Las Vegas, land of excess, has started to clean up its act recently–first with the CityCenter, an $8.5 billion, 18 million square foot sustainable development, and now with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s Eco 360º Global Sustainable Development program. The program, announced this week, offers up standards for future construction and development of Sands properties and highlights past achievements that up until now have gone unpublicized.
The Sands Corporation has already made some impressive inroads into sustainability. Both the Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo and Convention Center have achieved LEED Gold status, making the two spots (along with the LEED Silver Palazzo-Hotel-Resort Casino) part of the biggest contiguous structure ever certified under the LEED program. LEED-worthy features of the Sands structure include solar photovoltaic panels, a rooftop solar thermal system, an energy-efficient HVAC system, and high-efficiency lighting. As a result, the building saves approximately 73 million kWh each year, or enough to power 6,500 average American homes.
In the future, the Sands will try to follow the LEED Gold structure’s example with strict water, energy, and recycling policies throughout its properties in Las Vegas, Macau, Pennsylvania, and Singapore. So why the focus on all things green? Simple: it saves the Sands Corporation money. The company admits as much, revealing on its Web site that “For every $1 that is invested into the program, Las Vegas Sands Corp. saves $4. It also answers the growing market demand for ‘green’ facilities on the part of meeting and convention businesses, individual guests, local governments, communities and employees.” And if the massive Sands Corporation thinks there is a market demand for green facilities, you can bet that Las Vegas as a whole will get on board soon enough.