Pranav Jampani oversees a comprehensive program as the director of sustainability for The Venetian Resort, The Palazzo Resort and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The three properties create one enormous campus that is a subsidiary of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., a developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts.
The complex includes more than 19 million sq. ft. of space, including more than 7,000 guest suites; 50 food and beverage outlets; 150 retail shops; and more than 9,000 employees in Las Vegas.
In addition to pursuing LEED certification for many of the buildings, Sands also focuses on resource conservation, waste management and sustainable procurement to keep the facility green.
For his achievements, Jampani was recently named a Waste360 40 Under 40 award recipient. He spoke with Waste360 about the vast Sands ECO360 sustainability program he spearheads for the Las Vegas properties, and his passion for his work.
Waste360: Can you provide an overview of some of the sustainability issues your company addresses?
Pranav Jampani: We have established a formal sustainability program called Sands ECO360 in order to proactively minimize the environmental impacts that could result from our operations and help advance sustainability in our community. We have achieved some really impressive results since we went on a quest to become a leader in sustainability in the hospitality industry. We realize that sustainability is a journey; not a destination.
Waste360: What is your role in managing these sustainability measures?
Pranav Jampani: My goal is to keep advancing the company’s sustainability program, engage all our team members and community partners and enhance our leadership position in the industry. The ultimate goal is to build on our company’s legacy of making an impact in the areas we care about most: our people, the communities we call home and the planet we share.
All of the Las Vegas properties have achieved LEED certification. In fact, The Palazzo Resort is the largest LEED-certified new construction building in the entire U.S., and it achieved LEED Silver certification for new construction. The Sands Expo Convention Center and The Venetian Congress Center achieved LEED Gold certification.
Waste360: Your organization has four pillars of sustainability that you’re focusing on, what are some initiatives in those areas?
Pranav Jampani: Under the green building pillar, we implement sustainable development standards and LEED standards into all of our new development, remodel and renovation projects.
Under the environmentally-responsible operations pillar, we focus on three areas: resource conservation, waste management and sustainable procurement. We implement a number of energy and water conservation projects every year to constantly reduce our energy and water consumption and our environmental impact. We implement numerous waste reduction, recycling, composting and donation programs to reduce our waste and achieve higher recycling rates.
Our goal has always been to transform waste into community outreach. We support several non-profit organizations through repurpose and donation programs. We also have a robust sustainable procurement program. The products we buy for our ongoing operations have to meet very stringent sustainability requirements.
Under the green meetings and events pillar, we help our forward-thinking meeting clients to make their events as sustainable as possible. We host some of the world’s biggest conventions, trade shows, exhibitions and corporate events at our convention center.
We work with more than 20 nonprofit organizations in the Las Vegas community. A lot of waste is reused, repurposed and donated to benefit local charities. For example, all of the leftover food from the banquets and conventions is donated to local charities to help fight hunger in the community.
We have our own recycling dock. We use a third-party company to sort every single piece of trash that comes to the recycling dock from the entire campus. Whatever can be recycled will be recycled. We have one of the highest recycling rates in Nevada.
Under the stakeholder engagement pillar, which is extremely important, we host a number of interesting and exciting events for our team members almost every month. We are also always trying to advance sustainability in our community. We conduct sustainability training events for local teachers who are then going to educate their students, and we host state-wide recycled art contests for students to increase their awareness of recycling.
Waste360: How did you find your way to sustainability and this industry?
Pranav Jampani: I’ve been developing and implementing sustainability programs for a number of Fortune 500 companies for the last six years. I have managed large and diverse projects for utility companies and public utility commissions, and I’ve managed and achieved LEED certifications for over 20 million sq. ft. of property, achieved significant cost savings, and helped come up with new initiatives that generated new revenue opportunities for companies by implementing numerous strategic and performance improvement measures.
In my tenure here, I have been responsible for achieving 15 different green accolades, including some of the world’s most prestigious third-party environmental certifications and other green awards.
I did my bachelor’s degree in India in chemical engineering. I moved to the U.S. to get my master’s degree in energy & environmental engineering at the North Carolina State University. I worked for boutique consulting companies where I had the opportunity to work on consulting projects with several Fortune 100 companies, and I also helped to establish first-ever sustainability programs for many companies.
I wanted to move into the operations side of things. Since I had done some sustainability consulting for hospitality companies, I found that I really liked the environment. I was looking for opportunities and that’s how I landed here. I have been with the company for almost four years. It has been an amazing journey.
Las Vegas Sands has identified sustainability as a priority, and we are very fortunate to get all of the support we need from our senior management and leadership to experiment with new ideas and initiatives and continue to advance our program on all fronts.
Waste360: What most excites you about your work?
I have the pleasure to work with very talented team members who are super passionate about sustainability, and I am also fortunate to be able to partner with so many wonderful organizations to support our community. Our team members get fired up about sustainability and have a lot of fun, which is very important. The culture here encourages innovation, creativity and being open to new ideas.
My personal mission has been to educate people on the importance of sustainability and how they can do things differently. I strongly believe in the notion that great change starts with small, simple actions, and these collectively can have a huge exponential impact.