Google is pledging to help us get a better idea of our travel choices with estimated carbon emissions/impact of any journey planned using Google Flights.
Announced in a dedicated blog post, now, when you use Google Flights to check the prices or times of flights, underneath the price and journey timing data, a carbon emission estimate will also be given for each airline. Google hopes that this added information will help people make more informed decisions when making travel arrangements.
Beginning today, you’ll see a carbon emissions estimate for nearly every flight in the search
results — right next to the price and duration of the flight. So when you’re choosing among
flights of similar cost or timing, you can also factor carbon emissions into your decision.
Google also says that carbon emission estimates are not just based upon a particular flight. The data produced is able to distinguish between aircraft classification, age, and even seats such as whether you choose Economy or First Class. Larger seats take up more space and, therefore, have a larger carbon footprint associated due to the increase in space requirements over smaller, densely compact seating.
Any options with “significantly lower” carbon emissions will be given a green badge that you’ll spot when searching Google Flights. You can also sort by the carbon emissions to work out which is the greenest airline or flight available to you.
Enhanced carbon emission checks for Google Flights join existing features that allow for quick feedback on the sustainability practices of hotels. Using the hotel search tool, you can see if a hotel has made any “meaningful commitments to sustainability.”
You’ll also be able to see whether hotels have gained any eco-certifications from the likes of EarthCheck or Green Key and a further 27 certifications which you can find here. If so, hotels will gain a badge that will be visible next to the venue name within search results. Expanding out the “About” tab for specific hotels will also list any and all confirmed sustainable practices. This expanded panel will show information on waste reduction, energy efficiency, and any water conservation efforts/measures in place.
This enhanced data for hotels and carbon emissions within Google Flights comes after the Search giant joined the Travalyst coalition. By joining the coalition, Google hopes to provide an industry framework to more accurately calculate carbon impact of our global air travel, alongside similar modelling for hotels and venues.
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