Under growing pressure to minimize the environmental impact of their events, meeting planners are partnering with resorts such as The Venetian Resort Las Vegas to develop innovative sustainability programs. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas has partnered with Skift to produce an in-depth report titled “Making Meetings Green.” This article summarizes some of the report’s findings; the full report is available on The Venetian’s website.
Sustainability is now a top priority for business all over the world. As a consequence, meetings and events have come under increased scrutiny for their impact on the environment — and this trend is only likely to gain momentum over time.
Event planners now agree that pursuing sustainable practices is not just environmentally responsible — it has become critical to long-term success. Therefore, they are rapidly incorporating sustainability initiatives, training their sights on strategies that can produce measurable results. Planners are using proof points to dispel claims that events are wasteful and to eliminate any concerns about “greenwashing.”
In addition to demands for greener events, planners are under the ongoing demands to make meetings more compelling for attendees and to contain costs. Planners are constantly striving to bring these conflicting demands into balance.
Luckily for the meetings industry, more and more venues are taking proactive steps to integrate sustainability initiatives into their operations, as well as their event-related offerings. The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is at the forefront of the sustainability movement, having introduced a robust, standards-driven program called the Sands ECO360 Global Sustainability Strategy. With more than 7,000 suites, over 2.25 million square feet of meeting and convention space, and about 50 major exhibitions each year, The Venetian recognizes the importance of minimizing its impact on the environment. ECO360 helps the resort reduce its environmental impacts enterprise-wide, while helping clients address their specific sustainability goals. Planners can leverage ECO360 to create greener events that also effectively engage attendees.
The Venetian ECO360 strategy consists of four pillars: Green Buildings, Environmentally Responsible Operations, Green Meetings and Events, and Stakeholder Engagement. Because of ECO360, Venetian meeting clients can be assured that their events automatically achieve the highest industry standards for sustainability. Among the efforts that team members at The Venetian Resort have implemented are LED lighting improvements, water-saving initiatives, power-saving programs, and other upgrades that help reduce the impact of events and guest stays. The property has received numerous outside accolades for their work, including Gold and Silver certifications from Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and Best Recycling Program from Las Vegas Business Week.
The Venetian also customizes sustainability initiatives for individual events through its Green Meetings program. Green Meetings clients can tailor aspects of their events to meet goals related to conservation, recycling, sustainable procurement, and attendee engagement. Among the resort’s custom initiatives:
- Event planners are encouraged to reduce waste by using digital signage and selecting décor items that can be recycled, repurposed, or donated.
- Through the Venetian’s Honest Food Program, clients can choose healthy and sustainable food and beverage options that use locally sourced ingredients and products.
- “Water Wise” menus feature items that require relatively little water to produce.
- The Green Caffeine Campaign encourages attendees to use their own reusable coffee mugs while they’re onsite.
- Clients can choose to incorporate team-building initiatives, such as creating hygiene kits for communities in need through the resort’s partnership with Clean the World. In 2018 alone, attendees at Venetian-hosted events assembled 100,000 kits for service organizations around the world, including the American Red Cross.
There is now consensus in the business, hospitality, and events industries that implementing serious, meaningful sustainability programs has become a business imperative. Venues, planners, and attendees all share the burden of making meetings more sustainable and ecologically friendly, and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas is certainly on the cutting edge of this important mission. There are already many ways planners can reduce an event’s carbon footprint, and fortunately for all involved, innovative approaches continue to be introduced every day.
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