As part of Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s new global corporate citizenship program, Sands Cares, the resort company announced it will contribute $7 million to the hotel college at University of Nevada, Las Vegas over five years and $1 million to Clean the World in 2014.
Sands Cares manifests the company’s core corporate social responsibility focus of supporting people in the company and the hospitality industry, making local communities where LVS operates a better place to live, and reducing environmental impact on the planet. “As a company, we want to direct our philanthropy where we can make a difference,” said Michael Leven, LVS president and chief operating officer, in a phone interview.
The company’s commitment to UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration will enable the development of a global professional and executive education program intended to provide hospitality and gaming professionals in Las Vegas, Singapore, Macao, and emerging markets with the skills and knowledge necessary for advancing their careers. The LVS funding will also assist in the construction of a new academic building, Hospitality Hall, which is slated for completion in fall 2017. “I think leaders make a difference, and anything we can do to help leaders get more education not only technically but managerial and humanely, I think will help everybody’s business, not only Sands,” Leven said.
An extended partnership with Clean the World will significantly accelerate the nonprofit organization’s mission to turn waste into life-saving hygiene products. Since 2011, Clean the World and LVS have diverted more than 52 tons of waste from LVS properties, resulting in more than 367,000 bars of recycled soap for needy populations.
The partnership includes underwriting and team member volunteer time to build thousands of hygiene kits for distribution to homeless shelters and resource centers in local communities where LVS operates, as well as support for building 100,000 hygiene kits specifically earmarked for disaster relief efforts around the world. In addition, LVS will host a series of trips in which its team members help Clean the World distribute soap in international destinations while providing hygiene education. “It gives us a chance to get employees involved without a cost to them and get them excited about a program,” Leven said. “Many of our employees come from all over the world, and some of their home countries will be involved in these programs as well.”
Finally, LVS’ financial commitment will underwrite critical manufacturing equipment in Las Vegas and Asia, allowing Clean the World to double its global soap production and distribution to more than 6.5 million bars of soap annually.
Beyond the expanded partnerships with UNLV and Clean the World, LVS has established a number of global and local programs as part of Sands Cares to further support the company’s corporate citizenship goals. Initiatives include a mix of team member volunteerism, charitable partnerships in local communities, and extension of LVS’ on-property global sustainability program, Sands ECO360°, into communities. “The more you can fulfill your obligation to the community and the world, the better your employees are going to be in terms of their confidence that they’re working for an organization that cares,” Leven said.