WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, have joined forces on their sustainability initiatives to encourage the hospitality industry to adopt more eco-friendly practices. AH&LA has integrated the minimum eco-friendly requirements of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ program as part of its Green Guidelines. Now accommodations meeting the AH&LA guidelines will also qualify for the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program. "TripAdvisor is a trusted site visited by millions of travelers each year," said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. "Our partnership will effectively educate consumers about green practices incorporated by the lodging industry in their operations, and it aligns these two important industry programs. The outstanding work of AH&LA's Green Task Force and the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders team will ensure the industry continues to become more sustainable in its operations, and that consumers seeking hotels that focus on green initiatives can make more informed choices." "By leveraging TripAdvisor's massive scale and transparency, the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program is fundamentally changing the way travelers discover and experience eco-friendly accommodations in the U.S.," said Jenny Rushmore, director of responsible travel at TripAdvisor. "We are excited to team up with the AH&LA to further advance and support the hospitality's efforts to improve green practices." AH&LA Enhances Green GuidelinesAH&LA first launched its guidelines in 2008, and has updated its existing 11 guidelines to 14 aligned with TripAdvisor GreenLeaders' criteria, including two brand new guidelines from the program: how to train staff on implementing green practices and how to provide information to guests on the hotel's green practices. The additional aligned criteria are towel and linen re-use programs, using energy-efficient light bulbs, tracking energy usage, and recycling. To apply for the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, lodging properties can visit green.tripadvisor.com. To see the AH&LA's full list of 65 green guidelines, including ROI, best practices, and resources, visit www.ahla.com/green. TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Gains MomentumLaunched in the U.S. in April, 2013, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders is now the largest national green hotel program that directly assesses eco-friendly practices, featuring more than 2,000 participating properties. Accommodations are distinguished by a special badge next to the property's listing on the site to help its community of more than 260 million monthly travelers plan and have a greener trip. To join the free program, a property must meet seven minimum requirements and complete a survey on its eco-friendly practices before being assigned a level based on its commitment, ranging from GreenPartner to Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. TripAdvisor GreenLeaders was 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. Since the program's launch, more than 100,000 travelers have searched for green hotels on TripAdvisor.