Caesars Plans to Raise Environmental Awareness on Earth Day 2014

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.

Honoring World Water Day at Caesars Entertainment

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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!

Caesars is the Only Entertainment-Gaming Company to Win Prestigious Climate Leadership Award

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.”

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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.

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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.

Winners from Caesars’ Employee Contest Deliver 17k+ Soap Bars to Youth in Philippines

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!”

Clean the World Trip

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

Caesars Entertainment Code of Commitment- It’s Who We Are

“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” – Jane Addams

At Caesars Entertainment, our Code of Commitment is our approach to responsible and ethical business which has guided our company (and our employees) for more than a decade. It is a public pledge to our employees, guests and communities that we will honor the trust they have placed in us.

Guided by the Code of Commitment, we promise to always:

  • Value the diversity of the communities in which we operate
  • Conduct our business honestly and with integrity
  • Empower our employees to get involved as community volunteers
  • Share our financial success with the community

To fulfill this promise each and every year, we govern business with four supporting pillars, including:

  • Employees: A commitment to all our employees to treat them with respect and provide satisfying career opportunities.
  • Guests: A commitment to all our guests to promote responsible gaming.
  • Communities: A commitment to all our communities to help make them healthy and vibrant places to live and work.
  • Environment: A commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment.

Our Code of Commitment is used continuously in internal communications to employees, displayed in all our venues for our guests, and reinforced through events and training throughout the year.  It is not a set of actions, but a guiding framework, so we must revisit it often to ensure it continues to be the foundation of our company culture and strategic plans for the future.

The commitment behind each of these pillars is achieved through tangible programs and actions like our employee Wellness Program, responsible gaming education programs, Caesars Foundation giving, and the CodeGreen environmental strategy.  These initiatives and others will be highlighted in the CodeGreen Blog throughout the year as we strive to build on the successes of 2013.

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We chose to kick-off 2014 by highlighting the Code because we think it’s important to recognize the impetus for CodeGreen and be held accountable to our Commitments by all of our stakeholders, including our employees, guests, and communities.  The Code also offers us an opportunity to share our values and engagements that go beyond the definition of a casino and hospitality business.  Yes, Caesars Entertainment is a public gaming company with more than 70,000 employees and over 60 properties worldwide.  This is what we do.  But our Code of Commitment is who we are.

Make a Green New Year’s Resolution

At Caesars, setting measurable targets is one of the keys to our environmental progress.  This same approach is easily applied to personal and professional lives; creating tangible goals is important to keeping us accountable to the future we want for ourselves and the next generation.  That’s why for this coming New Year, we challenge our colleagues and friends to set green resolutions for a more sustainable 2014.

The best resolutions are challenging but attainable- and set with a steadfast commitment to success.  For those of us striving for a greener lifestyle, the Huffington Post has offered up some great eco-friendly goals:

  • Buy less bottled water: Invest in a BPA-free, reusable hard bottle and drink from the tap.  If you’re weary about water from the faucet, buy a tap-filter or pitcher-filter for home and a filtered water bottle for the road.
  • Stick with reusable shopping bags: While plastic bags can be recycled in theory, only 1% actually are in the U.S.  Store reusable bags in your car so you’re less likely to forget them on your next trip to the store.
  • Eat less meat:  From the farm to the table, meat has a heavy impact on the environment.  About 634 gallons of water are used to produce just one hamburger and if each American cut meat and cheese from their diet for just one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
  • Reduce Paper Waste:  At this point, we know the importance of recycling paper products but we should also be proactive in reducing our demand.  By opting out of paper bills and subscribing to digital magazines and newspapers instead of paper ones, we can cut down on our individual paper waste.
  • Drink from a reusable mug:  American office workers use about 500 disposable cups per person very year.  The simple act of keeping a mug at the office can reduce this number significantly.

A great perk of implementing eco-friendly goals is that they often save you money- so you’ll be going green in more ways than one!  And you won’t be alone; in 2014, Caesars will be working towards its own corporate sustainability goals.

Energy Conservation

  • Short term: 20 percent reduction per air-conditioned square foot from 2007 to 2015 – ACHIEVED
  • Long term: 40 percent reduction per air-conditioned square foot from 2007 to 2025

Green House Gas Reduction

  • Short term: 10 percent reduction of absolute GHG emissions at domestic properties from 2007 to 2013 – ACHIEVED
  • Long term: 40 percent reduction of domestic GHG emissions per air-conditioned square foot from 2007 to 2025

Water Use                

  • Short term: 10 percent reduction of usage per air-conditioned square foot from 2008 to 2015 – STATUS: 7 percent reduction as of fall 2013
  • Long term: 15 percent reduction of usage per air-conditioned square foot from 2008 to 2020

Waste Diversion

  • Short term: 25 percent diversion of domestic waste from landfills by 2014. – STATUS 24 percent diversion as of 2012
  • Long term: 50 percent diversion of domestic waste from landfills by 2020

We look forward to sharing our journey towards our environmental goals with you over the next year and hope you decide to take on a few eco-resolutions of your own.  For more helpful tips about setting green resolutions for the New Year, check out the Huff Post Article for all 10 goals and the Sierra Club to join their Go Green 2014 resolution.

Caesars wishes you all a happy, healthy, and more sustainable New Year!

First U.S. Corporation to Follow G4 Core Guidelines: What does it mean?

In the last post, I discussed the release of Caesars’ fourth CSR and Sustainability Report on December 13th.  The headlines surrounding the report’s release touted it as the first from any U.S. corporation published in line with G4 Core level guidelines.

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For those of us not fluent in the language of sustainability reporting, terms like “G4 Guidelines”, “Core level”, and “Materiality Matters check” might as well be Dutch.  So what’s all this about?  Let’s take a closer look to decipher the significance of this achievement:

What is GRI? 

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development.  GRI has pioneered and devloped a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that provides metrics and methods for measuring and reporting sustainability-related impacts and performance. Their mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice for all companies.

What are the G4 Guidelines?

The G4 Guidelines are GRI’s fourth generation of sustainable reporting guidelines, published in May 2013.  These updated guidelines place a larger emphasis on material issues- those that matter most to a business, rather than reporting on everything.  Defining these issues and determining where their impacts lie is a critical component of the new guidelines.

What is Core level?

In the last generation of reporting guidelines, organizations could receive a graded A, B, or C application level, demonstrating the scope and depth of the report.  They could also receive a “+” signifying that the report was externally assured or checked by GRI.  The G4 Guidelines have replaced this grading scheme with two “In Accordance” levels: Core and Comprehensive.  Organizations must meet a number of criteria to be “In Accordance” with the G4 Guidelines.  For example, the organization must report on at least one indicator per material issue to meet the Core level, and include all relevant indicators for all material issues to meet the Comprehensive level.

What is the Materiality Matters check?

GRI began offering a Materiality Matters check in December; this check verifies that at the time of publication of the G4 Guidelines-based report, the General Standard Disclosures were correctly located in both the Content Index and in the text of the final report.  This service helps ensure that the sustainability report is navigable, clear and credible.

So after all of this- what does becoming the first U.S. corporation to follow the G4 Guidelines at the Core level and successfully pass the Materiality Matters check really mean?  With this report, Caesars is demonstrating that it is seriously committed to transparency, accountability, and leadership on sustainable issues.

Vibrant Communities: Caesars’ CSR and Sustainability Report

Caesars Entertainment released its 4th CSR and Sustainability Report, Vibrant Communities on Friday, December 13th.  The report details the company’s efforts and commitment to enhance the environment, employee well-being, guest experience and economic development in 2012.  Some achievements include:

Environmental Stewardship:

  • Completion of 37 corporate efficiency projects with an investment of $3.5 million delivering nearly 24 million kWh energy savings per year.
  • 24% waste diversion from landfill, measured for the first time.

Commitment to employees:

  • 41% of women in management roles.
  • More than 3.6 million hours invested in employee training.

Commitment to guests:

  • Increase in customer satisfaction scores 2.56%, reaching the highesCE-CSR_LargeRprt-COVER-1t satisfaction levels in our history.
  • In 2012, 85% of Caesars gaming revenues were related to customers’ specific preferences, enabling Caesars to align special rewards with what customers wanted most. The hotel industry average was 56%.

Commitment to communities:

  • Caesars Entertainment takes a public stand on important issues to support vibrant communities and social justice, including supporting comprehensive immigration reform that both advances border security as well as streamlines the immigration process for those who are willing to work hard and complete the legal process.
  • In 2012, in the U.S. alone, Caesars employees donated more than 130,000 hours to support local communities.

The report is the first report from a U.S. company to be written in accordance with the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines CORE level.  What does this mean?  Check out our next post for a breakdown of the guidelines and the significance of this accomplishment.  In the meantime, take a look at our report to find out what we were up to last year!

Caesars Participates in America Recycles Day

On Friday, November 15 Caesars Entertainment participated in America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, by hosting Caesars Recycles Day across the enterprise. The purpose of the day was to educate and raise awareness of Caesars own Back-of-House Employee Recycling Centers and the recycling and waste diversion efforts at each property.

CodeGreen trash canIn 2012, Caesars diverted 64.6 million pounds of materials from landfills. That’s enough to fill nearly 20,000 full sized cars. Through September 2013, Caesars has diverted roughly 50 million pounds of materials.

Looking forward to 2014, Caesars will refresh the Back-of-House Recycling Centers to make them more recognizable and accessible for employees. Additionally, a new e-waste policy will be implemented, targeting a zero e-waste to landfill goal. Stay tuned for more details!