Name: Christopher Brophy
Title: Vice President-Corporate Sustainability
Organization: MGM Resorts International
Years in current position: Five
Primary responsibilities: He has a leadership role in developing, executing and communicating the company’s programs for environmental responsibility. He also oversees the planning, analysis, and capital budget management for energy conservation projects at all MGM Resorts International properties, and is responsible for the company’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory and reporting. Brophy reports to Cindy Ortega, the company’s senior vice president and chief sustainability officer.
Organization’s most significant environment-related accomplishment so far: “I don’t know how you cannot say CityCenter. It is the most significant environmental construction achievement ever. But it is not just CityCenter. It did not stop there.”
Organization’s most significant environment-related challenge: “Our resource conservation is our most significant challenge—especially water here in the desert. It is at the forefront of what we are trying to do. We are also working to leverage the power of our 62,000 employees to create a much more sustainable community.”
LAS VEGAS—As vice president of corporate sustainability for MGM Resorts International, Christopher Brophy manages a team of eight people, including an executive assistant, who guide the hospitality company’s sustainability efforts. Each member of the team has a specialty—engineering, finance, strategy, etc. Together, they have helped MGM reduce its environmental impact by staggering amounts. That is no small feat for a company with the likes of CityCenter, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and others in its fold.
“Since 2007 (excluding CityCenter) we’ve reduced our annual electricity consumption by enough energy to power both the Monte Carlo and New York New York hotel and casinos each year,” Brophy says. “That’s more than 5,000 hotel rooms, two casinos, five pools, and 20 restaurants that we can power just on the energy we’ve saved.”
Brophy mentioned a couple of examples of projects that have led to the energy consumption reductions. The first one, an LED lighting retrofit at ARIA Resort & Casino, resulted in an annual reduction of 4.7 Million kWh of electricity consumed. The second example, the placement of variable frequency drives on 300 pool pumps, is saving 11.2 million kWh of electricity annually—enough to power 1,000 homes for a year. The retrofit cost $1.4 million. It is expected to return $1.3 million in savings in the first year.
Recycling Changes Under Way
Reducing waste is a huge priority for MGM, especially material waste. “Bellagio just recently redid their entire recycling program,” Brophy says. “They reorganized the dock to be more efficient.” Bellagio now has a 47 percent recycling rate after the first three months of the program. “We are looking to use that same model at a couple of other properties,” Brophy adds. MGM as a company has a recycling rate of 38 percent.
As mentioned earlier, given its number of hotels in the desert environment of Las Vegas, water conservation is a major concern.
“We are getting to a point where our landscaping programs are very water efficient,” Brophy says. “MGM Grand took out 70,000 square feet of grass and saved 4 million gallons/year.”
When asked what his typical day is like, Brophy said there is no such thing. He tries to meet with members of the sustainability team as frequently as possible.
“I am responsible for managing the team and what they are doing on a daily basis,” he says. “I provide my guidance and feedback to each person. I view myself as a facilitator. I also work to leverage partnerships with other companies.”
Brophy has been part of an industry-wide effort to formulate a methodology to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings. (See related article.)
Leadership from the Top
About a year ago, MGM’s CEO, James Murren, formed an executive committee on corporate responsibility. The committee meets once a month with Murren.
“Mr. Murren is incredibly committed to sustainability,” Brophy says.
For Brophy, it is his second time around working for MGM Resorts International. He previously served MGM as a senior associate in corporate strategy. Before joining MGM in his current role in 2007, Brophy was the director of technology projects and operations for The Breakers Palm Beach, a luxury resort and club in Florida. In this role, he managed strategic technology and operational initiatives for departments throughout the organization. Brophy has Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.
When asked if he has always had a keen interest in the environment, he says, “I have always been an outdoorsman but I never really thought about applying sustainability to business until this job came along.”
In regard to what he enjoys most about his job, he says, “Being able to make a difference that provides a benefit for our customers, our company, and the planet. My challenges are different every single day.”
Go to MGM Resorts International.