Google is joining the Travalyst coalition — and has put in place a new team of engineers, designers and researchers focusing only on travel sustainability — to create tools that help make it easier for people to find sustainable options while traveling. The new team will work to emphasize sustainable options within Google’s travel tools.
Google says as part of Travalyst it will develop a standardized way to measure carbon emissions for air travel. It also says it will contribute to the organization’s travel accommodations standards. Travalyst is a nonprofit organization that includes businesses Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com, Tripadvisor and Visa with the goal of making all travel sustainable.
Hotels will be the first area of the Google project to offer the public travel sustainability information results. Google says travelers will be able to see how hotels stack up regarding sustainability beginning this week.
Google is using sustainability standards from independent organizations like Green Key and EarthCheck, and hotels that are then certified for sustainability will have an eco-certified badge next to their names. Google also says travelers can find out about a hotel’s specific sustainability practices, such as using efficient energy, practicing water conservation or how they are reducing waste.
Google says it is working with hotels globally, including independent business and chains, to provide the information.
Sustainability in travel is becoming increasingly important in the travel industry. Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel report says 83% of travelers think sustainable options when traveling are essential, but only 49% believe there are enough of those options available. The report also says that 75% of accommodation providers have implemented sustainability practices, but only one-third communicate what they are actually doing.
Aviation is taking on travel sustainability as well. Boeing said in early 2021 that it plans to have planes that can operate on 100% sustainable fuels available by 2030. Southwest, Alaskan and Jet Blue are among airlines that have made recent progress in sustainable travel.
Google says the effort to offer information on sustainable travel is part of its ongoing goals to operate with carbon-free energy by 2030 and to help more than 1 billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022.