Sands China’s portfolio of properties have achieved a cumulative energy savings of over 150 million kWh since the first day of operation. The journey toward energy efficiency is driven by the goals and targets established by Sands ECO360, the global sustainability strategy of Las Vegas Sands and Sands China, which guides us as environmental responsibility leaders in Macao.
To understand the big picture of our energy consumption, patterns and trends, we conducted energy audits at our facilities. According to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, energy audits are a powerful tool for uncovering operational and equipment improvements that will save energy, reduce cost and lead to higher performance. The results of the audits helped us lay out a roadmap for implementing energy efficiency projects in our mission to reduce our carbon footprint.
“Energy efficiency is one of our highest priorities in reducing our environmental footprint and being sustainable,” said Syed Mubarak, director of sustainability & MEP. “Our measures have yielded the highest net energy reduction of 46 million kWh in 2015 alone, which can power 10,000 homes annually. Many of our efforts are scalable in nature and adopted in a wider range of building types.”
At first, the journey started with the basic fundamental of changing inefficient light bulbs to efficient LEDs. Over the years, we have replaced over 500,000 light bulbs across our properties. The latest generation LEDs installed at our facilities is providing an energy reduction of over 70% compared to incandescent light bulbs, while still meeting our business needs and aesthetics. Having more than 90% of our spaces fitted with LEDs also lessens the sensible heat load in the space, reducing cooling demand and associated energy.
The next step was to address our heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. We fine-tuned building operation to adjust the amount of ventilation based on the current needs in each space. Ventilation can be greatly reduced during times when spaces are vacant, saving us millions of kilowatt hours of energy without effecting guest comfort.
Some of the techniques adopted are CO2 based fresh air induction, a thermal wheel to harness waste heat, circulation fans optimized based on space cooling demand, and the use of economizer and energy recovery modes during winter months.
Our central chilled water plants with an installed capacity of 100,000 tons are one of the best means for us to reduce energy consumption through our optimization program. While operational efficiency improvements and variable primary pumping are in place now, we are striving to implement intelligent control techniques at cooling towers, condenser water pumps and secondary pumping systems, which would yield millions of more kilowatt hours of energy reduction in the coming years.
Our desire to reduce our carbon footprint never stops. Newer projects in the pipeline will introduce new technologies to improve our central heating system and building management system, and include radiant cooling, ECM type fan motors, Waste-to-Energy and many other advancements to assist us in achieving our 2020 goals and targets!