Strip resorts lauded for diversity and environmental efforts

Las Vegas casino operators received high rankings in several recent corporate responsibility reports lauding them for their commitment to the environment and workforce diversity.

The findings are important to the companies because they promote their efforts to meeting planners and travelers whose buying choices are influenced by corporate reputations. As casinos expand to new jurisdictions, they also try to portray themselves as good corporate citizens.

In a recent environmental responsibility report from Newsweek, MGM Resorts International landed at No. 122, up 35 slots from 2011, while Las Vegas Sands Corp. rose 238 positions to No. 128. The magazine ranked the nation's 500 largest publicly traded companies.

''The fact that we jumped so many positions in one year is a tribute to our company's environmental commitment," said Katarina Tesarova, executive director of sustainability for Las Vegas Sands. "Thanks to the hard work of our global teams, we implemented more than 140 sustainability initiatives and around 50 efficiency projects this year alone."

Green Key Global, which certifies sustainable hotel operations, also awarded four MGM Resorts properties — Bellagio, Aria, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand — prestigious "5 Green Keys" ratings. MGM Resorts said its properties are the first in the United States to receive "5 Green Keys" for meetings and are among only six such properties in North America.

"We are pleased to have earned the five-key distinction from Green Key Global, validating the significant efforts of our team to build a world-class green meeting program," said Cindy Ortega, MGM Resorts senior vice president and chief sustainability officer.

MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts separately were named to the Human Rights Campaign's best places to work list, which ranks businesses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

All three companies received perfect 100 ratings based on nondiscrimination policies, domestic partner benefits, transgender benefits, diversity training and management, LGBT marketing and philanthropy, and having an LGBT employee group or inclusive diversity council.

"As the first corporation in our industry to formally adopt a diversity initiative, we stand as a company fully committed to promoting human equality in our workforce as well as the experiences we offer our guests," MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said in a statement. "The essence of hospitality is treating others with the utmost level of respect and gratitude with excellence, and that, at the core, comprises the bedrock of our company's culture."

"To have received a perfect rating from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on its Corporate Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year is a great honor," said Fred Keeton, vice president of external affairs and chief diversity officer for Caesars Entertainment. "Our unwavering commitment to diversity initiatives and our industry-leading approach to LGBT workplace equality will continue to be a mainstay and guiding principle for our operations across the nation."

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