NEWTON, Mass., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the launch of its new TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ program, helping its community of more than 200 million travelers plan greener trips by highlighting U.S. accommodations engaging in environmentally-friendly practices. Developed in partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR® program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme, qualifying hotels and B&Bs will be awarded TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status based on the green practices the property has in place.
How TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Works The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program considers a property's holistic approach to green practices and ranks them based on four levels of participation -- Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum -- which will be shown prominently on the property's listing on the TripAdvisor site. The more green practices a hotel has in place, the higher its TripAdvisor GreenLeaders level.
A comprehensive list of eco-friendly practices are evaluated, from linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting through to solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing. Accommodations that do not meet the requirements for TripAdvisor GreenLeaders, but do have the seven minimum green practices in place, will be awarded TripAdvisor GreenPartner status.
Travelers will be able to tailor their search on TripAdvisor for hotels participating in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, and view a detailed list of environmentally-friendly practices that they can expect at each location. TripAdvisor's community of travelers will also be invited to comment on a hotel's green credentials following a stay at a participating property, and in the future their feedback will be displayed on the site.
The program has launched with a group of more than 1,000 properties, comprised of independent hotels to multinational brands, including Best Western, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Select Registry, as well as numerous independent hotels. New applications for entry into the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program will continue to be reviewed against a set of environmental criteria developed for TripAdvisor by a leading environmental consulting firm, with input from expert partners.
Travelers Want to Be Green As recently revealed by the TripBarometer by TripAdvisor, the world's largest accommodation and traveler survey¹, 79 percent of travelers place importance on properties implementing eco-friendly practices, and 85 percent of U.S. hoteliers indicate that they currently have green practices in place.
"TripAdvisor GreenLeaders uniquely details accommodations' green practices complemented by feedback from the millions in the TripAdvisor traveler community," said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. "The transparency of the program makes it easy for environmentally-conscious travelers to plan and book a greener trip."
"Through its Energy Star program, EPA is proud to partner with TripAdvisor to help launch this breakthrough initiative to help foster greener travel across the country," said Jean Lupinacci, chief of EPA's Energy Star program for Commercial Buildings and Industrial Plants. "Thousands of hotels across America are actively managing their energy use and related greenhouse gas emissions with help from Energy Star. Now, through the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, travelers will have the information they need to choose these types of sustainability-minded hotels."
TripAdvisor is launching the program in the U.S. first with plans to expand it to other countries later this year. Travelers can learn more about the GreenLeaders program at www.tripadvisor.com/GreenLeaders. Properties interested in registering for the GreenLeaders program can visit green.tripadvisor.com for more information.
¹ Methodology: The TripBarometer by TripAdvisor is based upon an online survey conducted in December 2012 – January 2013. A total of 35,042 people participated in the online survey from 26 countries spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 15,595 consumers and 19,447 businesses, making it the world's largest combined accommodation and traveler survey. More than 2,000 U.S. travelers and more than 3,000 U.S. accommodation businesses participated in the survey.
About TripAdvisor TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.