Leading search engine company Google announced this week the integration of all-new tools and features aimed at making it easy for consumers to identify sustainable travel options.
“To achieve this, we’ve created a new team of engineers, designers and researchers focused solely on travel sustainability,” wrote Richard Holden, vice president of travel products at Google, in the Google Blog. “Already, this team is working to highlight sustainable options in our travel tools that people use every day.”
In fashion now
Starting this week, users will see information about hotel and resort sustainability efforts displayed during their searches. An “eco-certified badge” will now appear next to lists of hotel providers who have been found to meet the high sustainability standards of certain independent organizations, such as Green Key or EarthCheck.
For more details on a hotel’s sustainable development efforts (reducing its carbon footprint, reducing waste, increasing energy efficiency, conserving water, using materials from sustainable sources, etc.), users can simply click on its “About” tab.
Holden said Google is working with hotel chains, such as Hilton and Accor, as well as independent hotels around the world to collect accurate information about their eco-friendly practices and make it readily available to the public. Owners who have eco-certifications or eco-friendly programs that they want to share with travelers can add the new eco-centric attributes to their business profile through their Google My Business account.
And, Google is focusing on more than the hotel space, Travel + Leisure reported. It also plans to provide users looking for air travel with an estimate of carbon emissions for each flight option. To do this, the company has just joined the global Travalyst coalition, which already includes founding partners Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Trip.com Group, Skyscanner and Visa.
The Travalyst initiative was created by the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, in 2019 in response to public criticism of its and Meghan Markle’s use of private jets. In partnership with the coalition, Google “will help develop a standardized way to calculate carbon emissions for air travel,” Holden said. “This free and open impact model will provide an industrial framework for estimating the emissions of a given flight and sharing this information with potential travelers.”
“All of these updates are part of our commitment over the next decade to invest in technologies that help our partners and people around the world make sustainable choices,” Holden said.