At Caesars, Giving Back Is Part of the Culture

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Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino lobby (Photo by Barbara Scofidio)

Two programs at Caesars—”Responsible Meetings” and “Meetings for Good”—ensure that the events they host promote sustainability and have a positive social impact on the community.

“At Caesars, all meetings are Responsible Meetings, and we have sustainability and social impact baked into how we operate,” said Wendy Bagnasco, Senior Manager of ESG, Sustainability & Responsible Business. “Our strategies around water and energy conservation, waste reduction and diversion, and environmentally friendly products extend to our meetings and conventions. Even if you’re not planning an event at a Caesars venue, you can utilize some of our practices and tips to ensure a meaningful experience for all.”

Below are some tips based on Caesars’ Responsible Meetings program:

Social Impact

• Work with your venue to find location-specific volunteer opportunities for meeting guests. Your venue should have nonprofit partners in their community that are pre-vetted and make a difference close to home.

• Protect human rights at your event: Ask about your venue’s counter-human trafficking strategies. Traffickers use hotels and motels for sex trafficking to conduct their illegal business, keep their anonymity and increase their profits. Take a stand that your meeting will not be used as a backdrop for this heinous crime.

Environmental Sustainability

• Go digital—As much as you can, opt for paper-free meeting items. From billing to menus, meeting guides and agendas, event registration and more. If you do use some paper, ask that it be responsibly sourced (SFI or FSC certified paper, and/or containing a percentage of post-consumer recycled content).

• Make sure your venue engages in energy conservation practices. At Caesars, for example, we are sure to turn off non-necessary electronic equipment and lights when a space is vacant and adjust the HVAC system for occupancy.

• Reduce the amount of animal protein (especially beef) that you’ll be serving to meeting attendees. This can be done regardless of the venue to ensure a smaller environmental footprint of your meeting. If you do opt to serve meat, poultry or fish, ask for free range, organic, or other responsible sourcing certifications to minimize the food’s impact.

• Ask about your venue’s waste diversion practices.

• Ensure recycling and other diversion is happening behind the scenes if there aren’t designated bins for meeting attendees to use.

• Ask about the venue’s safe food donation practices and how it applies to your event.

• Pass on the pre-set water for seated meals.

• Donate excess meeting swag and giveaways.

• Opt for reusable flatware, china and linen napkins versus single use. If you must choose single-use items, ask for items that use post-consumer recycled content (paper napkins, paper plates) or items that are compostable (compostable flatware).

• Reduce your attendees’ meeting-specific carbon footprint by selecting a venue that offers greener ground transportation (public transport, airport shuttles, etc),

• Request an environmental impact report to see how you did.

Learn more about Caesars’ initiatives here.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.