A newly created position at Wynn Resorts will help the company develop energy procurement goals and create a global sustainability strategy. The position, Chief Sustainability Officer, has already found its first head in Erik Hansen, who, since 2016, has served as Wynn’s Director of Procurement. Hansen will be responsible for managing a number of sustainable and renewable energy initiatives at the company as it strives to be a “leader in environmental stewardship.”
According to the casino company, Hansen began his career in the energy industry. He served more than 10 years in several positions that were centered on transmission policy and contracts, project leadership, power trading and business development. The executive joined Wynn Resorts after a stint as the VP for EnergySource, which represents some of Nevada’s largest energy customers in industries such as gaming, utilities, technology and mining. Hansen is also a current member of the Governor’s Committee on Energy Choice in Nevada.
Hansen hasn’t wasted any time forging the company’s environmental position. He is responsible for the negotiation, construction and launch of the Wynn Solar Facility, a solar initiative in Fallon, Nevada. The standalone project, which sits on 160 acres and generates 20 megawatts, already supplies more than 80% of the daytime energy to Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.
In addition to the solar project, Hansen manages the development of an energy supply chain that will provide the first micro electrical grid for a resort at the company’s Encore Boston Harbor property. He is also in charge of Wynn’s push for an open energy market.
In announcing the new position and Hansen’s appointment, Wynn Resorts’ executive VP and General Counsel Kim Sinatra said, “Erik has proven to be a visionary as we continue to deepen our company’s sustainability strategy and make monumental moves towards taking control of our energy future. His experience extends across all facets of environmental protection and government regulation, and his understanding of cutting-edge technologies will continue to shape our use of a new generation of renewable resources.”
While the position may be new for Wynn, it isn’t new for casinos. MGM Resorts created a similar position about a decade ago and Las Vegas Sands has a VP of global sustainability and a director of sustainability for both the Palazzo and The Venetian.