“ Stop obsessing with how personally green you live—and start collectively taking on corporate power,” writes environmental writer Martin Lukacs in a July 2017 Guardian article. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that company-wide sustainability policies far outweigh individual efforts. With a portfolio of 50 hotels and 7,724 rooms, Hersha Hospitality Trust follows a number of protocols to ensure social and environmental goodwill. The real estate investment trust has a huge reach across the country, including urban gateway markets like Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. The brand’s registered trademark initiative “EarthView” is spearheading the mass- sustainability movement in the hotel sector. The strategy behind the program is simple: social and environmental good results in financial good. The initiative has since been recognized with numerous accolades, and for good reason. Guestroom recycling is a standard for every Hersha-owned property, according to SVP of Finance and Sustainability Bennett Thomas in an interview with NAREIT. A cross-functional team involving the corporate office and the hotel staff helps keep the sustainability goals tangible, yet practical. Energy savings Per the latest data on the company’s website, Hersha managed to cut back 19 percent of energy consumption per occupied room in 2016 compared with 2010. The company website also states that 97 percent of properties were retrofitted with LED lights, which according to the U.S. Department of Energy are more efficient than standard CFL, with approximately 15,000 hours more bulb life. “We try to implement sustainability that is almost invisible to our guests. For example, we’re implementing guestroom occupancy sensors across our portfolio,” Thomas tells NAREIT. Occupancy sensors By NAJOOK PANDYA GREEN TRENDZ Hersha Hospitality knows the value of social consciousness 46 \ HOSPITALITY TRENDZ \ JANUARY 2018 www.hospitalitytrendz.com CONSIDERING THE GREATER GOOD The National Association of Real Estate Investments Trusts (NAREIT) conducts annual awards with a “Leader in the Light” category, recognizing sustainable corporate practices. The participating companies need to maintain a strong place in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Survey to increase their odds of winning. Hersha Hospitality Trust has been awarded four times in the Lodging/Resorts category since EarthView’s inception in 2010. Hotel Milo Santa Barbara's Bike Program lets guests explore the city with reduced carbon footprint. Image courtesy of Hersha Hospitality Trust.