Building a Sustainable Future for Travel

An illustration of sustainable tourism
Finding sustainable options while traveling is now possible. Illustration credit: Courtesy of Google

This article is published in collaboration with Google.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to booking travel: price, health and safety, environmental impact, and more. Last year, we shared travel tools to help you find health and safety information. Now we want to make it easier for you to find sustainable options while traveling—no matter what you are doing or where you are going.  

To make that happen, we have created a new team of engineers, designers, and researchers focused solely on travel sustainability. Already, this team is working to highlight sustainable options within our travel tools that people use every day. 

When you search for hotels on Google, you will see information about their sustainability efforts. Hotels that are certified for meeting high standards of sustainability from certain independent organizations, like Green Key or EarthCheck, will have an eco-certified badge next to their name. Want to dive into a hotel’s specific sustainability practices? Click on the “About” tab to see a list of what they are doing—from waste reduction efforts and sustainably sourced materials to energy efficiency and water conservation measures.

A GIF of Google travel solutions
Google is helping to develop a standardized way to calculate carbon emissions from air travel. Photo credit: Courtesy of Google 

We are working with hotels around the world, including independent hotels and chains such as Hilton and Accor, to gather this information and make it easily accessible. If you are a hotel owner with eco-certifications or sustainability practices you want to share with travelers, simply sign in to Google My Business to add the attributes to your Business Profile or contact Google My Business support

Making travel more sustainable is not something we can do alone, which is why we are also joining the global Travalyst coalition. As part of this group, we will help develop a standardized way to calculate carbon emissions for air travel. This free, open impact model will provide an industry framework to estimate emissions for a given flight and share that information with potential travelers. We will also contribute to the coalition’s sustainability standards for accommodations and work to align our new hotel features with these broader efforts.

All 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. Look out for more updates in the months ahead as our travel sustainability team works with experts and partners to create a more sustainable future for all.

Richard Holden of Google

Richard T. Holden
Director, Product Management, Google

Richard Holden is responsible for the product strategy for Google AdWords, the company's search advertising program. In this role, Richard's duties include defining, building, and launching new features and enhancements for the AdWords program and working with the engineering team on product prioritization and implementation.  Richard has worked on the AdWords product management team since joining Google in 2002.

This article was first published by Google on 22 September 2021.

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