Mohegan Tribe issues first Environmental, Social, and Governance report

August 21, 2023 2:28 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
August 21, 2023 2:28 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Connecticut

Connecticut’s Mohegan Tribe recently released its first Environmental, Social, and Governance report. The report focuses on such issues as energy conservation and management of resources; social efforts that invest in and support team members; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; responsible gaming and local communities; and governance and business ethics that guide company leaders, team members, and operations.

Story continues below

But while it’s Mohegan’s first formal report, ESG issues have always been highlighted and promoted.

“As a minority Native American-owned business, Mohegan has always considered itself a socially responsible organization,” said Mohegan CEO and President Ray Pineault via email. “However, we had never taken the time to document our efforts on this matter. As Mohegan continues to expand both in the United States and globally, we felt it was important to ground our current and prospective stakeholders in an understanding of Mohegan’s values, history, and ongoing commitment to people and the environment.”

The report was produced by a team of Mohegan employees, including executives and presidents from corporate offices and properties and representatives from property operations management and leadership teams.

When Pineault first read the report, he was heartened that the tribe continues to demonstrate its commitment to ESG. “However, it is also a chance to gain some self-awareness on the continued strides we need to make to ensure we are the standard bearer and gold standard as a socially responsible organization,” he said.

In a statement, Mohegan Chairman James Gessner, Jr., said that throughout the tribe’s history, “We have been grounded and united in our care for Mother Earth and for one another, and it is those same values that we now bring to this formalized ESG strategy. This framework underscores our belief in a cooperative approach that lifts all people up, allowing for the prosperity of the Mohegan Tribe, as well as our neighboring communities, families, and individuals.”

Pineault said the Mohegans have been committed to social responsibility for 400 years. “We have always operated our business as stewards of the environment, community advocates, governance, trusted business partner, and an employer of choice, beginning with the opening of our first property in 1996.”

But social responsibility doesn’t preclude profitability.

“We know that as an organization, we can be profitable while also having a positive impact on society,” Pineault said. “It’s not a matter of ‘either-or,’ it’s ‘yes and.’ We have demonstrated this through our more than 25 years of operational existence and are confident we will continue to deliver both for generations to come.”

Some anti-ESG sentiments have been expressed by political leaders in some parts of the country. But Pineault stated that Mohegan bases it policies on what it feels is the right thing to do.

“Being stewards of the environment, good governance, and caring for one another are ingrained in our culture, dating back 400 years, well before there were definitions and discussions about ESG,” he said.