Improving Sustainability Globally Through Business Practices

February 27, 2024
By Sue Doerfler

“Sustainability is a way of doing business now.”

So says Kenyatta Lewis, executive director of supplier diversity and sustainable procurement at MGM Resorts International, and she knows that firsthand: Her company is a leader in sustainable sourcing.

Lewis will present MGM Resorts International’s sustainability story during a workshop at ISM World 2024, Institute for Supply Management®’s (ISM®) 108th Annual Conference April 29-May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Two other presenters from MGM Resorts International — Michael J. Gulich, AIA, LEED AP, vice president of environmental sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, and Matt Esper, strategy and reporting senior manager, ESG research — will join her in talking about how companies can make sustainability their way of doing business.

Global supply chains account for as much as 80 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and MGM Resorts is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

“Our global procurement team and our social impact and sustainability team have collaborated over the last five years to share knowledge and simplify the integration into our procurement processes,” Lewis said during a recent LinkedIn Live preview of ISM World 2024.

The workshop is MGM Resorts’ way of sharing and supporting other procurement professionals who may be facing some of the same challenges and the shift to sustainability in their businesses, she said. “Attendees are going to walk away with greater awareness of the foundational elements and some tangible but practical actions that they can take to get started or to move forward in the programs that they already,” she said.

For MGM Resorts, sustainability means responsibly engaging its value chain with minimal impact to resources and people in the ecosystem, Lewis said: “It's really all about managing risk. It’s the way we do business in this day and age.”

The company last week was one of 347 organizations to receive an “A” grade from CDP, a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities and more regarding environmental impacts. More than 23,000 reporting companies were scored. “Grades are awarded on comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness and management of environmental risk and best practices associated with environmental leadership,” according to an MGM Resorts press release.

“We were recognized for focusing on climate, decreasing our carbon emissions and how we protect the planet,” Lewis said. “Our tenets are still lowering our carbon emissions, ethical and humane treatments, making sure that we focus on being local and diverse, water responsible … and not to exclude supplier diversity, because supplier diversity is also a part of sustainable procurement.” Committing to doing business with diverse as well as local business — and aiding in their development through mentorships and more — is critical, she said.

MGM Resorts is also focused on a circular economy. “That’s going a bit deeper into what it means when we talk about people and planet and assessing where the risk lies,” Lewis said. “We firmly believe that implementing a sustainable procurement practice not only enhances our brand, our reputation and our stakeholder relations, it also drives innovation and cost effectiveness and long-term resilience for our company.”

The “MGM’s Sustainability Story” workshop is on April 29. Learn more here.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Kenishirotie)

About the Author

Sue Doerfler

About the Author

As Senior Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, I cover topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.