Hersha Hospitality Trust wins Leader in the Light Award

Community engagement hotels

Hersha’s Harrisburg corporate office spent time volunteering at Wildwood Park

Hersha Hospitality Trust  announced yesterday that the company was selected to receive the 2012 Lodging & Resorts Leader in the Light Award.

This national award, presented annually by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), recognizes Hersha and its EarthView  program for superior and sustained portfolio-wide energy use practices and sustainability initiatives. The award is the highest achievement for lodging and resort Real Estate Investment Trusts in the 2012 award competition. Hersha Hospitality Trust is a self-advised trust, which owns 64 hotels in markets including New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Miami totaling 9,221 rooms and including many properties from International Tourism Partnership member portfolios.

Hersha Hospitality's mission is 'committed to implementing sustainable and innovative practices that will benefit the environment, our local & global communities, and the performance of our business.' By partnering with organisations such as Clean the World and Habitat for Humanity, Hersha enables hotels to engage and support local communities. Through the EarthView program, Hersha has also achieved reductions in energy, water and waste, lowering the company’s environmental impact while producing property-level savings.The cumulative environmental impact of EarthView's energy management practices, for Phase I across the portfolio is estimated to have the following positive results:

  • Carbon: 10% Reduction in emissions = 4,500 cars off the road over 5 years
  • Water: 7% Reduction in usage = 330 olympic sized swimming pools over 5 years
  • Waste: 42% Reduction in waste = 20,000 dumpsters over 5 years

Steve Wechsler, NAREIT’s CEO, recognized Hersha’s industry leadership in sustainability and presented Jay H. Shah, CEO of Hersha Hospitality Trust, with the Leader in the Light award at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT’s Annual Convention. EarthView, Hersha’s sustainability program, is the internal driver of the company’s success in managing and reducing its portfolio-wide energy use.

New to this year, NAREIT’s Executive Board approved migrating its Leader in the Light award framework into the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) platform, which takes a data-driven approach to evaluating the sustainability performance of real estate companies. Applicants to the 2012 Leader in the Light competition were required to complete the GRESB survey, which counted toward 70% of each company’s total score, as well as a set of supplemental questions, which were evaluated by a panel of judges and comprised the remaining 30%t of available points.

'We are very proud to be recognized in the same company as other winners such as Simon Property Group, HCP Inc. and Vornado Realty Trust, for the impact EarthView is making on the properties in our portfolio. It is a testament to the value that comes from strategically integrating environmental and philanthropic initiatives into the core of our business practices,' said Shah.'NAREIT’s recognition highlights the trend of institutional investors’ interest in sustainability and measureable, profitable results – which EarthView provides.'

For further information  about the company go to www.hersha.com or About Earth View
For more information about implementing sustainable practices in hotel properties see Green Hotelier's Best Practice Case Studies

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