LAS VEGAS—Green Key Global, the largest international certification body evaluating sustainable hotel operations, has awarded the prestigious “5 Green Keys” rating to four MGM Resorts International properties for its Green Key Meetings Program, including Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and MGM Grand Las Vegas. The four MGM resorts are the first in the United States to receive “5 Green Keys” for meetings, and among an elite group of only six total in North America.
In addition, each of the 11 MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas as well as Reno and in Tunica and Biloxi, Mississippi and in Detroit, Michigan has taken substantial steps in their commitment to sustainability.
“Green Advantage is MGM Resorts International’s platform to ensure that environmentally-conscious decisions are at the forefront of our business operations and facilities,” said Cindy Ortega, senior vice president & chief sustainability officer. “We are pleased to have earned the 5 Keys distinction from Green Key Global, validating the significant efforts of our team to build a world class green meeting program.”
The designation of 5 Keys is awarded to hotels that exemplify the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility in relation to their meetings and convention facilities and practices.
Meeting Planners Seek Out Green Venues
“Now, more than ever, the meeting planner community is seeking innovative, sustainable solutions when hosting their events,” said Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of sales for MGM Resorts International. “As this is an integral part of the meeting planner organization’s objectives, we are extremely proud to be a solution provider meeting environmental expectations while still providing world-class, award-winning service.”
Green Key Meetings is a comprehensive assessment tool for eco-friendly resorts and hotels that hold meetings of any size. It is designed to provide travel, meeting and conference planners with a sense of a hotel’s level of commitment to environment issues. Overall, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program has more than 2,850 member hotels.
“As the first U.S. chain to introduce the Green Key Meetings Program to its portfolio, MGM Resorts has demonstrated that practicing environmental stewardship need not affect the quality of an event but can, in fact, enhance its success,” said Tony Pollard, managing director of Green Key Global. “That these four Las Vegas properties have all achieved the highest rating is a testament to their dedication to sustainability within all aspects of their operations.”
Six Areas Covered Under Green Key
Green Key Meetings ranks venues on a level of 1 to 5 keys, with 5 being the highest ranking. Keys are awarded based on how properties perform in six conference and meeting areas: Core Areas (carbon, energy, water, waste, air quality), Communication (information, training), Activities (purchasing, auditing, community), People (health), Exhibitions, and Audio/Visual.
MGM Resorts’ approach to sustainability focuses on five core areas—natural resources conservation, sustainable construction and renovation, waste management, sustainable supply chain, and education and communication. This strategic framework of raising environmental awareness and promoting sustainability forms the company’s sustainability platform, called Green Advantage. Green Advantage is fundamentally changing the way MGM Resorts, its properties and its 62,000 employees do business.
The meeting and convention spaces across MGM Resorts are extending the level of environmental commitment through substantial initiatives for implementing sustainable features. Meeting spaces are retrofitted with light sensors and energy efficient lighting and custom programs to deactivate heating, ventilation and air-conditioning while spaces are not in use. Comprehensive recycling programs also divert 37.9 percent of all materials from landfills each year. Resorts also offer specialty menus featuring wide selections of organic, sustainable and Fair Trade products as well as additional options for meetings to reduce water consumption.