WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) A leading light in hospitality is about to go dark. But just for an hour - and for a good cause.
For the second year, hundreds of hotels in the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) portfolio will participate in Earth Hour, the global environmental awareness event created 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 27, from Beijing and Brussels to Baltimore and Buenos Aires, Starwood hotels flying brand flags, including St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and ElementSM , will turn off their lights and take other energy-saving measures for one full hour, underscoring the company's dedication to environmental sustainability.
This year, in more than 90,000 hotel rooms, guests staying in participating Starwood properties will be encouraged to turn off the lights. Additionally, as they did last year, participating Starwood hotels will take the remarkable steps of turning off exterior signage lighting; last year, the darkened hotels offered striking visual imagery that provided an apt symbol of Earth Hour. Properties will also participate by dimming or turning off non-essential interior lighting, using candlelight in appropriate public areas such as restaurants and bars, and using in-room voicemail messages and in-room television messages to inform guests about Earth Hour observances.
Starwood hotels around the world will also coordinate Earth Hour awareness events, including community walk-a-thons, public candlelight "unplugged" concerts, and guest receptions featuring signature green cocktails.
"The enthusiasm we saw from our guests and associates last year made it clear how much they share our passion for sustainability and environmental stewardship," said Sandy Swider, Vice President of Global Citizenship, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "Considering that Starwood does business in every corner of the world, we have a terrific platform for sharing messages about the impact each one of us can have if we work together."
Starwood itself made history when it launched Element Hotels, Starwood's green trailblazer and the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. 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.
On Earth Hour, March 27, 2010, hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple--turning off their lights for one hour. The movement symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in this fight, protecting our future and that of future generations. Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour's non-partisan approach has captured the world's imagination and became a global phenomenon. Nearly one billion people turned out for Earth Hour 2009 - involving 4,100 cities in 87 countries onseven continents. Last year, 80 million Americansand 318 U.S. cities officially voted for action with their light switch, joining iconic landmarks from around the world that went dark for Earth Hour.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world, with 992 properties in almost 100 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(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), 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.