Google takes steps to make travel greener

Which would you choose?

Google processes approximately 5.6 billion searches per day, this epic volume of search data provides sharp insights into customer behaviour and trends. When Google adds a new feature you can be sure it’s in response to rising consumer interest. 

Two recently announced features have captured the attention of the travel industry. It’s now possible to see carbon-emissions estimates for every flight in the search results and hotels certified as environmentally sustainable are highlighted.

It’s important to note that the flight emissions figures are estimates and subject to variations such as: the flight’s speed and altitude, seating layouts and aircraft load. Google states that it “will continue revising carbon emission estimates over time to improve accuracy”. However, it’s the transparency that is key to influencing customer behaviour. Sharing this information helps holiday makers and business travellers make better choices, in much the same way as food labels showing high levels of fat, salt and sugar ‘nudges’ people to choose healthier options. This also speeds the rate of change in the travel the industry, by promoting competition between the airlines and hotel operators to improve their environmental practices.

Last month Google joined Travalyst, (the global sustainable travel Coalition), they plan as part of this group to create a standardised model for calculating air-travel emissions, which will be shared freely, providing an industry framework for calculating the emissions from any flight.

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