Google has just made it easier to find sustainable hotels.
The internet search engine has launched a new feature that allows travelers to view a hotel’s sustainability efforts. From now on, a search for hotels on Google will reveal whether or not the establishment has been certified eco-responsible.
Certified hotels will display an “eco-certified” badge, meaning that “the hotel has been certified environmentally sustainable by third-party groups recognized by Google,” according to the company. Independent groups issuing the certifications include the sustainable tourism companies EarthCheck and Green Key.
The hotel’s ‘About’ tab displays its green credentials, citing the company’s efforts to conserve water, reduce waste, energy efficiency and sustainably procure. For example, the H hotel in Los Angeles, which carries the “eco-certified” badge, offers programs for energy conservation, towel and linen reuse, food waste reduction and soap donation. Eco-certifications also state that the hotel offers vegetarian meals and does not use polystyrene containers or single-use plastic straws.
The new search function is a step in the right direction when it comes to minimizing the environmental impacts of the tourism industry. These include the depletion of natural resources due to overconsumption, pollution and waste issues, to name a few.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, carbon emissions from the tourism sector are expected to increase by 25 percent by 2030.
But tourists are increasingly looking to “green” their trips. A global survey released this year by Booking.com found that 83% of travelers consider sustainable travel to be important. Sixty-one percent of those polled said their interest in sustainable travel has been aroused due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to google trends, the term “green hotel” has increased four times its normal search volume since March 2020.
A number of other websites offer services for finding sustainable hotels, including Ecobnb, World Nomads, and Green Pearls.
Google is looking to go further. The research giant has partnered with Travalyst, a non-profit organization that advocates for sustainable travel, to develop a method for calculating the carbon emissions of air travel. Once established, travelers would be able to see the environmental impact of their flights.
“These updates are part of our commitment over the next decade investing in technologies that help our partners and people around the world make sustainable choices, ”Richard Holden, vice president of travel products at Google, Explain.
About the Author
PERSONAL WRITER | LOS ANGELES, CA Audrey writes on sustainability, food and entertainment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in audiovisual journalism and political science.