TripAdvisor's GreenLeaders program launches in Europe

TripAdvisor is expanding its GreenLeaders program to Europe, according to the Malay Mail Online. The program, which launched last year in the U.S., was designed alongside the United Nation Environment Program and is used to identify properties who are making strides in sustainability.

As part of the program, European hotels will be assessed on criteria such as the re-use of linens and towels, recycling practices, composting, their use of solar panels if available and the installation of electric car charging stations. A property that qualifies as a GreenLeader will be identified by a leaf and awarded a bronze, silver, gold or platinum designation.

Travelers will then be able to access an online list of these properties on TripAdvisor's website. Reviewers will also be encouraged to comment on a hotel's green credentials after a stay.

According to Blue and Green Tomorrow, the GreenLeaders program was developed due to the rising interest in green hotels from both a guest and investment standpoint. A TripAdvisor survey last month found that nearly 25 percent of Americans are trying to make environmentally conscious choices regarding hotel stays, and that carries over into how a hotel operates. While nine percent of European travelers surveyed claimed to have chosen a hotel based on its green policies, 44 percent of European travelers surveyed believe hotels don't provide enough information on sustainability practices to make a clear decision.

"There are a lot simple, cost-effective actions that hotels can take to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable, by looking at buildings, catering, laundry, staff behavior and their supply chain," Dominic Burbridge, associate director at the Carbon Trust, a consultancy on business sustainability, told edieEnergy. "Having worked with the hospitality industry for over a decade, we know that in almost every case there are always ways to implement some well-chosen initiatives for creating a greener, more efficient hotel. This results in saving money as well as enhancing the overall pleasurable and memorable experience for guests."