Last month Google announced a new feature to find the most eco-friendly routes, enabling users to more easily optimise their carbon footprint. Now, Google released a new tool releasing information on carbon emissions directly into Google Flights.
As of 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.
These emissions estimates are flight-specific as well as seat-specific. For instance, newer aircraft are generally less polluting than older aircraft, and emissions increase for premium economy and first-class seats because they take up more space and account for a larger share of total emissions.
To put these estimates in context, flights with significantly lower emissions will be labeled with a green badge. And if you want to prioritize carbon impact, you can sort all of the results to bring the greenest flights to the top of the list.
To produce these estimates, Google is combining data from the European Environmental Agency with the flight-specific information they get from airlines and other providers such as aircraft type, trip distance and the number of seats in each seating class.
Climate change is not a far-off threat, it is increasingly local and personal.Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company
“It’s critical that people can find consistent and accurate carbon emissions estimates no matter where they want to research or book their trip. That’s why we recently joined the Travalyst coalition, where we’ll help develop an open model for calculating carbon emissions from air travel and promote standardization across the travel industry using this framework,” stressed Google in a statement.