Sustainability for today and tomorrow starts with action today.

"The Internet may be OK for e-mail, but that’s about it, and it will be gone soon…just a passing fad.”  This was the message told to me by a purchasing director for a large community hospital that was already purchasing product through us.  I was there to offer her our brand-new online ordering system.  I explained that the way it would work was this: I would load all of her products into a template, and then all she would have to do is pick how many of each she wanted, place her order before 3 p.m. each day, and, in return, she would receive free next-day delivery.  But this was obviously falling on deaf ears, and I felt bad for the customer, because it was, and is, obvious that she was way off-base.

This online ordering system was new, but we made it as simple as possible.  By using this ordering system, purchase order costs would go down, customers could use electronic requisitions internally to speed up the process.  As someone concerned with efficiency, this concept made perfect sense to me, and I truly believed in it.  My passion came through in my presentation.

This purchasing director was about the same age as my manager at the time, so I brought him to hear her opinion of this brand-new technology.  She stated very matter-of-factly that “The Internet is OK for sending emails, but it will be going away soon enough.”  WOW!!  What an answer. My gut reaction was to question how anyone could not see how plainly obvious it was that the Internet was here to stay, and more importantly, it was a vehicle being used by many to open up new revenue streams.  I, of course, had to be a bit more diplomatic with my response.

Unfortunately, I have found her reaction to be similar to the reaction I get when I first start bringing up the topic of finding new revenue streams as a result of making sustainable business decisions.  Some might chalk up this reaction to being scared of change. Unfortunately, for those of you who still don’t believe…Change IS Coming, just as it did with the Internet. The choice is yours. Do you want to survive and thrive in this down market, or do you want to keep up with the status quo?  Thriving in this market will require casinos to develop these new revenue streams, to replace a downturn in casino gaming and resort spending.  This downturn has gone on to affect the alternate revenue streams already in place in this environment, like resort and F&B streams.

By embracing a new sustainable business model, your property begins to make decisions that are good for your stakeholders instead of only your shareholders.  Making sure that your decisions are good for your triple bottom line (social, environmental and economic) ensures success in these tough economic times.  As a result of reducing/getting rid of operating costs, long-term profit spreads will be higher.

Please open your minds to this new way of developing revenue streams for your properties.  Don’t assume, like the hospital purchasing manager who thought the Internet was not worthwhile, that sustainability is just a passing fad.  That would be a huge mistake, because if you are to survive these times, the decisions you make today will have a direct impact on your bottom line in the future. 

An example of this is what we are doing with Gaming Laboratories International. It is undertaking a lighting retro-fit, ballast change out, and the implementation of a patented lighting controller (the only one in the United States to be eligible for federal rebates).  These efforts will save GLI more than 40 percent of its energy bill, with a return on investment period of less than four years.

There is no reason why every casino in the country shouldn’t be doing this. It reduces your operating expenses over the long-term.  It also may lead to more technical and complicated sustainable measures, such as:solar implementation, wind warm development, co/tri-generation, or geothermal.  These are longer-term projects with a longer ROI time.  The reason why these are so powerful is that they will eventually lead to the ability to “go off the grid,” or “make your own grid.”