TripAdvisor to promote eco-friendly hotels

Travel website TripAdvisor on Wednesday announced that it is accepting applications from U.S. accommodations to be considered for its soon-to-be launched TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program.

Created in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, the United Nations Environment Programme and the U.S. Green Building Council, the program will recognize eco-friendly properties and help travelers plan greener trips. Large hospitality companies including Best Western, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Select Registry, as well as independent hotels, are participating in the program.

Applications will be reviewed against a set of environmental criteria developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners. Accommodations meeting a minimum standard of green practices will be awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its TripAdvisor GreenLeaders level, which will be shown prominently on the property’s listing on the TripAdvisor site.

All properties qualifying for the TripAdvisor GreenLeader program must have a basic set of green practices in place, including: 

• Tracking energy use on a regular basis (at least quarterly)

• Using at least 75% energy-efficient light bulbs

• Having current and active towel and linen re-use plans in place

• Recycling at least two types of waste

• Staff training on green practices

• Guest education on green practices

Other criteria relating to energy, water, purchasing and waste will also factor into a hotel’s GreenLeader level.

TripAdvisor research reveals that travelers are extremely interested in making eco-friendly travel choices, with 71% planning to do so within the next three months. Yet despite 81% of U.S. hoteliers indicating that they currently have green practices in place, research indicates nearly a quarter of these respondents do not communicate their green efforts to guests.

TripAdvisor is launching the program in the U.S. first with plans to expand it to other countries in due course.