The push towards a more sustainable global future has certainly received its fair share of knocks over the past four years, with Covid-19 presenting a further major challenge for the environment.
The epidemic has slashed budgets, but also created a whole new wave of single-use plastics and other hygiene products that are now choking our landfills.
That said, the IR market had been and still is taking major steps towards a greener future. The environmental impact of a large-scale resort is potentially major, from food waste to water usage, to energy and litter.
Many operators are now pioneers in seeking to offset the damage with green initiatives.
In the focus section of this magazine, we look at the issue of sustainability seen through the eyes of some of the guests on our “Face-to-Face” interview series in recent weeks.
Frederic Jean-Marie Winckler, executive vice president and chief creative and brand officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment talked to us about the changing face of luxury fashion.
Customers are demanding more information about where products are sourced to ensure they are ethical and sustainable. While there is also a shift in mentality from the conspicuous consumption that has driven the luxury market for decades.
We also speak to Chris Rogers, a long-time Asia gaming executive who now is following his passion and focusing on improving sustainability in the IR industry.
Rogers admits that the past year has been challenging due to tight budgets, but he’s pushing ahead to a brighter and greener future.
To illustrate just how much IRs consume and dispose of, we bring you an infographic focused on Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which has declared a war on waste.
The company said it saved 9.5 tonnes of plastic waste in its properties in 2019 by rejecting the use of single-use plastics, such as straws and single-use bottles. That’s just the beginning with other major initiatives in the works.
In fact, Macau’s operators have all been making major strides.
Melco recently said it’s pushing ahead with a project with Winnow Vision to bring AI solutions to its properties in order to cut down on food waste.
Winnow Vision is singularly focused on helping the business reduce kitchen waste and cut down on kitchen-related expenses. It uses cameras combined with smart scales and machine learning – the same type of technology that today’s autonomous vehicles use – to analyze food waste in order to determine the losses they represent to the company in terms of both a financial and an environmental impact.
MGM China has introduced what it says is Macau’s first food digester, deploying the ORCA system.
This innovative technology allows the company to dispose of food waste on-site and will digest the organic waste into earth-friendly liquid within 24 hours. It will divert around 398 tons of food waste per annum from the incineration plant.
Wynn Macau has also been aggressively exploring innovative methods to reduce plastic waste. It recently pioneered the installation of the Nordaq 2000 Refilling System, jointly designed and developed by Nordaq and Wynn. The system can meet the significant demand for bottled water in large-scale integrated resorts and represents a big step forward in the field of innovative environmental protection for the industry.
As a result of its 2019 performance, Sands was the only Integrated Resort company named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and one of only 10 companies in North America named to the CDP “A” list for both climate change and water security.
Once the Covid-19 blip recedes, these initiatives are likely to gather pace, as it becomes increasingly clear that what’s good for the planet can also be good for the bottom line.