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Press Kit - Green Initiatives
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GREEN INITIATIVES

In recent years, Las Vegas resorts have turned their attention and focused their efforts on becoming more environmentally conscious. From energy efficiency and water conservation to recycling and implementing greener practices, Las Vegas is doing its part to contribute to the sustainability of the planet.

 

But it isn't just the resort community "going green." Las Vegas restaurants, convention centers, transportation companies, wedding planners, and several other local businesses are supporting green initiatives and making substantial changes in the way they operate.

 

Several Las Vegas projects have even achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The process includes independent, third-party verification that a development's design, construction and performance meet accepted high standards for environmentally responsible, sustainable development. Only three percent of all U.S. building projects qualify for the certified, silver, gold or platinum designations.

 

Here are just a few examples of how Las Vegas is "going green":

 

Resorts

Boyd Gaming (Sam's Town, Suncoast, The Orleans, Gold Coast, California, Fremont Hotel, Main Street Station) is committed to protecting the environment and pursuing sustainable business practices. The corporation strives to conserve energy in a number of ways including the use of solar water holding tanks, CFL light bulbs, and air heat recovery systems. In addition, various properties have programs in place to recycle everything from cardboard, aluminum and glass to food, grease and oil.

 

FAST FACTS:

Boyd Gaming:

  • Opened an environmentally friendly laundry facility that services all its Las Vegas properties.
  • The laundry facility is the first in the country to receive LEED Silver certification and an award from the American Lung Association of Nevada for environmentally friendly practices.
  • The facility handles about 60,000 pounds of laundry per day and uses 75 percent less water than a typical laundry facility of its size, saving 22 million gallons of water per year. It also uses 27 percent less electricity and 47 percent less gas.

CityCenter (Mandarin Oriental, ARIA, Vdara, Crystals, Veer Towers) has achieved Gold LEED certification for ARIA Resort & Casino's hotel tower, convention center and theater, Vdara Hotel & Spa, Mandarin Oriental, Veer Towers and Crystals. This marks the highest LEED achievement of any hotel, retail district or residential development in Las Vegas. It is also the world's largest private green development. The Forest Stewardship Council-US honored CityCenter as the best commercial project of 2009 with FSC Awards.

 

FAST FACTS:

CityCenter:

  • First energy generation on the Strip through its 8.5 megawatt, natural gas co-generation plant, providing efficient electricity on site, reducing emissions and using "waste heat" to provide all domestic hot water at CityCenter, including its pools
  • Water conservation technology saves approximately 40 percent of water within buildings and 60 percent in outdoor landscaping, for an overall savings of 50 million gallons annually
  • World's first fleet of stretch limos powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas
  • Large-scale recycling operation that enabled the reuse of more than 260,000 tons of construction waste, more than 80 percent of the imploded Boardwalk Hotel
  • Guests arriving at CityCenter via carpool or in alternative-fueled vehicles have access to preferred parking spaces; bicycle valet services also provided

 

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas was built with a commitment to conservation in mind. The building is equipped with a management system that controls outside lighting to respond to nighttime hours and allows temperature controls in unoccupied spaces.

 

FAST FACTS:

Encore Las Vegas:

  • Uses energy efficient HVAC equipment, pumps, motors and light fixtures
  • Has an aggressive recycling program including food waste
  • Utilizes non-potable well water for irrigation of resort landscaping and the golf course and uses synthetic grass and low water consuming plant and trees

Caesars Entertainment (Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Flamingo, Bally's, Imperial Palace, Bill's Gamblin' Hall, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Rio) has spent more than $60 million on energy conservation projects over the last six years, reducing its energy use by 163 million kilowatt hours a year and cutting its carbon emissions by more than 100,000 metric tons. Caesars Entertainment is the only casino, hospitality and entertainment company to receive seven gold level accreditations from Travelife Sustainability for its Las Vegas Strip properties; win EPA Environmental Quality and WasteWise New Partner awards; and publish an Environmental Sustainability and Community Engagement report. Harrah's has a CodeGreen volunteer environmental action team at each resort.

 

FAST FACTS:

Caesars Entertainment:

  • committed to achieving a 10 percent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for its U.S. resorts by 2013
  • saves 200 million gallons of water a year through building and fixture retrofits, a rebuild of its Las Vegas laundry facility, and conservation practices at its seven golf resorts
  • recycles 640,000 gallons of waste vegetable cooking oil a year
  • installed a five-megawatt co-generation facility at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas that generates and uses electricity on-site
  • Caesars Entertainment Corporation's expansion of the Caesars Palace Conference Center was awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The 110,000 square-feet of available space including two 52,000 square foot ballrooms, completed by Design and Construction Group, was given this prestigious green building certification for its sustainable building and operations practices to conserve energy and water.

 

Las Vegas Sands Corporation (The Venetian, The Palazzo) recently announced that the company's Venetian Resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center achieved Gold LEED certification for existing buildings. The Palazzo achieved Silver LEED certification for new construction in 2008. When combined, The Venetian, The Palazzo and the Sands Expo comprise the largest LEED building in the world. The company recently launched its Sands Eco 360° Global Sustainable Development Program, which oversees construction and development strategy, operational and maintenance policies, development of vendor partners in compliance with green policies, and involvement of employee team members.

 

FAST FACTS:

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation:

  • saves nearly 100 million gallons of potable water per year
  • have saved enough electricity to power more than 6,500 average American homes annually
  • recycles 55 percent of daily trash and 75 percent of food waste
  • utilizes the largest solar thermal system in the United States, which provides hot water for pools, spas and domestic uses
  • in constructing The Palazzo, the company used steel with 95 percent recycled content and diverted 42,000 tons of refuse from landfills

 

M Resort, Spa and Casino is committed to environmental responsibility and energy conservation and took this into consideration when constructing the resort, which debuted in March 2009. Alternative transportation was also taken into consideration by providing bike storage, preferred employee parking for alternative fuel vehicles and adequate public parking with more than 50 percent under cover.

 

FAST FACTS:

M Resort, Spa and Casino:

  • Orientation of the tower faces north and south, reducing the impact of direct east/west sunlight
  • Unlike many Las Vegas resorts, M Resort utilizes natural lighting via skylights to reduce the lighting requirements
  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures reduce water usage
  • Recycling system in place property-wide
  • Energy efficient lighting fixtures

 

MGM Resorts International (Aria, Vdara, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Circus Circus) recently announced that 15 of its Strip properties were awarded a green key designation by The Green Key Eco-Rating Program, a ranking service based on hotels' sustainability efforts and recognized by such travel services as AAA, Travelocity and Expedia. Additionally four of MGM Resorts' International properties-Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay-received Green Key Meetings' 5-key certification. MGM Resorts' International formed a Department of Energy and Environmental Resources, which focuses on conservation of natural resources, sustainable construction and renovation, waste management, sustainable procurement, and communication and education. Every MGM Resorts International property in Las Vegas also has a "Green Team" responsible for developing a strategic plan for sustainability.

 

MGM Resorts International has introduced the company's first Electric Vehicle Charging Station and the first such facility on the Las Vegas Strip for environmentally conscious consumers.  This new Charging Station is located at the valet entrance to The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, between Mandalay Bay and Luxor resorts. Charging service is available free of charge to retail and resort customers driving personal electric vehicles, like the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt. To take advantage of this new amenity, drivers simply pull into one of the two specially designated parking spaces reserved exclusively for personal electric vehicles and plug into the easy-to-use PEP Station to charge their vehicle. Each station has a touch-screen interface that guides users through steps to safely charge their electric vehicle.

 

FAST FACTS:

MGM Resorts International:

  • saves 50.4 million kilowatts of electricity annually
  • reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 40,000 tons
  • eliminated more than 5,800 trash hauls per year at the properties, saving over $1.4 million
  • The Mandalay Bay Convention Center recycles 75 percent of all trade show exhibit hall waste
  • Every day, Excalibur recycles one ton of glass bottles and at least two tons of cardboard
  • After installing compact fluorescent lighting in its parking garages, MGM Grand achieved savings of 2.6 kilowatts of electricity over 12 months
  • The Mirage saves 400 kilowatts of electricity every hour as a result of installing Variable Frequency Drives on chillers in its central plant
  • In 2012, MGM Resorts recycling efforts achieved an overall diversion rate of 43.7%, an increase of 455% in landfill diversion rate since 2007.
  • ARIA, Mirage and Bellagio have purchased compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled limousines. These CNG limos operate 15% more efficiently with approximately a 40% decrease in fuel costs over gasoline powered vehicles.

 

Palms Casino Resort works closely with N9NE Group to make environmental responsibility a top priority, always looking for new ways to reduce the company's impact and further invest in environmental initiatives.

 

FAST FACTS:

Palms Casino Resort:

  • N9NE group purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset 100 percent of the total calculated carbon dioxide emissions associated with their estimated electricity, natural gas and refrigerant usage in N9NE Steakhouse, Nove Italiano, Ghostbar and Moon Nightclub. The purchase offsets approximately 2,497 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
  • N9NE Group unveiled Las Vegas' first solar-powered DJ booth at Palms Pool & Bungalows. Built by Sustainable Waves, the booth uses solar panels to capture power directly from the pool deck to convert the sun's energy into electricity
  • Executive Chef Geno Bernardo of Nove Italiano sources fresh produce for the restaurant from his private garden in Pahrump, Nev.

 

Restaurants

Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay has installed the KeyKeg wine delivery system to further aid its green movement. This revolutionary one-way wine keg, developed by Master Sommelier William Sherer, is made of recycled plastics and is continuously sanitized and reused by the restaurant, eliminating both waste and fuel that would be used to return the keg to be refilled. As the wine keg is recycled, this allows for less demand on the environment to produce glass bottles, corks, paper labels and wine boxes - as just one keg of wine represents 26 bottles of wine.

LBS: A Burger Joint (Red Rock Resort) offers fresh, non-frozen or pre-packaged, all-natural veggie burgers with more than 26 farm-fresh ingredients. Premiere Meat Company supplies LBS with meat from naturally raised cattle without any growth hormones, antibiotics or chemicals. The cooking oil is recycled into bio diesel fuel via the waste deposit company, RENU that processes approximately 150 gallons of cooking oil into diesel per month. LBS is also one of the only restaurants in Las Vegas to use Heinz Organic Ketchup on the table top.

 

Weddings

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa has created a wedding package that is considerate to the planet by offering a variety of organic and recyclable options. Eco-Chic package elements include outdoor ceremonies on the resort grounds among beautifully designed gardens and waterscapes; receptions featuring Botela linens made from recycled glass or luxury burlap, and Chiavari chairs made from bamboo; soy candles; organic or living floral designs; menus and place cards made from recycled card stock and soy ink; and culinary selections offering local, organic and free trade ingredients.

 

Transportation

Las Vegas Monorail offers an electric, zero-emissions transportation system as an alternative to automobiles and mass transit. In 2009, visitors who rode the Monorail aided in the removal of an estimated 2.7 million vehicle miles from Southern Nevada's major roadways, reducing emissions by more than 48 tons of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides over the course of the year.

 

Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada offers Club Ride Commuter Services, a free program that promotes cleaner, greener modes for getting to work. The program currently boasts more than 260 employer partners and more than 23,000 employee participants, encouraging transit, carpooling, walking and cycling rather than driving alone. The result has been 4.7 million fewer miles driven on Southern Nevada roadways during 2009.The RTC's transit system carried more than 57 million passengers in 2009 alone. The RTC operates one of the newest fleets of buses in the nation including compressed natural gas-fueled vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. At the start of 2010, RTC Transit launched two new transit lines designed with speed in mind.  The first, the Strip & Downtown Express (formerly known as the Gold Line), provides a rapid transit connection between Downtown Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip.  The second, the Centennial Express (formerly known as the C Line), is ideal for commuters since it provides a one-seat ride from the Centennial Hills area to Downtown Las Vegas, the Strip and even UNLV.

 

Maverick Helicopters is the only helicopter operator in Las Vegas and the world to have switched out its entire fleet to the quietest and most eco-friendly helicopter available for the tour industry. The company sold all their old helicopters and acquired 22 eco Star helicopters instead.

 

Developments

Las Vegas Springs Preserve is a green friendly attraction that teaches visitors about the environment and the importance of conservation. Springs Preserve incorporates museums, interactive exhibits, botanical gardens and trails, and showcases working green building designs and other examples of environmentally friendly construction. Seven buildings on the property have achieved Platinum LEED certification and make use of straw bale insulation and rammed earth. To put that into perspective, there are only 13 Platinum certified buildings in the entire United States. These are the first Platinum-rated buildings in Nevada.

Symphony Park is a public-private development between the city of Las Vegas, landowner and master developer, and Newland Communities. Poised to become the cultural and artistic center of Southern Nevada, this 10 million square foot project located downtown is home to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and surrounded by the World Market Center, Las Vegas Premium Outlets, Clark County Government Center and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The only project in the state of Nevada to be accepted into a national pilot program for green neighborhood developments, Symphony Park was awarded Gold LEED certification under stage two. It also embodies the essence of land recycling by transforming a fallow brownfield site into a vibrant community.

 

World Market Center Las Vegas makes it a priority to make environmentally conscious decisions in its own business operations and advocates for the entire trade show industry to do so. World Market Center is currently in line to become the largest on-site recycling center in Southern Nevada, by recycling more than 70 percent of all refuse generated from the giant home furnishings complex. In one six-week period, World Market Center recycled a total of 136 tons of cardboard alone, 24 tons of Styrofoam and 106 tons of plastic.

 

The Vegas PBS Educational Technology Campus (ETC) is a model for sustainability and green building practices in the Southwestern United States. The eco-friendly building is home to Vegas PBS' operations and production services in addition to its emergency alert efforts. The campus showcases a variety of green technologies including the largest rooftop installation of solar-voltaic panels in the state of Nevada and a geothermal/ground source heat pump cooling system that uses 202 wells that average 425 feet deep. Other green elements include lead-free and recyclable electronics, concrete rather than traditional asphalt parking lots, furnishings that dramatically reduce off-gassing of toxic chemicals and agriculturally based floor coverings.

 

ACCIONA's Nevada Solar One is an environmentally friendly, renewable utility-scale power solution that creates power with near-zero carbon emissions. The 400-acre, 64-megawatt plant harnesses solar energy to power more than 14,000 homes every year. It is the third-largest concentrating solar power plant in the world and the first such plant built in 17 years. Nevada Solar One represents a major renewable energy success story and has the potential to compete directly with conventional fossil fuel-powered technologies. The plant is located in Boulder City, Nevada.

 

Convention Centers

In tandem with industry trends, customer expectations, and social responsibility, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has made significant inroads toward improving its role in sustainable operations, environmental impacts, and energy conservation.

The Las Vegas Convention Center is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise Program with a primary objective of diverting recyclable materials away from landfills. The Las Vegas Convention Center currently averages a 65 percent recycling rate for all shows, recovering on average 431 tons of cardboard, 302 tons of plastic, 132 tons of carpet padding, 173 tons of mixed paper, 130 tons of various metals and 205 tons of wood annually.  Environmentally-friendly cleaning products have replaced over 30,000 gallons of traditional chemicals.  Likewise, Cashman Center has recently achieved a 65 percent annual recycling rate and, through a revised landscaping plan of grass reduction, has conserved over six million gallons of water over the past two years. Cashman Center diverted over 22 tons of recyclable materials from the landfill over the past year.

 

The LVCVA will continue to invest in key areas that improve efficiency and conservation directly related to future energy consumption.  Targeted tactics include converting to more energy-efficient lighting, motion sensors to control lighting levels in unoccupied rooms, and temperature sensors to turn off air conditioning or heating in empty meeting rooms and exhibit halls.

 

Outdoor Recreation

Black Canyon/Willow Beach River Adventures hosts an annual ecology drive and shoreline clean-up event. This special initiative has helped remove 22,640 pounds of garbage from Lake Mohave, located less than an hour from the Las Vegas Strip. The River Adventures are certified to environmental standards set by the International Organization for Standardization. Through 2009, more than 32 tons of waste have been diverted from landfills through a comprehensive recycling program.

 

Forever Resorts Houseboats used on Lake Mead are manufactured to contain such green features as energy efficient lighting throughout, zero water discharge into the surrounding body of water, carbon monoxide reduction through the use of the most fuel efficient engines available in the marine industry, solar enhanced electric systems and low-flow water fixtures throughout.