Casinos are far from what you would think of as an environmentally friendly place, with all the lights, sounds, and waste. But although much of the hubbub is about the growth of the online casino industry, there’s still something special about the brick-and-mortar gaming experience.
Despite this, going green doesn’t have to be a distant dream for casinos. They are already working on their green credentials; here are some of the ways they’re doing it.
Utilizing renewable energy
There’s no getting around the fact that tremendous amounts of electricity are required to power casinos. This is especially the case in Las Vegas, where casinos are open for business 24/7. It’s for exactly this reason that the City of Las Vegas has been powering all government buildings and streetlights with 100% renewable energy since 2016.
But casinos can go further by establishing their own sustainable energy infrastructures. Some examples can include using solar or wind power as an alternative to electricity generated by fossil fuels. So, whether it’s Vegas harnessing the power of the desert sun or Niagara Falls casinos relying on the icy winds that blow through, casinos that go green must begin with renewables.
Committing to green causes
Where it’s not possible to utilize green energy or undergo sustainable practices themselves, operators can still make an impact by enabling others to do so. The most common form of this would be carbon neutrality—a company may plant trees to offset their carbon contributions.
SkyCity’s sustainability efforts in New Zealand focus on water-based environmental contributions, partnering with Million Metres Streams and Sustainable Coastlines to ensure waterways and the ocean are protected for future generations.
Look at energy efficiency
Within the walls of casinos, operators can also make changes to everything inside that doesn’t require implementing worldwide renewable energy initiatives. None of these changes require a wholesale transformation, but these little alterations can make all the difference.
The first place to begin is with lighting. Switching away from inefficient incandescent bulbs and changing to LED lighting can immediately save considerable future carbon emissions.
Likewise, casinos may want to consider installing more energy-efficient systems for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Additionally, technology can come to the rescue in the realm of energy efficiency. Smart building management systems can monitor energy usage and optimize it using automation technology.
Conserve more water
It’s easy to forget how much water a land-based casino may need to consume to keep its operations going—especially if it also offers entertainment, accommodation, and dining options.
Switching to water-efficient fixtures and more modern appliances can reduce water consumption in kitchens and bathrooms. Likewise, there are plenty of ways in which water can be recycled and reused for various functions.
Of course, not all water can be recycled due to health and hygiene regulations, but reusing what’s possible can make a casino far more water-conscious and less wasteful.
With so many disposables within the average casino, it makes sense to classify waste reduction as a critical area in any green push.
The first point of interest would be to establish a comprehensive waste recycling program for glass, plastic, paper, and other common recyclables. Whether these are recycled within the casino or sent to a center where they’ll be reused in other industries is entirely up to the operator and what’s practical.
On the other side of the spectrum, installing waste reduction measures can make a big difference. Actions like encouraging patrons to reuse instead of simply consigning to trash will begin changing behaviors on the floor. Moreover, casinos can consider outlawing materials like single-use plastics entirely.
Food and beverage sustainability
If you look at the average Las Vegas or Atlantic City casino, the amount of food and beverage waste is spectacular. Tons go to waste every year, which is a massive drag on a carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, changing this is less straightforward than some of the areas outlined above. Significant transformation will be required to make a dent in this area. Some ideas for making this work could include altering menus to make them focus on local and seasonal foods to reduce transport-related emissions, providing more vegetarian and vegan options to target the footprint of meat production, and reducing the overall size of your menu to lower the amount of expired food that must be thrown away.
Not all of these ideas will be welcomed with open arms in the beginning. However, if casinos can think creatively about how to make these changes and how to educate their patrons, there’s no reason why they have to hamper business.
Educate customers on green moves
The key to any push for a greener future is to communicate the changes made, how they are beneficial, and why customers should embrace them.
Without communicating changes to all stakeholders, they risk being wholly rejected, which would be detrimental to the casino. Regular green promotional campaigns can keep the issue firmly in the minds of patrons and encourage them to alter their behaviors in response.