Seven Harrah’s Entertainment Las Vegas Resorts received “Travelife Gold” awards for green/sustainable tourism. All eight Las Vegas resorts earned accreditation from Europe based Travelife Sustainability Systems.
Harrah’s is the only gaming-entertainment company to have achieved Travelife accreditation at multiple resorts in Las Vegas, and the only to receive multiple gold level awards. Caesars Palace, Paris, Flamingo, Bally’s, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon, Harrah’s, and Rio won the Travelife Gold awards. Imperial Palace
received a silver award.
Tour operator Virgin Holidays arranged to have a green/sustainability auditor perform the rigorous on-site assessments at each resort that are necessary for Travelife accreditation.
Travelife Sustainability Systems is an organization set up by the Federation of Tour Operators and the European Union to identify companies that have excellent environmental and social practices in the travel and tourism industry.
Travelife is used by world travel leisure operators such as Virgin Holidays and Thomas Cook.
Travelife gold medals go to leadership tourism companies that not only display advanced sustainability actions, but work with and educate others to be involved in sustainability, seek continual improvement in their operations, and actively communicate their progress with stakeholders. The organization sets more rigorous performance standards for environmental and community sustainability than most of its U.S.-based counterparts.
Travelife defines sustainable tourism as tourism that:o Minimizes its negative impacts on the environment, for example by reducing consumption of energy and water
o Provides employment opportunities and economic benefits for the destination by, for example, buying goods and services locally
o Maximizes social benefits to local communities by, for example, employing local people
“Travelife awards and accreditation signal to consumers that they can make sustainable choices – choices they feel good about – when they travel, stay at hotels, and enjoy entertainment,” said Gary Loveman, chairman, CEO and president of Harrah’s Entertainment.
“I’m proud that each of our resorts in Las Vegas achieved this distinction. We’ve invested heavily in sustainability at Harrah’s, and made it a core business principle that drives business strategy and operations.”
Among the measurement criteria that Travelife uses to assess sustainability performance are: organizing volunteers to help with local environmental initiatives; encouraging employees to follow sustainability guidelines, for example with regard to conserving water; and joining environmental forums.
CEO Gary Loveman concludes, “This distinction is a reflection of how hard our employee CodeGreen teams at each resort have worked and of how much they have achieved.”
Travelife delivers industry-wide standards for sustainability management systems and provides best practice guidance and support for the companies implementing them through the provision of training, tools and references. An initiative created by tour operators and part-funded by the European Union,
Travelife has been set up to support an efficient and cost effective introduction of sustainability principles. It recognizes the value of collaboration in successfully implementing actions for sustainability and brings together existing initiatives and experiences.
From coast-to-coast resorts in the Harrah’s Entertainment portfolio are committed to environmental sustainability. In the past six years, more than 110 conservation projects at Harrah’s U.S. casino properties have reduced energy usage dramatically. The implemented programs annually reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 77,850 tons, the equivalent 164,443 barrels of oil. A few highlights include:
o Conservation International invited Harrah’s to become a founding partner of Team Earth, a select group of the world’s leading corporations that seek to affect climate change issues through education, engagement, and collective corporate action on global environmental issues including forest preservation and energy conservation.
o Harrah’s is the only gaming company to win an Environmental Quality Award, the highest level of public recognition from the EPA. In February 2008, Harrah’s became the first casino company to partner with the EPA and other leading firms committed to targeted, measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as part of EPA’s Climate Leaders. In September 2009, we extended our leadership commitment by joining the EPA Waste Wise program as the first national gaming company partner.
o A newly redesigned laundry facility in Las Vegas that saves 75 million gallons of water annually, while increasing capacity by 40%.
o A steam turbine in Atlantic City Showboat generates electricity as a byproduct of the normal steam production at the resort. The steam turbine reflects an annual savings of 2,283,041(kWh) and avoided emissions of 1,077,685lbs of CO2, 1,377lbs of SO2, and 535lbs of NOx.
o Restaurants throughout Harrah’s Entertainment’s Las Vegas resorts have installed new water filtration systems that eliminate the need for plastic water bottles.