The Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee has released its working standards document to industry professionals who have requested involvement in this process.  Those executives have the opportunity for professional review before the document is released for public comment as laid out in the ANSI process.

During this time, it is imperative that those of you involved in this process examine the document and share any feedback regarding changes in the wording or concepts. Your input will ensure positive and more efficient change within our industry. 

The concept of writing standards for our industry to adopt is not a new one. Both the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee and the Gaming Standards Association develop standards to help our industry run more effectively and efficiently.  While the Gaming Standards Association focuses solely on the financial bottom line, our standards broaden the industry focus to include sustainability with The Triple Bottom Line – “people, planet, profit.” 

Recently, the Harvard Business Review featured a column addressing sustainability standards universally. It suggested that key to this development is vested interest from industry professionals to gain a voice in the standard’s outcome. Rather than trying to play catch up after the establishment of the standard, companies should take the initiative to lead in the industry. Lead, don’t follow…sounds like a familiar concept, and one that has held up for a very long time. The authors of that feature said, “green competition is shifting from a race to launch ecofriendly products to a battle over what constitutes a green product in the first place.”

What the Harvard Business Review might not have known is that we in the gaming industry have already started down this important path. For the past two years, our standards committee has been working to do just this. We are starting to determine how the industry will judge not only electronic gaming machines, but their entire supply chain, from the smallest microprocessor to the overall cabinet design. In the end this will more toward positive Triple Bottom Line, serving to save everyone time and money.

Gregory Unruh and Richard Ettenson of the Harvard Business Review best establish the argument for joining the Gaming Standard Committee’s current process of standards review. “The definition can vary from one industry, business, or product class to the next. But whatever your business, if you’re not engaged in the debate and in shaping the rules, you risk being assessed against sustainability standards you can’t meet. Worse, you may be left behind by a shrewd competitor that has strategically positioned itself as a certified paragon of the new green ideal.”  (Gregory Unruh and Richard Ettenson, HBR, Nov 2010.)

Each month, I use this space to ask for participation in this standard setting process to increase input, involvement and opportunities for your voices to be heard.  It is now more important than ever that we hear from you, because we are nearing the end of our process, and with the publication of the standard, the opportunity will be missed. We greatly  value what you/your company has to say, and believe that the issue of industry-wide sustainability will be one that is important for years to come.

When we first started to write this groundbreaking standard, we came up with a mission for this process, which can be found on our standard development teams website. It made good business sense then, and still does today. “This standard will establish a comprehensive framework and common set of sustainability metrics for the environmental, social, and economic performance of the gaming industry, including the entire supply chain and delivery chain for gaming products and services, as well as the operations of the gaming companies and organizations themselves. The standard will provide a set of metrics that encourages continuous improvement of the environmental, social, and economic sustainability performance of gaming at all levels of the supply chain. The standard will start with gaming equipment such as slot machines and work through the entire scope described.”

Please contact me at to get involved in this process and have the opportunity to comment and drive change within our industry. SlotManager

Eric Hansel is chairman of the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee and founder of EGM Green. EGM Green designs and manufactures eco-friendly casino tables and furniture and also provides LEED services and green consulting for the casino industry. Hansel also offers the only outsourced CSO (chief sustainability officer) position in the gaming industry. Hansel may be reached at