Dear Fellow Stakeholders,
We created the EarthView program in 2010 to provide positive financial returns through sustainable initiatives and to further our environmental and community stewardship, areas we consider a part of our core responsibilities. Now having completed its eighth year, generating positive impact on our financial bottom line, our planet, and our communities, our EarthView program has once again demonstrated that a triple-bottom-line approach works.
This year, we received the 2018 Adrian Award for Corporate Social Responsibility by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) – a global hospitality industry organization with 7,000 members across 35 countries. This award recognizes companies that are leaders in environmental impact, associate relations, and community support.
2018 was transformative for our Company as we completed our asset recycling campaign and repositioned and renovated many of our hotels to unlock their long-term growth potential. After four years of disruption from portfolio recycling, Hurricane Irma related closures, and significant capital investment, we are keenly focused on executing our business plan to generate meaningful EBITDA growth. Performance for our portfolio at the end of 2018 displayed the earnings potential of our hotels.
Over the past year we aligned our sustainability-focused priorities and achievements with global efforts. This includes framing our priorities using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, reporting our environmental metrics using the gold-standard Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, and committing to setting internationally recognized Science-Based Targets. In this report, we share the extent of our impact and opportunities for us to continue building on Hersha’s success, and also building a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable world.
Looking forward, we will continue to be strategic with our use of resources and provide environmental, social, and governance (ESG) solutions for all of our stakeholders. We are also encouraged by the growing awareness of ESG amongst our peers and the lodging community. The triple-bottom-line spirit as well as stalwart commitments to innovation are inspiring and I am proud of our associates’ many accomplishments in this area. I am excited to push boundaries and create value for our stakeholders both for today and for the future.
Thank you for taking the time to read our report.
Jay H. Shah
Chief Executive Officer
Hersha Hospitality Trust