Green Slots: What's next for the Sustainable Gaming Standard?
Now that the committee’s initial work on the Sustainable Gaming Standard is coming to a close, what happens next? That’s a great question; now is your time to comment on what we are presenting, so that when we get to revisit the standard, it will be all marked up by anyone and everyone who has something to say about it. After we work through that, the standard will be released.
Once the standard is released, we hope that all in the gaming industry attempt to adhere to its framework in the manufacturing, procurement or operation of electronic gaming machines. One of the member companies that participate in the standard development process is IGT. IGT is committed to sustainability company-wide, so the choice to participate was an easy one.
“IGT supports the Sustainable Gaming Standard Committee because of its work on setting forth initiatives that are valuable for our environment while also making good fiscal sense for gaming manufacturers and casino operators. And, it is important to note that the committee goes beyond environmental concerns. It also encompasses diversity and work place safety issues industry wide,” according to Matt LaBranch, senior vice president of manufacturing operations at IGT.
When talking about the standard and its development process, diversity and workplace safety issues, are just as important as the environmental impact issues. “Our involvement in the committee is important as our industry, and many others, are moving to become more responsible environmental citizens,” LaBranch said. “At IGT, sustainability standards mean more than just efficiencies in our machines, it also translates into what we do on the production floor and in our offices. We, as a company, are committed to reducing, reusing and recycling on a daily basis. Our recycling program encompasses e-Waste, cardboard and paper, scrap metals, plastics, fluorescent light bulbs, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam packaging, NiCad and lithium batteries. It also includes recycling chemicals used in digital processing, solvents, oils and other chemicals as well as shipping truck fuel and emissions. This overall scope has allowed us to reduce a substantial amount of waste.”
This concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling is one that is central in the sustainability world, and I have discussed it in this and other columns over the past 2 years. The importance of reducing what it is that you use must be understood in order for the concept of sustainability to be successful. When looking at electronic gaming machines, our team has looked at reducing the products used, lighting used, heat generated, waste disposed of, along with other reductions. Of course, by reducing what is used in these machines, they should be cheaper to manufacture and to operate.
We then looked at how items could be reused. From the electric components, to the entire machine being repurposed and sold to a secondary market, our team has tried to account for anything used in the machines. Our hope is that by looking at ways to reuse items, the market for these products will increase, and the value of these items will also increase. Of course, for a manufacturer, being able to reuse items, allows them to sell the same item twice, while also guaranteeing a third sale when combined with a buyback program.
Finally, looking at recycling, the teams hope is for manufacturers to employ programs like the one IGT uses. It spans many different areas from e-waste to EPS foam packaging, and allows them to earn revenue/ reduce costs where others might not. Recycling can put dollars in your company’s pocket, and this is why our team has spent considerable time on the subject. Long after our work on this standard is complete, companies throughout the supply chain for electronic gaming machines will save money, and earn new revenues as a result of participation in the standard process.
We need your participation to make this the best standard possible for all involved along the supply chain, manufacturing, packaging, shipping, end user, and after life care/repurposing. If you are an operator, manufacturer, an energy expert, or are just interested in helping to shape the way this industry is moving, please get in touch with me at email@example.com for an invitation to participate in the ANSI standard development process for this extremely important initiative. Our team meets virtually about once a month for two hours, and then our sub-committees get together between full committee meetings.
We welcome your opinions once the standard goes out for public comment and believe that you will show the industry how important long-term stakeholder value is to you and your organization. You can help to shape the more efficient way that our industry will need to operate in the near future to keep operational costs low will increasing profit margins.