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LAS VEGAS—Las Vegas Sands Corp. and international social enterprise Clean the World this past Saturday completed a 24-hour global volunteer effort to build 200,000 hygiene kits that will be distributed to populations in need worldwide, including to help homeless people in the United States. More than 4,000 LVS Team Members and community volunteers participated in the Las Vegas Sands Global Hygiene Build with Clean the World—which was both organizations’ largest volunteer effort to date, resulting in the most kits ever built for Clean the World at one time. The build was held at LVS’ Singapore, Macao, Bethlehem and Las Vegas properties sequentially and all within a 24-hour period, starting at Marina Bay Sands, LVS’ property in Singapore, at 9 a.m. locally and culminating at 6 p.m. Pacific Time in Las Vegas. The effort was part of LVS’ global corporate citizenship program, Sands Cares, and its ongoing partnership with Clean the World. “Through this ambitious global Sands Cares event, we are helping hundreds of thousands of people without access to hygiene supplies to help them stay healthy,” said Ron Reese, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at LVS.
MELBOURNE, FLA.—Benjamin Stern, a Melbourne, Fla.-based, 16-year-old entrepreneur, is developing a shampoo, conditioner and body wash delivery system that could help rid the lodging industry of the millions of plastic amenity bottles that are mostly landfilled or otherwise recycled. It is not a dispenser but a way of placing a product inside of a water soluble ball. Stern’s company is called Nohbo, his product is patent pending and close to the point of delivery to a couple of major hotel chains for testing. Stern was inspired to help do something about plastic waste while watching a film in January 2014 while at school. He saw how his mother used laundry detergent pods and thought there must be a way of delivering shampoo, conditioner and body wash in a similar fashion. He got a job at a sub shop to help cover expenses, borrowed from family members and his college savings account, and partnered with a law firm that offered up to $20,000 in pro bono services.
OAKLAND, CALIF.—Everyday a tsunami of plastic hangers streams into landfills—93 million a day according to HANGD, an environmental coalition against the rising numbers of virgin plastic hangers finding their way into municipal dumps. That results in 34 billion plastic hangers every year and growing, enough to fill almost 20 Empire State Buildings.
LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International employee volunteers build a house from the ground up, and hand over the keys to an elated single mother and her children. Tens of millions of dollars are spent conducting business with minority- and women-owned enterprises, supporting the company's strategic objectives and commitment to diversity. MGM Resorts and NRG Renew partner to install one of the nation’s largest rooftop solar arrays at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, stretching a massive 20 acres. These are just a few of the powerful displays of corporate citizenship chronicled in MGM Resorts’ 2014 Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Themed “Inspiration Begins With Us!”, the report features the company’s accomplishments in corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes Diversity and Inclusion, Philanthropy and Community Engagement, and Environmental Sustainability initiatives. “MGM Resorts continues to integrate CSR best practices at all levels of our company’s operations and throughout our culture,” said Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International. “We firmly believe that our CSR efforts make us both a better company and a better corporate citizen.”
SPOKANE, WASH.—Ecova, the total energy and sustainability management company, has been selected by Caesars Entertainment to help the company reach its CodeGreen goal of reducing waste generation by 50 percent by 2020. As a leader in environmental sustainability in the gaming entertainment industry, Caesars, which operates under the Caesars, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brand names, demonstrates their commitment to sustainability by reducing waste, reporting their greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) with the help of Ecova, a CDP accredited provider, and by leveraging the Ecova Energy and Sustainability Management Platform to gather additional insight to optimize its energy management strategy at the company’s affiliated locations in the United States.
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Discarded soap and bottled amenities left behind by guests at JHM Hotels’ properties now have a second life thanks to a recycling program from Clean the World that helps fight the spread of preventable diseases. Used soap and plastic amenity bottles from all JHM Hotels’ properties are shipped to a Clean the World Recycling Operations Center, where they are sanitized and repurposed. Clean the World’s simple mission is to recycle hotel soap and save lives. The organization has partnered with more than 4,000 hotels and resorts to put life-saving hygiene products in the hands of those who need them most. “JHM Hotels is thrilled to join forces with Clean the World to help our environment and those in need around the world,” said Heather Meadors, Director of Community Relations at JHM Hotels. “This gives us the opportunity to divert over 200 pounds of waste daily across our portfolio which will provide over 200,000 bottles for Clean the World’s ONE project annually, as well as 230,000 bars of soap to be sent to children and families each year.”
MIDLAND, MICH.—Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., announced STYROFOAM extruded polystyrene foam insulation products in North America have received validation from UL Environment that they contain 20 percent pre-consumer recycled content on average. This verification marks the latest sustainability milestone for Dow insulation products, which also hold Cradle to Cradle certification.
NIAGARA FALLS, ON.—Niagara Casinos was awarded a 4 Green Keys rating from Green Key Global acknowledging their sustainable convention facilities and practices, topping off another year of substantial environmental initiatives at both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara.
SEATTLE—Canadian coffee roaster, Club Coffee, recently announced the PurPod100, which will be the world’s first 100 percent compostable, fully certified single-serve beverage pod. “The amount of used single-serve pods sent into the waste stream last year could have circled the earth 11 times,” said John Pigott, CEO, Club Coffee.
NATIONAL REPORT—Much has been written about the many millions of partially used bars of soap and amenity bottles disposed of each year. Thanks to Clean the World and other nonprofits, a sizable amount of that waste is now being repurposed. But what about k cups, those little single-serve beverage (mostly coffee) pods used in Keurig Green Mountain brewers? According to research by data firm NPD Group, 40 percent of Canadian homes have a single-serving coffee brewer. In the United States that number is closer to 30 percent. An estimated 20+ billion k cups will be consumed in 2015. Many of those will reach the landfill by way of a hotel guestroom, lobby or breakfast area. With such a steady flow of waste to the landfill—it is not only the cups but their contents, filters and lids as well—what can an hotelier do to address it? One step one can take is to explore alternatives to the non-recyclable polystyrene cups. Waterbury, Vermont-based Keurig says on its website that it has committed to making 100 percent of its K-Cup packs recyclable by 2020.
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