Three American Hotel Chains Make Newsweek’s Greenest Companies List

(3BL/JustMeans) - Some American hotel chains are making great strides to be more environmentally friendly, and their efforts are being recognized. Three U.S. hotel chains made the list of Newsweek's "America’s Greenest Companies 2014": Las Vegas Sands, Wyndham Worldwide and MGM Resorts. Each company has corporate sustainability programs. Las Vegas Sands has its recently launched SandCares program. Wyndham has Wyndham Green, and MGM has Green Advantage. All three companies work to reduce energy and water use, and focus on obtaining green certifications, including LEED, for certain properties. 
Las Vegas Sands ranked number 18, the highest ranked hospitality company on the list. One of the reasons why is that the company’s properties in every region have achieved “green” certifications. This includes Gold LEED certification of The Venetian and Sands Expo Center for existing buildings, and Silver LEED certification of The Palazzo for new building construction. The two combined buildings are one of the largest buildings in the world to earn LEED certification. 
Two great examples of why the company ranked so high on Newsweek’s list can be found by looking at a few properties. One of them is the Sands Bethlehem property in Pennsylvania, built on the site of the 126 acre former Bethlehem Steel plant, the largest brownfield site in the U.S. The company worked with community volunteers at the annual Southside Cleanup to clean up a river that runs alongside Sands Bethlehem. The Venetian Macao has water conservation measures in place since fresh water is scarce in Macao. The measures include installing water flow controllers, low-flow shower heads and an automatic irrigation system. Those measures have saved an estimated 47 million gallons of water annually. 
Wyndham Worldwide ranked 31 on Newsweek’s list. This is not the only recognition Wyndham has received for its sustainability measures. This year, it was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the first time. RobecoSAM's annual Sustainability Yearbook recognized Wyndham as a 2014 Silver Class Sustainability Leader. It’s not hard to figure out why the company has received so many recognitions this year. In May, Wyndham announced that it achieved a 12 percent energy reduction at its North American properties that are part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, national initiative launched in 2011 by President Obama. The hotel chain achieved the reductions through energy efficiency upgrades such as retrofitting LED lighting throughout parking structures at two of its properties. 
MGM Resorts International ranked 82nd on Newsweek’s list. Looking at the Convention Center at Mandalay Bay, it’s easy to see why. A rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system will be included on the expanded Convention Center. When completed, it will be the largest such system on a convention center in the world, generating enough electricity to power 1,300 homes. Other properties have implemented energy efficiency measures, including a major lighting retrofit at MGM Grand Detroit where 3,117 lighting fixtures were replaced with more energy efficient ones. The lighting retrofit saves four million  kilowatt hours (kWh) a year, equivalent to seven percent of the property’s energy consumption or the annual energy usage of 330 U.S. homes. MGM Resorts saved a cumulative total of over 420 million kWh of electricity through energy efficiency measures. 
MGM Resort really pursues green certifications. Fifteen properties have been certified through Green Key Global’s Eco-Rating Program, and three properties (Mandalay Bay, ARIA and Vdara) earned a Five-Key rating. That rating is only granted to less than two percent of Green Key’s 3,000 participating properties. Five of its properties have earned 5-Keys in Green Key Meetings. Thirteen properties have earned TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders certification, and two properties, ARIA and Vdara, received Platinum designation, which less than seven percent of participants earn.