Sands ECO360, our global sustainability program, is committed to both improving the environmental efficiency of our resort operations, as well as championing causes to build a more sustainable planet for all. We focus our environmental performance efforts in part on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an overall roadmap to improving environmental performance. Along with SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), a third area of focus is SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. Addressing single-use plastic is one of the many ways we strive to consume responsibly.
We’re integrating our new single-use plastic strategy into our operations and empowering our Team Members to take individual actions to achieve big results. We’re committed to ensuring a sustainable future for all.
In collaboration with Ocean Recovery Alliance and Studio KCA, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore hosted Skyscraper, The Bruges Whale during the resort’s Season of Sustainability. Standing at over 36 feet tall and composed of discarded plastic waste gathered from the beaches of Hawaii, the sculpture is a stark and striking reminder of the effects of plastic waste on our environment.
Sands’ global Team Member engagement campaign, ECOengage, explored the issue of reducing plastic waste on a more individual scale, investigating causes and impacts of plastics pollution and offering solutions that our Team Members could pursue. Globally, nearly 2,000 Team Members attended screenings of the documentary film A Plastic Ocean to learn about the devastating environmental impacts of plastic waste. In conjunction with the film’s message, more than 3,000 Sands China Ltd. (SCL) Team Members pledged to use fewer plastic bags, utensils and other single-use items, while 330 of our Las Vegas Team Members turned in approximately 5,500 single-use plastic bags to be responsibly recycled.
At the resort level, we reassessed our company’s restaurant and kitchen operations in 2019 to find ways to reduce harmful plastic waste on a truly global scale. SCL replaced more than six million plastic takeaway containers, utensils and cutlery sets from our Macao-based resorts with plant-based alternatives made of cornstarch that have a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, all our resorts in Las Vegas, Macao and Singapore eliminated or replaced millions of plastic straws with sustainable alternatives.
Through Sands ECO360, the company extended its plastic reduction efforts to our meeting clients, as well, making every convention and conference an opportunity to reduce plastic waste. At the most recent annual IMEX America conference at The Venetian Resort, all exhibitors and attendees were encouraged to take a plastic reduction pledge and join the IMEX refill movement, opting to refill reusable bottles from large water coolers rather than use disposable plastic bottles. At Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, water dispensing machines have been installed in meeting and conference spaces, allowing attendees to refill their own containers rather than using disposable bottles.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we continue to balance our focus on environmentally sustainable operations with our top priority of protecting the well-being of our community. You can learn about our overall commitment to supporting the SDGs and maintaining eco-conscious Integrated Resorts around the world by reading our 2019 Environmental Report.