Google Puts Green Hotels on the Map

Search engine giant flags green certified hotels and highlights their key sustainability initiatives

Google has unveiled a new feature to flag hotels and destinations which demonstrate winning sustainability practices and a commitment to eco-friendly business.

Users will discover a green leaf symbol displayed alongside hotel listings when searching for travel options. Prominent buttons labelled ‘Learn More’ will direct you to a Sustainability tab which lists out the hotel’s green credentials in more detail.

Google itself is not conducting sustainability audits but instead citing the respective hotel property to be “certified as environmentally friendly by an independent organisation recognized by Google.”

The new Sustainability tab focuses on the following four key categories: water conservation; sustainable sourcing; energy efficiency; and waste reduction. Information displayed here is self-submitted by the hotel before being independently verified by eco-certification groups like GreenKey and EarthCheck in partnership with Google.

Speaking at YouTube’s DearEarth event in 2021, Google CEO Sundar Pichai claimed solving climate change to be “humanity’s next big moonshot”.

“But unlike the moon landing”, Pichai added, “there is a clear deadline for action, and severe consequences if we fail.”

In 2021 Google claimed to be the largest annual corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world and stated its ambition to decarbonize its electricity supply completely, vowing to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy, everywhere, by 2030.