News | April 20, 2023
In early April, Sands released its 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, outlining the company’s corporate responsibility accomplishments. Under the Planet pillar of its corporate responsibility program, Sands is focused on five core areas: low-carbon transition, waste, plastic and packaging, sourcing and water stewardship.
Due to its potential for impacting climate change, the company has set a primary Planet ambition to achieve by 2025: reducing carbon emissions by 17.5% over a 2018 baseline measurement. Spearheaded by the Sands ECO360 global sustainability program, Sands’ emissions reduction strategy is focused on addressing energy efficiency, renewable energy and transportation, and the company made substantial strides in each area.
“In 2022, we achieved a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from the 2018 baseline; however, this drop reflects continued pandemic-related impact on property visitation,” Katarina Tesarova, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer, said. “Through the strategies and programs we have continued to pursue during this challenging time, we remain well-positioned to meet our emissions reduction target in 2025, as business rebounds and energy consumption increases.”
To address energy efficiency, Sands China and Marina Bay Sands installed controls to reduce energy use while guests are away in 3,300 hotel rooms and continued replacing hard-to-convert incandescent and fluorescent lighting to LED solutions. Marina Bay Sands upgraded its staff-only walkway network with LED lighting, while Sands China transitioned back-of-house washrooms to LED lighting. With these replacements, LED lamps now represent 98% of Sands’ global lighting purchasing.
Sands’ steadfast commitment to renewable energy also continued in 2022, with 151,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy certificates purchased from solar and wind farms and 235 megawatt hours generated at Sands China’s hybrid solar thermal plant and Marina Bay Sands’ rooftop solar plant. In the area of transportation, Sands continued to transition its fleets to electric vehicles last year, with Sands China adding six range-extended electric taxis at The Londoner Macao® and installing six electric motorcycle charging stations for Team Members. Marina Bay Sands added 13 hybrid vans to its in-house fleet.
Sands’ Planet pillar includes its focus on addressing waste in three areas: operational waste, food waste and construction waste. Reducing food waste was the area of most significant progress as the company continued to deliver on its prevention, rescue and diversion strategy, which is propelled forward through the use of artificial intelligence, data and analytics to optimize food management. In 2022, Sands properties reduced food waste by 20%, thanks to processes and programs in kitchens and restaurants and continued scaling of artificial intelligence technology and food waste digesters.
Plastic and Packaging
While the elimination of plastics and packaging is critical to conserving natural resources and protecting ocean health, reduction or replacement is uniquely challenging in Sands’ business operations, particularly during the pandemic environment, which has required the use of more single-use products for health and safety reasons.
However, Sands remained committed to its strategy to reduce reliance on plastic and packaging and create sustainable alternatives for instances where it isn’t possible. Initially, the company’s goal is to incorporate sustainable solutions in 100% of Sands-branded water bottles, and it has achieved 80% incorporation to date. Sands also made progress in replacing single-use cups, tableware and condiment packets in Team Member dining rooms; testing or transitioning to reusable amenities bottles in some hotels; and reducing the use of plastic bags in certain applications.
Sands procures thousands of goods and services, aiming to select products, packaging and suppliers that have a positive impact on the environment and communities. Incorporating more sustainable seafood and plant-based alternatives were primary focus areas in 2022, and Sands sourced $6.7 million in sustainable seafood last year. Initiatives included adding more sustainably sourced seafood items in Team Member dining rooms and holding tastings to encourage chefs to use sustainable alternatives, as well as expanding plant-based and alternative-protein offerings at restaurants and Team Member dining rooms.
Water is one of the resources most critical to integrated resort operations – and one of the world’s most precious resources. Sands has set a target to reduce potable water use by 3% from a 2019 baseline by 2025, and actually achieved a 31% reduction in 2022, with water consumption remaining below normal levels due to the pandemic’s continuing impact on guest visitation and hotel occupancy.
However, Sands remained focused on a vigilant strategy to ensure properties reduce water consumption as business returns to normal levels. The company addressed water efficiency projects such as upgrading fixtures and systems and enacting water-conservation policies, increased water reuse through the use of non-potable water, and engaged with communities on projects targeting reinvigoration of biodiverse ecosystems.
In addition, biodiversity is an emerging topic that Sands has addressed through its focus on water stewardship, sourcing, and cultural and natural heritage. The company is in the process of building a comprehensive biodiversity strategy, with a number of biodiversity initiatives already in place. Sands is targeting deforestation prevention by sourcing FSC-certified products, protection of ocean health and vulnerable ocean species through its seafood sourcing efforts, and nature conservation through community engagement initiatives around environmental education and volunteer support for local conservation projects.
To learn more about Sands’ Planet pillar and its environmental priorities and impact, read the 2022 ESG Report here: https://www.sands.com/2022-environmental-social-and-governance-report/