In a sea of wasteful businesses, find a Strip resort that strives for eco-excellence to ease those earthly woes. From its daily guests to CoStar employees, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is committed to sustainability initiatives for everyone on its property.
In fact, the state’s main electricity provider NV Energy named The Cosmopolitan as one of its first-ever recipients of the Lifetime Leaders in Sustainability award in 2018. Thanks to consistently participating in the utility company’s commercial energy efficiency programs and for sharing successes with peers to help move Nevada’s green efforts forward, here’s a look at how the hotel accomplishes this through one of many ways — group events.
There are plenty of culprits that can be given the boot to become greener. For the resort’s banquets team, that means extending the fight to disposable utensils and plates. They opt for products made from bamboo, which grows rapidly using minimal water and doesn’t need pesticides. And what about all that food that doesn’t get eaten up? It’s donated to the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, which feeds several hundred homeless people each day.
“We donate a lot of products,” says Joseph Kaplan, Associate Director of Catering and Conference Services. “Any product that is consumable goes to the Rescue Mission. And we donate dry goods that are close to being expired that we know we’re not going to be able to use.”
Its H2O distribution also got a revamp. “A lot of customers are moving away from individual plastic bottles and purchasing individual water stations,” says Kaplan. He notes more companies are supplying conference attendees with branded reusable water bottles, making the water stations more appealing.
Even without a bottle, guests can rest assured water station cups are made from recycled materials. The same goes for the pads of paper in the conference rooms. The hotel is not only committed to using recycled materials, it’s also trothed to its recycling practices.
For starters, The Cosmopolitan uses LampTracker, a waste management system, which offers an environmentally friendly way to recycle batteries, lamps and bulbs, and any other consumable items containing mercury.
As for the day-to-day stuff, Kaplan says, “I have a lot of customers that come into the building, and they ask, ‘Where’s your recycling at?’ We actually have a company we hire that sorts all the trash and then separates anything that’s plastic, anything that’s glass, anything that’s absolutely waste and needs to go into the landfill, and anything that’s recyclable.” That’s right. The sorting is done for guests, meaning less recyclables ending up in the landfill.
Audio Visual is another way The Cosmopolitan looks to tackle environmental challenges head-on during big group events. All AV equipment is compliant with either Energy Star or RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)—a directive that restricts the use of certain hazardous materials in electronic products.
As for the lighting overhead, Kaplan says meeting space lights turn off overnight or when not in use. “Ten years ago, a lot of these ballrooms had an on and off switch that was not easily accessed,” he says. “The technology has advanced to where we can turn lights off or even schedule the ballrooms lights to be off.”
Similarly, is its heating and cooling. It’s no secret Las Vegas casinos are cold, and that’s no truer than in the ballrooms. But instead of running the AC all night, the events spaces now operate with Mother Nature in mind, reducing energy when not in use.
And if that’s not enough, The Cosmopolitan is helping big groups move their branded materials away from printed docs to digital signage. “There are opportunities for you to brand the hotel or your conference space in your voice and in your messaging that allows you to go green, so you don’t have to worry about printed material throughout the property, especially for conferences,” says Kaplan.
Groups can now leave less of a footprint and more of an impression.