Monday, September 4, 2017

People Planet Play at Caesars

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been horrified (as I am sure we all have) by heartbreaking first-hand accounts of people fighting for their safety and facing the loss of their homes in Houston, Texas and the region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. I am sure we cannot begin to understand the challenges each is facing, nor the length of time it will take for the people of the area to achieve some sort of return to normal life. Our hearts go out to all those affected.

In the corporate world, many are mobilizing to provide emergency assistance and relief to the people of the area. It is no surprise to me that Caesars Entertainment was one of the first to announce support. See this post on LinkedIn:

This doesn't surprise me because I know Caesars Entertainment to be a genuinely caring company that invests in communities without hesitation all year round and not just in times of crisis. But when a crisis hits, Caesars can be counted on. I have been working with Caesars Entertainment for several years now, supporting annual citizenship reporting and other initiatives. I have had the privilege to personally engage and interact with hundreds of team members at Caesars in the U.S. and other parts of the world, from the President and CEO and senior executives to a very wide range of individuals in diverse roles. 

Without exception, I am struck every single time by the genuine passion and deep engagement of those I talk to, and their appreciation for the caring, nurturing, inclusive culture that is easily recognizable throughout the organization. Whether it's the CEO, Mark Frissora, who places employee engagement on a par with customer satisfaction and financial performance as a fundamental tent of the company's success (check out his  welcome message in the Caesars 2016-2017 Corporate Citizenship Report), or Mary Thomas, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, who says: "Our employees want to feel that our company is contributing to a better world," or a Caesars HERO (community volunteer), or a Health Wellness Nurse, or a Responsible Gaming Ambassador, or, in fact, just anyone at all, the folks at Caesars care. So it was certainly no surprise to see that Caesars is one of the first corporations out there taking action to support fellow citizens through the trauma and devastation that Hurricane Harvey has wrought. 

Which brings me back to Caesars eighth annual 2016-2017 Corporate Citizenship Report, this time under the theme of 

People Planet Play

People Planet Play is the new way Caesars is talking about citizenship and sustainability - to employees, to guests and to all of us. It's a corporate strategic framework for planning, reporting and communicating, setting out clearly what Caesars stands for as it does business. Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesars' Executive Vice President of Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility explains:

People Planet Play enables the organization of all citizenship themes and programs under one umbrella:

So, for example, highlights for 2016 are organized in this format.

In this report, key members of the Caesars Executive team explain how this People Planet Play framework works for them and how it aligns with the vision of Caesars business development and growth in coming years. The report is written in accordance with GRI Standards, core option. More compact than prior years, it covers all key areas of progress in the past year or so, including:

Development of science-based emissions targets: For the past ten years, Caesars has set ambitious environmental intensity targets and has steadily achieved them each year. In establishing science-based targets, Caesars joins industry leaders in respecting planetary limits with absolute emissions targets through 2050.

Continued achievements in employee wellness: The Wellness Rewards program helps employees get healthier as they get older and in 2016, another year of strong participation enabled Caesars 50,000+ employees in the U.S. to feel well, save money and enjoy life. 

Ongoing leadership in Responsible Gaming: This is a core element of citizenship at Caesars, and has been for more than 25 years when Caesars developed the first industry efforts to address problem gambling among guests. Caesars continues to demonstrate leadership wherever it operates so that people who choose to take part in gaming activities can have fun doing so and know that help is at hand if this is not the case. This report includes major strides to advance responsible gaming in the UK where Caesars operates several casinos, as well as ongoing activity in the U.S.

Economic and social contribution in communities: Caesars has established strong ties within all the communities that host its properties, and makes a significant economic contribution. In addition to the >400,000 hours of community service that Caesars volunteers invested in their communities last year, Caesars distributed more than $9 billion of economic value to its stakeholders. A third-party analysis shows that contributed value by Caesars (wages, taxes and corporate giving) was almost three times the estimated average of U.S. corporations. 

Taking a public stand: As usual, Caesars doesn't shy away from speaking up for justice.  Whether it's on policy relating to LGBTQ rights or taking a stand against human trafficking, Caesars voice is where it counts. Gwen Migita, Vice President, Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship puts it like this:

(By the way, if you are heading to Singapore in September by any chance, come and join us at the Asia 2017 Sustainability Reporting Summit where Gwen will be speaking on embedding a culture of citizenship and the People Planet Play framework.)

Finally, who said sustainability reporting is not fun? Caesars 2016-2017 Citizenship Report also gives you the opportunity of a chance to win two nights at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Just by completing a super fun crossword.

Check it out, follow the instructions and you could be waking up to breakfast in Nevada. But even if crosswords are not your thing, I recommend you taking a look at this report from a clear citizenship leader in the gaming-entertainment-hospitality industry. There's much more in there that I have been able to mention in this post. As usual, send your feedback!

Disclosure: As you probably realized, I worked on this report (as well as on Caesars' prior four reports).  It's always a pleasure and honor to work with Caesars. But shucks, that makes me not eligible to enter the draw for the crossword prize.

elaine cohen, CSR Consultant, Sustainability Reporter, former HR Professional, Trust Across America 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, Ice Cream Addict, Author of three totally groundbreaking books on sustainability (see About Me page). Contact me via Twitter (@elainecohen) or via my business website (Beyond Business Ltd, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm). Need help writing your first / next Sustainability Report? Contact elaine: 

Elaine will be chairing the Asia Sustainability Reporting Summit in Singapore on 19-20 September 2017 and the edie Conference on Smarter Sustainability Reporting  in London on 27th February 2018

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