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.
The GRESB survey is endorsed and closely watched by many of the world’s largest institutional investors, representing, in 2012, more than $1.7 trillion in institutional capital under management. “An increasing number of investors today understand the value of sustainable business practices and gravitate toward companies that have implemented these practices,” said Sheldon Groner, NAREIT’s executive vice president for finance and operations who administers the Leader in the Light Awards program.About Hersha Hospitality Trust Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) is a self-advised real estate investment trust in the hospitality sector, which owns and operates high quality upscale hotels in urban gateway markets. The Company’s 48 hotels totaling 7,755 rooms are located in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami and select markets on the West Coast. The Company’s shares are traded on The New York Stock Exchange-Euronext under the ticker “HT.” For more information on the Company, and the Company’s hotel portfolio, please visit the Company’s website at www.hersha.com. About EarthView EarthView is a program developed and implemented by The Hersha Group that is dedicated to fully integrated environmental and community policies that aim to make sustainable hospitality a genuine reality. EarthView delivers environmental and conservation programs that positively impact a hotel operation’s bottom line while simultaneously improving the well-being of our guests, our employees, our communities, and our planet. About NAREIT NAREIT, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, is the worldwide representative voice of REITs and listed real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate and capital markets. NAREIT’s members are REITs and other businesses that own, operate, and manage income-producing real estate, as well as those firms and individuals who advise, study, and service those businesses. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements related to the expected timing of the transaction described above, and, as such, may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or performance to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statement. For a description of these factors, please review the information under the heading “Risk Factors” included in Hersha Hospitality Trust’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.