President Obama alluded to the fact that the oil spill could spark a push for more focus on renewable resources

Can it be that this disaster will prove to be the tipping point for widespread sustainability regulations? That is a question that will be answered over time, but early indications are that The White House will criminally and civilly go after the oil giant. And, during a May press conference, President Obama alluded to the fact that the spill could spark a push for more focus on renewable resources.

Over the past weeks we have all watched the aftermath of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig, leased by BP plc and was operating in the Gulf of Mexico. After the explosion, which killed 11 workers and injured 17, the rig sank, unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Now we are seeing the beginnings of the long-term effects of this catastrophe.

No one knows how long this clean-up will take, or whether any effort to cap the leak to the well will be very effective. One thing is for sure, the Gulf region will never be the same.

Any time you watch the news, you see images of wildlife covered in oil, beaches with 40-foot-long oil slicks on them, and images of that well spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Estimates at time of writing are between 19 million and 39 million gallons of oil have spilled into the deep water from the broken pipe, with no end in sight. When we compare this to the 12 million gallons that spilled from the Exxon Valdez, largely on the surface of the water, the BP spill is initially much worse, and the long-term effects will be devastating to the coastal industries, including tourism and fishing.

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with our industry and more specifically with the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee. The answer is simple: We have an opportunity to show the world how serious our industry is about sustainability at a time when stakeholder value is beginning to gain ground on the old school way of thinking that shareholder value is vastly more important. Our goal is to put into place a standard that will help to guide our industries’ brightest to not only look good from a PR perspective but also to make a lot more money.

We are just beginning the fourth full go-round of our ANSI standard and are moving along quite nicely. It was awesome to see so many of the slot machine manufacturers hit our initial goal of being 25 percent more energy efficient within the first year. We would now like for all of those companies to participate actively in the process so that we can all learn more and save more dollars.

Putting in place these sustainability safeguards will allow this team and the industry as a whole to take charge of your own energy independence. By doing this, you have the ability to not only save dollars on your slot floor, but also in maintenance costs, and as your understanding of the theories behind the standard grows, you will be able to apply those cost/energy saving theories to other aspects of your business.

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, energy expert, or are just interested in helping to shape the way this industry is moving, please get in touch with me at 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.

Join the team, and 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 while increasing profit margins.