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Harrah's earns environmental award
Money isn't the only green Harrah's Entertainment Inc. seems to be after. The company announced today it had been awarded an Environmental Quality Award.
This is the first time the award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region Two, has ever been given to a gaming corporation in the United States.
The EPA's Region Two presents the award each year to organizations that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality in the Region Two sector.
Region Two includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Harrah's operates four casinos in Atlantic City - Bally's, Caesars, Harrah's and Showboat.
"These exemplary environmental stewards have gone above and beyond for environmental change in local communities," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "Let their extraordinary contributions remind us all that we can make our world a better place and that companies, individuals and organizations can inspire others and make a lasting difference."
Since 2002, Harrah's has been working to make "green" improvements to all of its Atlantic City properties. This includes using more efficient lighting, nontoxic cleaning chemicals, thermostats that limit energy use, more efficient boilers, chillers and air handlers and more eco-friendly refrigerants.
According to Harrah's, with the direct involvement of its nearly 16,000 employees, the company eliminated the equivalent of more than 94 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
"We're so proud of our employees for their many suggestions and for their active participation and awareness engagement in our 'Go Green' campaign. They are directly responsible for helping us become the first gaming corporation ever to win this award," said J. Carlos Tolosa, Harrah's Eastern Division President.
"This accomplishment underscores our continuing commitment to environmental sustainability."
In addition, Harrah's recycles 50,000 gallons of cooking oil waste each year from its kitchens, uses waterless urinals, recycles 1.6 million pounds of cardboard annually and has eliminated 1.1 million polystyrene beverage cups.
Another change it made to support local transportation requirements was to purchase two hybrid vehicles.
"We constantly review every facet of our business to see how we can conserve even more to have a positive impact on our environment, and at the same time provide our guests with a first-class experience," said Tolosa. "We are honored by this recognition and will continue to do our part to reuse, reduce and recycle."
Harrah's was the Environmental Quality Award winner for the Business and Industry category this year. The EPA Region 2 also awards individual citizens, educators, community groups and government agencies for their work. Winners are picked from nominations submitted from both inside and outside the EPA.