Dear Fellow Stakeholders,
Sustainability is an integral part of our business model and core values – our EarthView program has enhanced our financial performance by decreasing utility costs, driving corporate demand, attracting and retaining superior talent, and mitigating our climate and regulatory risks. In the face of increasing state, federal, and local climate-related regulations and growing demand for sustainable tourism and low-carbon business travel, our triple-bottom-line approach has afforded us a distinct advantage and a position at the vanguard of our industry. In 2022, we outpaced 2019 EBITDA in each quarter, recovering from the fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our balance sheet strategy significantly increased our cash flow. We have reduced our reliance on leverage, providing economic flexibility to invest in infrastructure and capital improvements that support our sustainability goals and drive returns by increasing the efficiency of our capital allocation.
Our team’s engagement drives extraordinary results. In 2022, we were recognized for our corporate responsibility and ESG leadership by multiple organizations. Among them, Hersha Hotels and Resorts ranked as one of America’s Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek for the fourth consecutive year, ranked #1 in Public Disclosure by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for hotels, and was named one of NYC’s Best Places to Work by Crain’s.
In our view, sustainability is essential to protect the environment and create lasting social and economic value. Last year, we launched our new learning and development initiative through which property leadership teams underwent comprehensive EarthView sustainability training and established ESG goals for their business units. The program supports leadership engagement and consistent program implementation. Through these collaborative sessions, our sustainability team has created a system for sharing insights and best practices for resource efficiency, waste reduction, and community engagement.
At Hersha, we remain committed to social equity and inclusion. As a reflection of our “tone at the top,” our CEO signed the CEO Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion in his first month in office, demonstrating a clear and specific intention to foster more inclusive workplaces from our hotels to our corporate offices.
We continue to embody our core value of Hearts That Serve by giving back to disadvantaged communities at home and worldwide. Our partnership with the Waterboys organization has provided access to clean drinking water for over 32,200 people in need. Our team has spent over 20,000 hours volunteering in our local communities since 2015, and our partnership with Clean the World has provided more than 590,000 bars of soap to people lacking access to hygiene products.
I am proud to present our 2022 Hersha EarthView Sustainability Report, which details the comprehensive services and programs of EarthView, quantifies our impact, and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to leading environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. We continue to drive toward our 2030 ESG targets with significant energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and improved waste diversion. We are excited to utilize EarthView to continue to improve and expand how we make a difference for our business, communities, and planet.
Thank you for taking the time to review our report.
Jay H. Shah
Hersha Hotels & Resorts