News | April 18, 2017
At Las Vegas Sands, we have a long-standing and deep commitment to making a positive impact in our communities and for the causes most important to our values and people. As such, we have implemented food donation and food waste reduction programs at all of our properties through Sands ECO360, our global sustainability program designed to minimize our company’s impact on the environment.
In 2014, our Las Vegas properties initiated a Hot Food Donation program. The program was established by Ryan Green, sustainable events manager at Sands Expo Center, in conjunction with Three Square Food Bank to utilize the surplus food prepared for catered events hosted at The Venetian, The Palazzo and Sands Expo Center to reduce waste, while feeding the hungry in the local community. Sands Expo Center, together with The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts have over two million square feet of combined flexible exhibit and meeting space, and host some of the world’s largest conventions. To date, over 260,000 meals have been distributed through the program to local Southern Nevadans who are fighting hunger.
“We are the first property on the Las Vegas Strip to build a program of this magnitude,” said Green. “It is such a great feeling to know that our unused food is actually being used to feed hungry people living in our community,” Green continued. “It is my hope that other resorts, not only in Las Vegas but around the country, emulate our program so that together we can reduce food waste and fight the growing hunger epidemic.”
Prior to the Hot Food Donation program, excess food was routed through the property’s waste management program, either being composted or sent to a local pig farm. While this process supported the environmental efforts of our Sands ECO360 program, it impacted waste hauling costs and an opportunity was missed to support a growing demand in the local community to provide food to those in need.
Our Las Vegas campus has other donation programs in place as well, such as one in which leftover food from employee dining rooms is donated to Chefs to End Hunger, a non-profit organization that provides meals to the hungry by redistributing excess prepared food to local food agencies. Our Team Members volunteer at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission on the first Wednesday of every month to help serve these meals. In 2016 alone, our Las Vegas properties donated over 22,000 meals. In addition, another program provides a donation outlet for minibar items that are close to the expiration through Harvest Time International, another non-profit partner that offers relief to families in need around the world.
All of our properties are doing their part to recycle and reduce food waste. This includes our annual global ‘Clean Plate Challenge’, a campaign held every May in support of World Environment Day and World Hunger Day that encourages all of our Team Members to turn in a clean plate in Team Member dining rooms. We had more than 6,400 Team Members participate in the challenge last year.
In addition, at our properties in Macao, Singapore and Bethlehem, food waste is fed into food digester machines that turn it into grey water which can be safely discharged. Since the machines were installed in 2014, 1,665 tons of food waste has been diverted from landfills.
To learn more about Sands ECO360 and Las Vegas Sands’ journey to a more sustainable future, please visit: