The bottom line for business is that sustainability has to contribute to the bottom line. Caesars Entertainment provides a compelling case study that a business can make money by going green. Through Caesars Entertainment’s sustainability initiative - Code Green - they have increased their bottom line by reducing costs and increasing work associate retention levels while also reducing their operation’s environmental impacts.
Code Green’s Best Practices
The following are four Code Green best practices applicable to every business:
CEO Leadership. Caesars Entertainment’s vision statement is:
“We believe our business success is inseparable from our initiatives to use fewer resources and generate less waste.”
CEO Gary Loveman is a key driver in moving this vision into a daily operating practice. The senior officer responsible for sustainability reports directly to him. They meet on a monthly basis to review sustainability performance. There is no substitute in an organization for this type of attention from a CEO. Loveman’s attention to sustainability is a best practice that sets the commitment for his entire organization.
Implementation Leadership. Code Green is under the leadership of VP Gwen Migita. Gwen is my type of leader. She is focused on performance, speaks with high credibility and is an effective communicator. In this exclusive video interview with Gwen conducted at the Sustainable Brands 2012 Conference she explains how going green makes money for Caesars Entertainment:
A “Code Green” best practice is having a respected senior officer like Gwen with the credibility to speak to both the bottom line plus human and environmental impacts.
Connecting To The Bottom Line. The evidence is now overwhelming that going green makes money. But, while 70 percent of companies have adopted sustainability into their strategies, it’s not high priority. Sustainability ranked eighth in importance in the third annual Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study jointly produced by MIT Sloan Management Review and the Boston Consulting Group, which surveyed 2,800 managers in 113 countries. That is a failure of line management. Sustainability is no longer a unique special function within a business. It is a central element of business operations that offers near term and sustained bottom line benefits. For operations it will reduce costs. For Human Resources it will increase retention rates, lowering the cost of attrition. For sales and marketing a company’s environmental credibility is a buying criteria for 50% of customers.
Best Practices Continuous Improvement. Best practices is the process used by businesses to capture and implement learning into their operations, product design and marketing. Code Green is a template for how to develop and deploy green best practices. Importantly, the development of green best practices is a continuous process for Caesars Entertainment. The following are Code Green’s areas of focus for discovering and implementing sustainable best practices that make money and a difference: carbon emissions reduction, energy conservation, renewable energy, alternative fuels, water consumption, waste diversion/recycling, LEED building standards and supply chain. These areas of focus apply to every business. They offer a path to sustained cost competitiveness and with the growing health/environmental awareness among consumers they offer a path to increased sales.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices for making money by using proven best practices in operations, sales and marketing. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles case studies of businesses making money going green.