In celebration of the gaming industry’s first-ever independently checked environmental report, Las Vegas Sands hosted top sustainability activists, hotel executives and journalists with a green conference on Wednesday at the Venetian and the Palazzo Las Vegas.
More than 100 guests attended the conference in the Veronese Ballroom to learn about Las Vegas Sands’ environmental achievements and pioneering green operations. The audience was addressed by a number of industry leaders both inside and outside the company, including Michael A. Leven, president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands; Norbert Riezler, senior vice president and chief procurement sustainability officer of Las Vegas Sands; Katarina Tesarova, executive director of global sustainability at Las Vegas Sands; Michael Luehrs, president of the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC); and Doug Taylor, executive pastry chef for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality.
During the conference, Leven said that Las Vegas Sands has shown that it is possible not only to grow business in difficult economic times but also to be sustainable and responsible in company operations. He reaffirmed the company’s commitment to sustainability, asserting that he doesn’t want the company to accept the “status quo” but rather to keep pushing for “more palpable sustainability achievements” by 2015.
When discussing green meetings, GMIC President Michael Luehrs said that as an objective observer he was impressed by the green policies and procedures put in place by Las Vegas Sands at its resorts. The hope was expressed that other companies in the industry will follow the example set by these policies.
Chef Doug Taylor agreed, saying “sustainability is our responsibility to ourselves and to our guests and to our community; there’s no other way around it.” He went on to talk about the rapid expansion of local farmers markets in and around Las Vegas, and how the company has helped spearhead the effort to serve local, fresh, healthy foods at the resorts.
After the presentations, guests watched a documentary film about Sands ECO360, the company’s sustainability program, while they enjoyed a delicious and sustainable lunch from local farmers. Complimentary LED light bulbs courtesy of General Electric were handed out and guests were then taken on a sustainability tour to see first-hand how the company implements its green policies.
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