TripAdvisor GreenLeaders – Why Are Hotels Scrambling to Get Accredited?

"81% of guests place importance on hotels implementing green practices" - TripAdvisor Survey 2014

By Lindsey Hall

What’s GreenLeaders?

TripAdvisor launched its GreenLeaders campaign across Europe in March 2014, following a highly successful first year in America with over 3,700 establishments receiving accreditation. The programme highlights green hotels and allows guests to search for establishments that embody these values. It grades hotels based on the extensiveness of their green practices from bronze through to platinum.

With criteria that focus on practices that lead to better environmental outcomes specifically for the hospitality industry, the GreenLeaders award scheme is uniquely tailored to a hotel’s requirements.

“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 helps consumers – and indeed investors – understand who is taking this seriously.”

John Alker
Director of policy and communications at UK Green Building Council

Who’s getting accredited?

​​Some of Europe’s top hotel chains are racing to get their hotels accredited: More than half of NH hotels (nearly 200) have achieved the status, along with 67 Melía hotels in Europe. All Marriott partner hotels in Europe are also now GreenLeaders/ GreenPartners. But it’s not just the big guys. Hundreds of independent hotels are also joining the bandwagon.

So how does becoming a GreenLeader benefit your hotel?

Higher rankings

On TripAdvisor, higher rankings equal more page views, which translates into more sales. A no brainer!

"We see 20% higher ratings for properties with TripAdvisor GreenLeader status”

Jenny Rushmore
Director of Responsible Travel, TripAdvisor


Travellers wanting to stay in eco-responsible hotels can filter all of the results for a location by the criteria “green”. This will place your hotel into a much smaller list of suitable establishments. In Barcelona city, it would take the search results down to 26, from over 500. In London, your hotel would be one of only 41, out of over 1,000.

Badges that enhance your brand

On becoming accredited, your establishment gains a fancy little badge that sits under your profile picture in all TripAdvisor search results, and on your property page. This looks even better if you’ve achieved Gold or Platinum status. Even if a guest doesn’t know what GreenLeaders is, who doesn’t like to see that a hotel is Gold or Platinum level for something!

Third party approval

Whilst some hotels and hotel groups have their own sustainability or environmental programmes, the marketing potential that comes from aligning your programme with that of GreenLeaders is significant. It serves to give both your programme and your practices a third party seal of approval: “We’re green, and TripAdvisor vouches for us.”

Being Green is a sign of quality

Part of the GreenLeaders programme involves training your staff to become more knowledgeable about what your hotel is doing for the environment, and why you’re doing it! This will ensure that your sustainability programme is accurately and consistently followed through by all staff. You’ll also be creating sustainability ambassadors who embody the values of your hotel and ensure that guests recognise your genuine desire to be eco-responsible.

Reduced Operating Costs

True sustainability makes more than just environmental sense. It makes good business sense. By focusing on energy, water and waste consumption through the GreenLeaders programme, your hotel will reduce its operating costs and improve margins. Just tracking the consumption of these resources will help to identify inefficient practices and equipment and allow for savings without any initial investment.

When staff practices are reviewed and additional training provided, efficiencies can be found beyond those possible by just changing equipment. The simple truth is that it doesn’t matter how energy efficient your laundry equipment is, if your housekeeping staff are running it with half loads of washing!

How can we help?

If you're looking for recognition for the sustainability practices you already have in place, or need help getting started, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders is the perfect accreditation. Green Steps' virtual sustainability consultancy service will ensure that you get it quickly and easily.​

Our service is designed to provide your hotel with everything you need to become accredited, including all the required compliance documentation.​ Get a free Skype consultation with us and we'll have you started in no time.