It’s been whirlwind month of back-to-back activities across Caesars resorts and casinos during which employees showed tremendous support for causes that are close to their hearts: breast cancer awareness and research, male-related cancers, and support for veterans.
Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many Caesars Entertainment properties across the country take part in Pink Week, organizing fun events for employees and guests that educate about breast cancer, honor lost loved ones, and raise funds to support breast cancer research. During this week, it’s not uncommon to see everything—from poker table felts, to golf balls, to balloons and even floor managers’ hair—colored pink. Now that’s serious play!
To encourage properties and their employees to rally around this cause, Caesars hosted a competition that resulted in a generous donation to the American Cancer Society from the Caesars Foundation on behalf of the three most active properties.
Out of the twenty-one participating casinos and resorts, the winners are:
1st Place: Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Tunica received a $10,000 donation on its behalf in recognition of how well the group integrated Breast Cancer Awareness into its marketing and social media efforts
2nd Place: Harrah’s Ak-Chin received an $8,000 donation on its behalf. The Pink Pool Party was an irresistible way to encourage guests to show their support!
3rd Place: Harrah’s Resort Southern California received a $7,000 donation on its behalf. Their joint Breast Cancer Awareness-Movember shirts was a brilliant idea and resulted in a double whammy of cancer support.
Other creative and fun initiatives included:
A Code Pink Farmers market hosted by Rio Vegas from which 100% of the proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society. What a fantastic way to marry local food advocacy and breast cancer support!
Employee poker tournaments in Caesars’ casinos raised money for breast cancer research. It’s always smart to bet on a good cause!
The highly anticipated annual Battle of the Bras event in which senior managers strut their stuff on stage modeling creative and wacky bras designed by Caesars employees. This year the Caesars Corporate team and Las Vegas resorts raised an impressive $50,000 for the American Cancer Society through the event. But it isn’t just the Vegas properties that got in on the action; resorts across the country held their own #BattleoftheBras competitions, raising a lot of laughs as well as a lot of money.
The crusade against cancer still continues as we are deep in Movember, the month-long event that has men pledging to sport ‘staches to show solidarity and fundraise for men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer. Caesars employees enthusiastically jumped on board and have been flaunting some extra facial fuzz.
Harrah’s Southern California became #HarrahsMoCal this month and held a star-studded Movember kickoff event on November 1st complete with a celebrity fundraising poker tournament, standup comedy and an 80’s cover band!
Veterans Day is another event of great importance to Caesars Entertainment. In 2013, we established the “Enlisting Heroes” program to provide job opportunities to our nation’s veterans and to support veterans’ causes through employee volunteerism for military and veterans’ activities. We have since hired nearly 1,000 veterans who are helping us to build a stronger and more versatile organization. This Veterans Day, Caesars resorts and casinos celebrated veterans with discounts, free buffet dinners, socials, candy and letter drives for overseas military, and hiring fairs.
HEROS at Horseshoe Baltimore threw a party for their community’s veterans and bonded over games and cake!
In Las Vegas at The Rio, Jan Jones, Caesars’ EVP of Communications & Government Relations spoke in support of LGBT veterans at a joint Marine Corps birthday gala and fundraiser on November 10th for Helping Our Brothers & Sisters and RWB Dog Tags, an organization that provides service dogs to combat veterans coping with PTSD. Caesars Entertainment believes that companies should give fair and equal access to all populations, and hire based on who can do the job and not who they love. We felt privileged to take part in an event that gives a voice and life-changing opportunities to those who have faced discrimination as members of the LGBT community and those living with PTSD after honorably serving our country.
We are proud of, and grateful to, everyone at Caesars for participating in the events of the past month. Thank you for showing an inspiring level of passion for causes that touch so many lives, including the guests we serve and the people we work with every day.
This past month, Harrah’s Laughlin launched its latest waste-diversion initiative, “Reusing Resources,” in partnership with the Mohave Accelerated Learning Center (MALC), a local, underserved charter school in Arizona. Through this new program, Harrah’s will donate old and no longer needed furniture, supplies and scrap materials to the school, improving the learning experience for many low-income students.
Instead of ending up in a landfill, these materials will be used for art projects, theater sets, wood shop, metal shop, various learning activities and other needs on campus. Furniture will find new life inside waiting rooms, offices, and student and teacher lounges.
According to Harrah’s CodeGreen Leader, Nichole Radcliff, Reusing Resources will benefit 600 MALC students from kindergarten to the 12th grade. By participating in this program, Harrah’s also hopes to impart the values of recycling, reducing and reusing to the community.
“Why send something through the waste stream if it can be repurposed for a new life?” noted Nichole. “This is what living green is all about!”
It is through creative recycling programs like Reusing Resources that puts Caesars on track to achieve its property-wide goal to divert 50% of its waste from landfills by 2020. In 2013, Caesars succeeded in diverting 35% of waste, surpassing the short term target for 2014 by 10%!
Harrah’s Laughlin was recently recognized for its commitment to corporate citizenship and the strength of its CodeGreen efforts. On October 25th, the casino-resort received a Community Achievement Award for “Green Business of the Year” from the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce—for the third time! We are very proud of the employees of Harrah’s Laughlin; their dedication to positively impacting their surrounding communities is inspiring to Caesars’ employees across the country.
Rising gas prices, consumers becoming smarter about what they drive and increased awareness of the impact cars make on our environment are all factors that are driving increased sales of electric vehicles (EVs). In fact, just last month, it was reported that EVs reached the highest amount of U.S. sales to date. As consumer demand for EVs continue to grow drastically, large companies like Caesars are increasing efforts to install EV charging stations for their employees and guests.
This summer Caesars announced the launch of electric vehicle charging stations at 13 resorts and casinos. Guests can now literally “recharge” by taking advantage of 48 electric vehicle charging stations available at select California and Nevada resorts. Electric vehicles (EVs) provide an excellent solution to reducing your carbon footprint. According the US Department of Energy, an all-electric vehicle can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by approximately 38% compared to a conventional vehicle. Driving an EV also reduces overall fuel cost by an astounding 72%. This and the higher MPGe are the primary consumer motivations to purchase EVs.
“Range anxiety” and lack of accessibility to chargers has been a major barrier to large-scale EV adoption. Caesars is helping to build a stronger charging infrastructure by integrating their charging stations with ChargePoint. ChargePoint is the world’s largest EV charging network with over 19,000 public level and DC fast charging spots across four continents. They make finding a charging station easy and fun with their mobile app and features such that allow EV owners to track fuel and greenhouse gas savings. And now with more auto companies rolling out design-forward and high tech EV models, going electric is not just a smart choice, it’s a sexy one.
Part of our CodeGreen environmental strategy, EVs charging stations are just one component of our comprehensive low carbon strategies. In 2013 we reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 24.1% and we are currently taking aggressive actions to reduce an additional 40% emissions by 2025. At Caesars, we are excited to encourage the use and accessibility of clean transportation options and plan to make EV charging stations available at our resorts and casinos nationwide. Keep an eye out for this amenity coming soon to locations such as New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City!
On a beautiful afternoon last September 10th, community members and small businesses gathered in front of the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati for the first Hometown Market. This fun, free event was held to expose residents to local vendors and educate them on sustainable living habits. The Hometown Market was hosted on the Shoe, a one-acre outdoor green space located in front of the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati.
“When I got the call from my office to be here today, I really knew the [Horseshoe’s] commitment was bigger than just the grand opening and that you all are continuing to work and keep up what you talked to, which is being a community partner,” said Reece.
Representative Reece presenting the Horseshoe Cincinnati with a proclamation recognizing the inaugural Hometown Market.
Since opening its doors in August 2014, The Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati and its associates have continually engaged the local community through community job fairs, presence at local events, and giving back.
The casino’s CodeGreen team, spearheaded by CodeGreen leader Myra Kashner and associates Wally Welch, Jamie Amis, Gayane Makaryan, and Dan Faulkner, organized the event, basing it on the traditional farmers’ market model. Not only did the Hometown Market provide residents with an opportunity to support local businesses, it also gave them a chance to learn how to decrease their carbon footprint to live a more sustainable. In addition to the various vendors, locals enjoyed live cooking demos from the Horseshoe’s food and beverage team and a waste management and recycling presentation by Rumpke Waste. The first 500 attendees received a free, reusable shopping bag.
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati General Manager, Kevin Kline, enthusiastically noted, “This [Hometown Market] is innovative, this is fantastic, and this is something we can build on moving forward.”
By leveraging their space and resources, the Horseshoe Cincinnati turned a blank green canvas into a vibrant, active centerpiece of the community. Day in and day out, Horseshoe Cincinnati associates are truly living their “Promises made and promises kept” mantra. Their continual commitment to corporate citizenship is helping to revitalize downtown Cincinnati, drive tourism, and boost the local economy.
We are excited to announce that Caesars has released its fifth annual Corporate Citizenship report entitled “Serious Play.” This year’s report tracks our corporate citizenship progress throughout 2013 in the following areas: Responsible Gaming, Employee Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Community Investment.
“Serious Play” highlights Caesars’ dedication to improving the economic, social, and environmental quality of life wherever we operate. In 2013, we exceeded our aggressive environmental-sustainability goals to reduce energy and carbon emissions as well as surpassing our waste-diversion goal. Significant strides were also made in the reduction of water use and continued community giving. Caesars continued to lead the industry in innovative Responsible Gaming programs, training 43,286 employees in 2013.
Caesars’ commitment to corporate citizenship starts at the top. “We are proud to support the advancement of meaningful standards that raise the bar for business accountability, and believe it is important for Caesars to be cutting edge from an engagement and reporting standpoint,” said Gwen Migita, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship at Caesars Entertainment.
24% greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction since 2007
35% of all waste diverted away from landfills in 2013
56% of employees from minority groups
More than 3.5 million hours invested in employee training.
100% perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the 7th consecutive year.
More than 160,000 hours volunteered by Caesars employees to support local communities.
We are proud of our achievements and are working to set new goals and continually innovate to expand our positive impact on our guests, employees and the environment. Being in the business of play, we are also serious about how we play.
At Caesars, the commitment to our guests goes beyond entertainment and gaming. Not only do we try to create fun, memorable experiences for guests we also care about their wellbeing. We want everyone who gambles at our casinos to be there for the right reasons – to simply have fun. As the first company to recognize and address program gambling, Caesars is taking the lead on promoting responsible gaming.
INDUSTRY PIONEER. Our history of responsible gaming leadership traces back to the 1980s. Throughout the years we have continued to develop increasingly robust tools and initiatives around the issue. For example, Caesars collaborated with the U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling in 1995 to launch a national toll-free telephone helpline, train staff and establish offices. These early efforts were recognized when the National Council on Problem Gambling recognized Caesars with its first corporate award. Later in 2000, the Gaming Hall of Fame bestowed its first-ever Special Achievement Award on Caesars for the company’s leadership and innovative programs around responsible gaming.
OPERATION BET SMART. This year Caesars celebrated the 25th anniversary of Operation Bet Smart®: Know When To Stop Before You Start®, a program that formally trains employees on the importance of responsible gaming and the policies and procedures of Caesars responsible gaming programs. This program encourages employee awareness to help them understand Caesars’ position on responsible gaming and supplies them with valuable information and direction to potentially help others. We have Responsible Gaming Ambassadors at all of our properties. In 2013, we invested more than 27,000 hours in training 43,286 employees in both classroom and online modules.
No matter which of our casinos you visit our message is always the same: Play Responsibly. We know that you are coming to our casinos to have a good time and we always want you to leaving feeling like you did.
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.