Record hot temperatures in the Pacific Northwest. Strange clouds in Warsaw, Poland. The Earth’s climate keeps surprising its inhabitants with anomalies—and the hotel industry isn’t happy. MGM Resorts

MGM Resorts International took a major step in its own battle against climate change with the launch of its 100-megawatt solar array in the Nevada desert, enough to power an average of 27,000 U.S. homes annually and produce up to 90 percent of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas daytime needs.

Covering 65 million sq. ft., 13 properties and more than 36,000 guest rooms, including Bellagio, Aria, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand, this marks a milestone in MGM Resorts’ long-term plan of reducing the company’s emissions by 45 percent per square foot by 2025.

“With MGM Resorts’ significant scale and resources, we’re positioned to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change, and we recognize our responsibility to build a more environmentally sustainable future,” says Bill Hornbuckle, MGM’s president and CEO. “We’re marking a significant step forward in our environmental sustainability initiatives in Las Vegas and our long-term vision to protect the planet and achieve an enduring, positive impact in our communities worldwide.”

In addition, the company unveiled two new goals following guidance from Science Based Targets initiative, a partnership between CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature: Reduce direct emissions from its owned or controlled sources, such as diesel fuel for vehicles and indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy. MGM’s target is to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and source 100 percent renewable energy in the United States and 80 percent globally by 2030.

“MGM Resorts has long been Nevada’s largest private employer and has shown a clear commitment to using their size and scale to lead on important issues like climate change, renewable energy and sustainability,” says Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. “This solar array is among the most significant steps our industry has taken in terms of tackling climate change and promoting renewable energy. Powering so much of The Strip with clean, renewable energy sends a powerful message about Nevada’s role as a national leader in renewable energy and our commitment to fighting climate change.”

In 2018, a Nature Climate Change study found that global tourism, an industry growing faster than international trade, accounts for eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Other hotel conglomerates have set ambitious goals to reduce emissions, as well. Marriott International aims to reduce water usage by 15 percent and waste by 45 percent, and use at least 30 percent renewable energy by 2025; Hiltons Hotels & Resorts’ goal is to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030.