Nevada Hotel and Lodging needs to let the world know just how sustainable they are! I am not talking about the “Sustainability” reports generated by internal Sustainability teams for investors. I am talking about the general public’s knowledge of what is behind the curtain. Las Vegas has just surpassed the 45 million annual visitor mark; in my mind that represents 45 million sustainability ambassadors for the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Industry. Now I know that most of the properties want their guests to experience Las Vegas; for me I want most of our visitors to know Las Vegas.
Water consumption by hotels is surprisingly low
The Southern Nevada Water Authority fields question from all over the world, most about general water efficiency and conservation in the desert, some about Lake Mead elevations, and always about Resort water use. I am happy to tell them that the Hotel and Lodging industry only consumes 3% of the water used in southern Nevada. They use high efficiency fixtures in the rooms, reuse water in their water features, and state-of-the-art technologies to cool their buildings; easy enough. Sustainability is more than water efficiency; the scale of sustainability in Las Vegas is amazing!
On-site recycling affects everyone
On-site Recycling is not only a revenue source to properties, it is also a way to relay the importance of sustainability to staff in their home lives and community. During a recent tour of the Aria I learned they had recycled 300 pounds of cigarette butts, which is the equivalent to 800,000 cigarettes. By the way those cigarette butts are headed back to Aria in the form of a bench for the staff smoking area.
Hotel leaders in energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is another area where Las Vegas is a leader. In a city where everything is lit up for attention, where else but Las Vegas would light bulb options be given a dedicated room to be tested for the proper illumination, efficiency, and look, before being purchased on a large scale-NASA?… No, the Venetian.
I mentioned the staff and the effort to make sure these sustainable strategies are not only passed down but also up. I know it is not uncommon for a staff member at Las Vegas properties to coach a GM, or CFO about what to recycle after lunch.
Millions of sustainability ambassadors in Las Vegas
Those 45 million potential ambassadors have more influence than they know. They have prompted studies of the best way to have fresh air flow, how cool the building needs to be, and how the water flows from the shower head. Las Vegas has taken sustainability to a whole different level by not only providing a healthy environment for their guest and staff; but also to bring more to the bottom line. Las Vegas has proven that both are possible.
Guest blogger: Patrick Watson, Southern Nevada Water Authority
Patrick is a member of the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association and serves on the NHLA sustainability committee.