Boyd Gaming’s ESG report showcases benefits of diverse workforce, environmental savings Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports · May 9, 2021 at 8:39 am Boyd Gaming recently released its first extensive Environmental, Social and Governance report (ESG). While such documents have become more common in recent years – Bloomberg’s ESG Data Service debuted in 2009, and NASDAQ launched an ESG reporting guide in 2017 – they are still relatively new reporting tools. But the concept of ESG isn’t new for the Las Vegas-based gaming operator. According to Vice President of Corporate Communications David Strow, the late company founder Sam Boyd started the business in 1975 with those principles in mind. “That was something that the Boyd family was committed to and brought to Boyd Gaming, which was treating customers right and making sure they have a memorable experience,” Strow says. Boyd VP of Communications David Strow That extends to creating good working conditions for team members, contributing to the communities where Boyd properties do business and being an environmentally sound company. While there’s often debate about the financial impact of sound environmental practices, for Boyd such measures have been cost-effective. Between 2017 and 2019, the company reduced its electricity consumption by nearly 3%, resulting in a decline of more than 2% in carbon emissions. Water consumption was also reduced, saving 63 million gallons annually. Strow says the savings are substantial and accrue over time. Investors also are more interested in ESG initiatives. “It’s only increasing in importance to the investment community,” Strow says, noting there are now financial analysts who concentrate solely on ESG initiatives. “Even those (analysts) who aren’t ESG focused will ask companies what they are doing on ESG. They want to know because they want to make sure the companies they are investing in are committed to acting responsibly.” Boyd’s commitment to diversity can be seen in the makeup of its employees. Women comprise 51% of Boyd’s workforce, and 49% of employees identify as a minority. Aside from being the right thing to do, Strow says, hiring diverse employees allows the company to tap into a range of skillsets and experiences. Employees at Boyd’s Treasure Chest Casino near New Orleans held a Toys for Tots drive during the pandemic These employees also reflect the customers who visit Boyd’s properties. “Our customers are as diverse as the communities we operate in,” Strow says. “So having employees who are part of every demographic group is critical if you’re going to serve your customers properly. You’ve got to have employees who understand each group, the wants of each group, and how to best serve that group and connect with members of every background.” According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average gambling service worker makes just over $29,000 a year. Because most casinos are open 24 hours (except during the COVID-19 pandemic) workers are subject to shift work. They also have to stand for long hours and occasionally have to deal with smokers. But despite working conditions that can be demanding, the average Boyd employee has been with the company for 10 years. That longevity is a byproduct of the benefits Boyd offers, and monthly and yearly recognition rewards that include one employee from each property earning an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii. Strow says Boyd’s package of benefits, along with its history of hiring minorities and women, are leveraged to recruit new workers. “Recruiting talent has become more challenging recently,” Strow says. “That is true in every market, it’s certainly true here in Las Vegas, and it’s true in all the markets in which we operate. There’s heightened competition for new team members. “Having that reputation out there, that we’re a company that believes in doing these things for our team members, and encourages team members to build careers with us, that gives us an edge.” Boyd Gaming reached out to CDC Gaming Reports with the results of its ESG report. Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.