Google has revealed updates to its Maps and travel search platforms designed to help users opt for the more sustainable options.
Carbon emissions information has been added to Google Flights from this week enabling people to see the CO2 associated with each flight and seat on an aircraft.
The search giant’s Hotel Search will also make information clearly available on the sustainability efforts by operators in areas like waste management, water conservation and accreditations.
In addition Google has started rolling out an eco-friendly routing option on Maps and has launched a redesigned content-rich results page for people who ask about climate change.
The new features announced today come after Google became the latest corporate backer of Travalyst, the sustainable travel initiative launched by Prince Harry.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google parent Alphabet, said the firm was committed to helping one billion people make more sustainable choices.
“Our goal is to make the sustainable choice the easier choice,” he said. “Individually they might be small, but multiply them together across our projects and that equals big transformations for the planet. There’s no time to waste, so let’s get started.”
Stephanie Horton, Google’s global consumer marketing director, said searches for eco-hotels has doubled as people start to travel again after the COVID pandemic.
“Promoting more sustainable travel is not something we can do alone, that’s why we joined Travalyst to bring standardisation across the industry.
“That will make sure that wherever you are booking your travel you have reliable information and help you make a sustainable decision.”
Pichai added: “Climate change is no longer a distant threat — it’s increasingly local and personal.
“Around the world, wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather continue to affect our health, our economies and our future together on our planet.
“We need urgent and meaningful solutions to address this pressing challenge. That’s why last year we committed to bold action to run our data centres and campuses on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.
“Companies aren’t the only ones asking what more we can do to help the planet – increasingly people are asking themselves those questions, too.
“So today we’re sharing several new ways people can use Google’s products to make sustainable choices.”
Google is also working with cities on an AI project to make traffic lights operate more efficiently and has launched Nest Renew to help homeowners heat their properties in a more sustainable way.
It has also pledged to run the cleanest cloud computing platform on the planet and is working with industry giants like Salesforce, Whirlpool, Etsy, HSBC, and Unilever on their sustainability challenges.