The 8-month-old Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has become the first casino to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The casino, which opened last July, was designed with a sustainability plan to achieve LEED certification for energy, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable elements. “We are proud to be recognized as a leader in sustainable development and we hope to set an example for the rest of the gaming and entertainment industries,” Greg Carlin, Rivers Casino CEO, said in a news release. “It’s important to all of our team members that we are a good corporate citizen.” LEED certification was established to encourage developers to design and construct buildings that protect and save resources, while making economic sense. “Achieving LEED Gold was challenging and expensive, but in the long run, the effort will improve the environment and reduce our operating costs,” Neil Bluhm, chairman of casino developer Midwest Gaming and Entertainment LLC, said in a news release. The casino development team includes Klai Juba Architects, Cleo Design, DMAC Architecture, Development Management Associates, general contractor Pepper Construction, and the city of Des Plaines.