Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) announced today that the company was selected to receive NAREIT’s 2013 Lodging & Resorts Leader in the Light Award; the highest achievement for lodging and resort REITs in the 2013 award competition. This national award, presented annually by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), recognizes Hersha and its EarthView® program for superior and sustainable portfolio-wide energy use practices and sustainability initiatives. Steven A. Wechsler, NAREIT’s President & 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 2013: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT in San Francisco, CA. The award is presented to REITs in eight property sectors. Hersha was distinguished as leading the Lodging sector alongside other sector winners including AvalonBay Communities in Residential, Prologis in Industrial, and Vornado Realty Trust in Diversified Real Estate. EarthView, Hersha’s sustainability program, is the internal driver of the company’s success in managing and reducing its portfolio-wide energy use. Through the EarthView program, Hersha achieved reductions in energy, water and waste that lowered the company’s environmental impact while producing property-level savings. “We are honored to be recognized for the second consecutive year as the NAREIT Lodging & Resorts Leader in the Light,” said Shah. “Our focus on achieving measurable, profitable results through our EarthView triple bottom line sustainability program strategically positions Hersha as a best-in-class investment option for an ever increasing number of institutional investors who weigh sustainability as part of their investment analysis.” New to last year’s award competition, 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 2013 Leader in the Light competition were required to complete the GRESB survey, which measures the environmental performance of property portfolios around the world.