General Travel News

Starwood goes dark for Earth Hour 2011

Starwood is switching off on March 26 – but just for one hour, and for a great cause.

The global hospitality leader will once again join the worldwide movement of people and businesses planning to turn off the lights for Earth Hour 2011 in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

This year will mark Starwood’s third annual participation in Earth Hour, making it one of the biggest companies to create a statement with a voluntary hour of darkness.   Hundreds of hotels in the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) portfolio will take part 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. 

For the first time, Starwood Preferred Guest – Starwood’s award-winning loyalty program – invites guests to take part in Earth Hour and will award 100 Starpoints to every member who registers at www.spg.com/earthhour. 

On March 26, from Beijing and Brussels to Baltimore and Buenos Aires, Starwood hotels flying brand flags including St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, 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. 

As they have in previous years, participating Starwood hotels will take the remarkable steps of turning off exterior signage lighting.  The darkened hotel buildings 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.  This year, in more than 100,000 hotel rooms, guests staying in participating Starwood properties will also get encouraged to turn off the lights. 

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. 

“This year’s theme emphasizes what we all need to do once the lights come back on, which aligns perfectly with Starwood’s ongoing dedication to environmental stewardship,” said Sandy Swider, Vice President of Global Citizenship, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.  “It was inspiring to see how passionately our associates and guests all over the world embraced the spirit of Earth Hour last year, and they made a powerful statement about how each of us can make a difference.” 

Starwood itself has made history with industry-leading green initiatives.  In 2008, the company launched Element, Starwood’s green trailblazer and the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for high-performance buildings.  Across its entire portfolio of brands, Starwood now leads with 10 LEED-certified buildings.  Last year, Starwood set targets to reduce energy and water consumption all of its owned, managed, and franchised properties by 2020.  And in 2010, the company installed electric-vehicle charging stations at all nine Element hotels across North America. 

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