White Plains, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that it will participate in Earth Hour – a global environmental awareness event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – to send a powerful global message about the importance of environmental sustainability and caring for the planet. On March 28, hundreds of Starwood hotels flying brand flags, including St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and ElementSM , will turn off their lights and take other energy-saving measures for one full hour, underscoring the company's commitment to environmental sustainability.
From Brussels and Atlantic City to Sydney and Santiago, Earth Hour is drawing strong support from Starwood hotels in all corners of the world. In more than 90,000 hotel rooms, guests staying in participating Starwood properties will be encouraged to turn off the lights.
"Given the size and scope of Starwood's business operations, we have the opportunity to make a significant positive difference in the health of the environment," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "Our participation in Earth Hour symbolizes our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our business operations through the adoption of greener design, construction and operating practices."
Starwood hotels will take several momentous measures, including turning off exterior signage lighting; dimming or turning off non-essential interior lighting; using candlelight in appropriate public areas such as restaurants and bars; and informing guests about the hotel's observation of Earth Hour through in-room voicemail messages and guest room television messages. Additionally, hundreds of Starwood hotels around the world are coordinating supplementary awareness events such as walk-a-thons in their local communities, public candlelight unplugged concerts, and guest receptions featuring signature green cocktails.
Starwood made history in 2006 when it launched Element Hotels, Starwood's green trailblazer and the first major hotel brand to mandate that all U.S. properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification. Across its entire portfolio, Starwood is rolling out initiatives that aim to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and enhance indoor environmental quality for Starwood guests and associates alike.
Earth Hour began as an awareness effort in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when more than two million homes, businesses, and the city's biggest landmarks shut off their lights for one hour, resulting in a significant energy reduction across the city. Quickly evolving into a global phenomenon, Earth Hour drew an estimated 50 million people in 35 countries and 370 cities in 2008, and this year one billion homes, businesses and countries are expected to take part. For more information and video on the genesis of Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 940 properties in approximately 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.