NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HEI Hotels & Resorts (HEI), the nation’s fastest growing private owner/operator of hotel real estate, today announced that it has been selected by President Obama’s Administration to participate in the prestigious Better Buildings Challenge. The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative launched in February 2011 by President Obama, and is spearheaded by former President Clinton and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The initiative supports job creation by spurring private sector investment in commercial and industrial building energy upgrades. Apart from job creation, implementation of the initiative seeks to reduce American businesses' energy costs by $40 billion over the next decade. Last year alone, U.S. commercial buildings consumed approximately 20 percent of all the energy consumed by the U.S. economy.
Selection of participants was based on companies with significant advancements in the area of energy conservation. HEI has a long history of demonstrated achievements in the area of social responsibility, including energy conservation and reducing its carbon footprint, employee safety, employee wellness, community redevelopment and participation in a litany of local and national charitable causes. As it relates to energy conservation and reducing its carbon footprint, HEI has been and continues to be a recognized leader.
HEI’s energy initiatives, developed by a passionate group of corporate and hotel employees, resulted in the company being named the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010 and in 2011. The Partner of the Year Awards, selected from among thousands of participating organizations, recognizes efforts to use energy efficiently in facility operations and to integrate superior energy management into overall organizational strategy. Additionally, in 2009, HEI was the recipient of the coveted Corporate Energy Management Award by the Association of Energy Engineers. This award is given to only one company annually. Since the award’s inception in 1978, only one other hotel company has won the award (Marriott in 1978), and past winners include Toyota (2008), General Motors (2007), U.S. Postal Service (2006) and McDonalds (2005). These prestigious awards were given to HEI for its innovative programs and measures that resulted in outstanding energy consumption reductions. HEI’s energy initiative is built upon a number of programs that were originally designed in 2005 and have been continuously improved since then.
“The ingenuity, hard work, and commitment of our employees at corporate and in our hotels to our long standing social responsibility program has resulted in our selection to participate in President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge. Selection not only exemplifies our strides in the specific areas of energy conservation and a reduction of our carbon footprint for generations to come, but moreover, is a testament to the talent, passion and commitment of our employees. This passion defines our culture as we continuously strive to set a higher standard of excellence in social responsibility,” said Gary Mendell, chairman and CEO of HEI Hotels & Resorts.
As a participant in the Better Buildings Challenge, HEI is committed to further reducing its portfolio-wide consumption of energy and waste output in its ever growing square feet of building space. Through selection into President Obama’s initiative, HEI will also seek to identify and develop other energy savings initiatives with other companies selected to the President’s initiative.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment firm that acquires, develops, owns and operates full-service, upper upscale and luxury hotels and resorts throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Embassy Suites, and Hilton. For more information about HEI, visit the company’s website, www.heihotels.com.