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The programme was developed in consultation with the International Tourism Partnership, the Carbon Trust, the UK Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme. GreenLeaders aims to help travellers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting hotels and lodgings engaging in environmentally-friendly practices.
The programme, which was previously only offered in the U.S., awards qualifying hotels and B&Bs with TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status based on the green practices the property is operating. Properties are tiered with Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum awards. Each award is shown prominently on the property’s listing on TripAdvisor.
According to a recent TripBarometer® traveller survey by TripAdvisor, 81% of travellers place importance on properties implementing eco-friendly practices, and 85% of UK hoteliers indicate that they have green practices in place.
Now hotels and B&Bs in 19 markets including UK & Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are able to apply for TripAdvisor GreenLeaders status, adding to those in the U.S.
Eligible businesses can apply at no cost, by going to green.tripadvisor.co.uk. Each application will be assessed against a holistic set of environmental criteria – including practices ranging from linen and towel re-use, recycling and composting through to solar panels, electric car charging stations and green roofing. The more green practices a hotel or B&B has in place, the higher the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders level it can achieve.
Furthermore, properties that meet the programme’s required green practices but do not achieve the minimum score necessary to earn a GreenLeaders award will instead be eligible for GreenPartner status.
“With so many travellers placing an importance on the eco-friendly practices of the places they visit, accommodation owners stand to gain a real competitive edge by promoting their environmentally friendly programmes,” said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. “Our GreenLeaders programme will enable businesses managing their environmental footprint to highlight their commitment to millions of travellers around the world, at no expense to their business.”
Dominic Burbridge, associate director at the Carbon Trust, said, "There are a lot of simple, cost effective actions that hotels can take to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable; through looking at buildings, catering, laundry, staff behaviour and their supply chain. Having worked with the hospitality industry for over a decade, we know that in almost every case there are ways to implement some well-chosen initiatives that create a greener, more efficient hotel. This results in saving money as well as enhancing the overall pleasurable and memorable experience for guests."
TripAdvisor GreenLeaders first launched in the U.S. in April 2013, and has since awarded over 3,700 accommodations GreenLeaders status, making it the largest green hotels certification programme in North America. Hotels participating in the programme range from small, independent establishments through to multinational brands including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and Select Registry.
“Nearly half of our global hotel portfolio has GreenLeader status through the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme," said Denise Naguib, vice president, sustainability and supplier diversity for Marriott International, "Travellers want to be 'green' and contribute to the conservation and preservation of the environment. This tool will help them easily plan and book their next eco-friendly trip."
Gordon Fraser, group finance director at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said, “As reflected by accolades, including 2012-2013 AA Eco Hotel Group of the Year, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is firmly committed to our ‘Room 15’ sustainability programme that group-wide aims to minimise our carbon footprint and maximise environmentally sound practices.
“The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme presents a further opportunity to highlight to our customers that Macdonald Hotels & Resorts takes its responsibilities for implementing industry leading environmentally sound sustainability practices extremely seriously.”
John Alker, director of policy and communications at UK Green Building Council, said, “For the hotel and leisure sector, going green is not only the right thing to do, it’s just good business. Green should be viewed as another aspect of quality. The GreenLeaders programme will help consumers – and indeed investors – understand who is taking this seriously.”
Properties interested in registering for the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders programme can visit green.tripadvisor.co.ukfor more information.