Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.” At Caesars, we take responsibility for the health of our environment and communities, and will continue to work together to make them more vibrant places to live and work.
This Saturday, March 22nd is United Nations’ World Water Day, which sheds crucial light on inequities in access to safe water and sufficient food and energy services, while facilitating policies leading to sustainable water use and energy security.
In recognition of World Water Day 2014, Eric Dominguez, Corporate Director of Engineering, Utilities, and Environmental Affairs at Caesars, shares his insights into the water-energy connection, the company’s commitment to reduction, and what each of us can do to help:
Q: The focus of this year’s World Water Day is to raise awareness of the connection between water and energy. How are water and energy related?
A: Water and energy have an interdependent relationship that is not always top of mind. Heating water obviously requires energy, but that’s only part of the story. When a tap is opened, energy has generally been used to get the water there. To make water safe for drinking and domestic use, it must undergo treatment by a process that also requires energy. Each time water goes down the drain, it likely enters this energy-use cycle once again. This relationship also holds true the other way around; it generally takes a lot of water to generate useful electrical energy.
Q: Why is this connection between water and energy important to our casino-entertainment industry?
A: Our industry uses water in its day-to-day operations and needs to understand the impacts of water use from an externality perspective, in addition to water scarcity. Conservation practices not only save water, but can also lead to less chemical use for water treatment and less energy use to pump, heat and treat the water. More broadly, water conservation can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions stemming from energy use and protect our ecosystems.
Caesars understands that success in reducing the use of energy, water and waste as a part of its CodeGreen programs will further its mission to lowering its greenhouse gas emissions. When we conserve natural resources and use them wisely, we can truly have a triple-bottom-line win.
Q: What innovative practices is Caesars undertaking to save water? Are these activities making an impact?
A: Caesars has pursued a variety of water efficiency and conservation projects to reduce water use. They range from removing sod and converting it to drought-tolerant landscaping to installing low-flow showerheads and sink aerators. We use advanced tunnel washers in our laundry operations and change towels in our guestrooms only upon request. Small actions, when scaled, can have big impacts. For example, in southern Nevada, Caesars recently installed over 10,000 low-flow showerheads across several properties, which resulted in an estimated savings of over 50 million gallons of water per year and avoided energy use to heat the water estimated at over 18,000 MMBTU per year. That’s enough savings to shower nearly three million average Americans! From 2008 to 2012, Caesars has cut water use across the organization by approximately 7% on a per-square-foot of conditioned space basis. There’s certainly more work to be done, but clearly efforts are making an impact.
Q: As a guest, how can I do my part to conserve water?
A: As a guest staying at a Caesars property, first and foremost we want you to enjoy your stay and have a memorable experience. We also try to make it easy for you to do your part to conserve natural resources. Here are a few easy actions you can take during your next visit:
- Hang up your towel if you don’t want it changed
- Only request a sheet change if needed
- When eating out, only order water for those in your party drinking it
- Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving
- Don’t let the shower water run until you’re ready to get in (the water will be hot)
- Turn off your room lights and TV when leaving (conserving electricity saves water)
Remember, these or similar water-smart habits will have an even greater positive impact if you try to stick to them in all aspects of your life whether at home, at work or during a fun stay at a Caesars resort!
Eric Dominguez, Corporate Director of Engineering, Utilities, and Environmental Affairs, was on hand last Tuesday night in San Diego to receive the Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management—Goal Achievement on behalf of Caesars Entertainment. The annual Climate Leadership Awards are sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, along with three NGO partners: Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR). The national awards program recognizes “exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change.”
Winning this prestigious award is a huge accomplishment for Caesars. Prominent experts in the field of sustainability serve as judges and the awardees represent a competitive field of change-makers. We are extremely proud to be among them, recognized for our programs that are making a positive impact on the environment. “Caesars Entertainment has made great strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Their commitment to reducing carbon pollution demonstrates that efforts to address climate change are repaid by saving money and energy, while supporting more livable and resilient communities, and a healthier, better protected environment.”
Caesars was recognized for exceeding its five-year goal of reducing GHG emissions by 10%, while also maintaining its high standard for guest experience. Under the EPA’s former Climate Leaders program, Caesars established a 10% GHG reduction goal for U.S. operations between 2007 and 2012. In that period, the company expanded its physical footprint by 18% but was still able to exceed its goal a year early. By 2011, Caesars had reduced its GHG emissions 11.4%. “The leadership that Caesars Entertainment has exemplified in driving GHG reductions throughout its operations is a model for other organizations across sectors to follow,” said Daniel Kreeger, Executive Director of the Association of Climate Change Officers.
Guests are at the center of Caesars’ business so it is imperative that the company meet its environmental goals without negatively impacting the guest experience. The company has been able to achieve this through its CodeGreen strategy which focuses on improving energy efficiency using the latest technologies. Resort properties have replaced lighting with newer, more efficient products, upgraded thermostats to digital versions with occupancy sensors, installed low flow aerators and shower heads, and formalized shut-down procedures in food and beverage outlets. Caesars will continue challenging itself on this front by developing robust programs with the greatest level of impact, while also providing guests the highest standard of service.
Winners were recognized at the Climate Leadership Awards Dinner held during the Climate Leadership Conference on February 25th, 2014. The conference brings together forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community to explore energy and climate related solutions, introduce new opportunities, and provide support to leaders taking action on climate change. The conference is dedicated to addressing climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions.
Beth Craig, Director of EPA’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division, presents Eric Dominguez, Caesars’ Corporate Director of Engineering, Utilities, and Environmental Affairs, with award
Eric Dominguez spoke at the conference on the topic of greenhouse gas goal setting. About the Caesars’ process, he said the company, “took a look at policies and peers to dial in a number that was aggressive.” He went on to discuss intensity versus absolute targets and the choice to ultimately go with an ambitious absolute target. The key to success he said, is to “develop business cases on efficiency projects and discuss investment in the context of a business plan” in order to get the most support from internal leadership.
There were five award categories: Organizational Leadership Award, Individual Leadership Award, Supply Chain Leadership Award, Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Achievement Award), and Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Award). Caesars is the only entertainment company awarded the Goal Achievement Award; other winners in this category included Boeing Company, Cisco Systems, Ecolab, The Hartford, IBM, Johnson Controls, Kohl’s Department Stores, Mack Trucks and Novelis.
Three long-time employees from Caesars Entertainment knew they had won the trip of a lifetime in January, when they boarded a plane to the Philippines with partners from Children International and the Clean the World Foundation. Over the next week, Socorro Garcia, Housekeeping Supervisor at Bally’s, Bill Knowles, Slot Tech at Harrah’s Laughlin, Lance Elliott, Dealer at Harrah’s Iowa, along with Jessica Rosman, Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, helped deliver hygiene products and health education tips to schools and community centers throughout Manila.
The winners visited seven distribution sites in all, hand-delivering 17,400 bars of soap to 4,350 children and teachers. Each site welcomed them warmly with leis made by the children, marching bands, food, singing and smiles. During the site visits, the team performed a skit for the children featuring germ-fighting superheroes “Super Sabon” and “Super Tubig” which translate to Super Soap and Super Water in the national language, Tagalog. One trip participant wrote, “The sound of children’s laughter filled the air as the super heroes showed their muscle after they fought the germs!”
Caesars’ sponsored the Clean the World Employee Contest to provide a few dedicated employees a first-hand look at the difference a bar of soap can make. “As we continue to support Clean the World, we are excited to be able to expand our impact by sending our employees to aid an area of need,” said Thom Reilly, Executive Director of Caesars Foundation.
Last fall, contest applicants nominated themselves or a fellow employee in one of three categories: Dedication to Community Service, Service with Passion, and Outstanding Housekeeper. Hundreds of employees, from housekeepers to dealers to front desk attendants applied for an opportunity to go to the Philippines and be on the front lines of Clean the World’s mission. In their applications, employees shared stories about nominees going above and beyond at work and in their communities. Entries were voted on by leaders throughout the business and winners were announced on November 4th.
Winner Bill Knowles couldn’t believe his luck, “I don’t know what to expect- I can’t believe I won!” Any uncertainty among the team members soon gave way to exuberance. On their last day in the Philippines, the three winners agreed that their trip was unforgettable. They were deeply moved by the generosity and enthusiasm of the children they met and proud to support a great cause. Socorro Garcia called the experience “life-changing” and Lance Elliott said it was the best trip of his life.
Caesars began working with Clean the World soon after it was founded in 2009. The organization collects and recycles soap and bottled amenities discarded by the hospitality industry and distributes them to people in need, aiming to prevent millions of deaths each year resulting from hygiene-related illnesses. To date, the Caesars Foundation and Caesars Entertainment have donated more than $550,000 in grants and in-kind services to establish the Las Vegas Recycling Operations Center for the Western United States.
All of Caesars’ U.S. properties are major contributors to the cause. Each day, housekeepers at 34 properties clean thousands of hotel rooms and collect unused soap and shampoo that are donated to the organization. Since the partnership began, Caesars has provided over 300 tons of soaps and shampoos. Additionally employee teams volunteer at Clean the World’s facilities to help sort and prepare soaps for redistribution.
To learn more about Clean the World visit www.cleantheworld.org