My Interview with Eric Hansel of EGM Green, maker of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified casino tables

When I met Eric Hansel and learned about his company EGM Green and his product, I realized that the casino industry does green its lighting as much as it can; yet it is not really known for its poker tables being green. I then thought Eric could be on to a big thing here and this is a great niche product.

Eric and I met at a Russel Simmons Fundraiser. Eric, could you talk a little bit about that fundraiser?

The event was called “One Tree One Table.” It benefits the Sunflower Children, which is a worldwide organizatioon started by Helena Houdova to help children in need….pretty amazing.

So tell me about your whole company?

EGM Green
EGM Green

EGM Green designs and manufactures the world’s first eco-friendly casino tables. Our new tournament style poker table was at the WSOP this year in Harrah’s booth to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability at their point of sale.

EGM Green also has a consulting side to the business which is split into 2 major parts:

  1. energy consumption, lighting audits, lighting retro-fits, nano-ceramic window film, a patented lighting controller that will also act as a building management system, solar, wind, geothermal, and cogeneration/trigeneration.
  2. large scale sustainability efforts (land use management) and we perform LEED project management and commissioning services, as well as, custom carbon offset calculation and competitive procurement for those offsets. Then we implement sustainable land management programs to offset for the customer.

How is your table green?

We do everything as a sustainable weight percentages…..so if we say that a table weighs 200 lbs and that non-sustainable materials make up 10 pounds (vinyl arm rest, felt layout..) then we would say that the table is 95% sustainable by weight.

We are totally objective in our measurements. We use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood and our factory has a FSC Certified COC Number. We use deer leather from a managed dear farm for the (upgraded) arm rests.

We use recycled aluminum legs (which aside from being green, also increase the table weight bearing limit from 200 to 2000 pounds).

Do you have emissions metrics?

No…..but we are working with the Cleaner and Greener program to come up with a full set of metrics so that we can work to off set them. Up until now, we have just used a rough calculation and offset through Terra-Pass.

So you use FSC wood and organic materials?

Yes….all of our wood is FSC certified and our factory is FSC COC certified. We try to only use sustainable materials…..but for some things we have no choice.

How are you doing with the company?

2008 started out slow….but after the publicity from the WSOP and our constant efforts within the casino community we expect that 2009 will be a blow-out year for EGM Green. Our hard work recently paid off….as we won the inaugural International Gaming Award for the Most Eco-Friendly company in the world-wide casino industry. I think that this puts us among the top tier green consultants, and certainly the top green consultant in the casino industry. We work with and choose to partner only with the best of the best…..and this commitment has paid off.

Does it cost more than an ordinary casino table?

No….these tables are made to your specifications, but if you compare apples to apples, our tables are no more expensive.

Is it really green?

These tables are really green….and because we measure the sustainability percentages, it is an objective number….not just an estimate.

We also have detailed records for all of the parts and pieces that go into our tables to comply with the FSC and be as green of a company as we are with the US Green Building Council.

What colors does your table come in?

You don’t need to sacrifice anything to own a green table.

These are the same (or better) quality than other tables. You also have the option to customize the table to your specs…we use a natural linoleum covering….so any color match is possible.

You must love watching poker, who is your favorite poker player?

Annie Duke……no no maybe Clonie Gowan…..but I do have to say that I am friends Jeff Madsen, Brandon Cantu, Joe Seebok….and some others..,…..so these guys I like as well….but def. not as much as the girls.

Is it allowed in Las Vegas?

Of course…..isn’t anything allowed in Vegas.

Thanks Eric and we wish your company and mission success.

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