Google is using the emissions’ report model developed by Travalyst to display flight emissions data, in an effort to push travelers towards making more sustainable travel choices.
Led by Prince Henry, Travalyst is a non-profit organization aiming at making sustainable tourism a reality for all. The coalition was created in 2019, when the Duke of Sussex brought together TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Visa. Google joined only in September 2021.
One month after the search engines joined the coalition, Google started displaying carbon emissions estimates for all searches made on Google Flights, and announced it was working on the development of an open model for calculating flights’ carbon emissions with Travalyst.
Last week, Google released a free “Travel Impact Model” for emissions estimates. Skyscanner also started using the framework on its platform for consumers. The adoption of the new model by the two Travalyst partners follows a recent scientific study that has highlighted the ineffectiveness of carbon offsetting.
According to Travalyst CEO Sally Davey, consumers struggle to make more sustainable travel choices due to the “lack of visibility and overly complicated information.”
We know that one of the barriers to consumers making better choices is a lack of visibility and overly complicated information, leading to confusion.Sally Davey, Travalyst CEO
She added that her company is helping travelers make more informed decisions by delivering clear and consistent tools for collecting and reporting flights’ emissions data. “It is hugely significant that our partners have reached agreement on this framework and will be using the same data across all of their platforms,” she added.
Google will act as a technology provider, making it possible for more platforms to display carbon estimates using the Travel Impact Model. However, other calculators are already catching on, and more agencies and booking tools are starting to display carbon footprint data. Examples include SAP Concur and CWT. The remaining four Travalyst’s partners have confirmed their intention to adopt the model, and it’s likely that more brands will follow the steps of Google.