MGM Resorts International announced that the Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program elevated Mandalay Bay Resort to its highest, Five Key rating. Mandalay Bay joins only five other U.S. resorts to achieve this honor.
Designed specifically for hotel operations, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a comprehensive environmental audit and is the first of its kind to rank, certify and inspect hotels and resorts in North America based on their commitment to sustainable "green" operations.
Mandalay Bay's sustainability status was raised by Green Key following the implementation of new green practices into the resort's internal sustainability program. MGM Resorts International reported in 2009 that Mandalay Bay's electricity consumption was reduced by 4.9 percent from 2008 levels, saw a 51.3 percent decrease in its natural gas bill compared to 2008 spending, lowered water consumption by 4.7 percent between 2008 and 2009, and reduced property-wide waste by 18.7 percent.
The recognition of the program's highest award now gives MGM Resorts International three of the six properties in the United States to have received five keys under the program, which evaluates hotels based on their commitment to sustainable operations. ARIA and Vdara at CityCenter are the other MGM Resorts properties to have received the recognition.
"Achieving leadership in environmental responsibility is about maintaining a commitment to continuous improvement in our every day operations," said Chuck Bowling, President and COO of Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. "While receiving Four Keys in July was a significant honor, we were not satisfied and knew our team at Mandalay Bay was capable of meeting the standards for Five Key recognition. We met these standards by bolstering our commitment to transparency in our overall operations, gaining better insight into our sustainable supply chain, engaging employees, and increasing guest outreach and education. Our sustainability program has fulfilled one of its goals, and now it is time to continue building on this terrific achievement as focus on the next set of goals and priorities for 2011."
Some of the new features of the Mandalay Bay sustainability effort include incentivizing employees for their environmental innovation through awards and recognitions, including suppliers' environmental policies, into the process of making purchasing decisions, providing more in-room information for guests about the property's environmental goals and performance, and putting into place new procedures to reduce energy usage in Housekeeping operations.
"The team at Mandalay Bay proactively sought to identify additional opportunities to make its operations more environmentally friendly," said Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President of the Energy and Environmental Services Division at MGM Resorts International. "Having this type of leadership in place is a real game changer for us. In all of our efforts, our properties focus on five key pillars of sustainability – energy and water conservation, green building, recycling and waste management, sustainable supply chain management, and outreach and education. This enables us to focus on consistently setting a new standard of sustainability in the hospitality industry while providing our guests with the same, high-quality experience they have come to expect from us. Achieving Five Keys is a significant accomplishment for Mandalay Bay and we are very proud of our Green Wave team members and their commitment to environmental responsibility."
Other MGM Resorts International properties also submitted Green Key evaluations. Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York and MGM Grand Detroit all received Four Keys. Circus Circus Las Vegas earned Three Keys.
The latest recognition of Mandalay Bay is just one of many that the Company and its properties have received this year for their sustainability efforts. It recently received recognition convention industry honors from Gold Platter and Gold Key, and in October, Newsweek named MGM Resorts International to its 2010 Green Rankings list as the highest-rated company in the gaming hospitality space. During the same month, Travel + Leisure honored the Company with one of its Global Vision Awards for its leadership in harnessing travel to positively impact the world, as demonstrated by CityCenter, which, at 18 million square feet and, is the world's largest sustainable mixed-use development. In 2009, CityCenter opened as the nation's largest green development, earning six LEED Gold Certifications from the US Green Building Council.