A study published by Booking.com earlier this year indicates that at least 71% of travelers around the world want to travel to their destinations in a more sustainable way that has less impact on the environment, but they lack the necessary information to take this into account when choosing a flight.
Google has developed digital tools so that people can find tickets on flights or other means of transportation in which an amount of carbon emissions is estimated, so that users who wish to have this information into account when making a purchase, can access it faster.
According to the technology company, its transportation and even accommodation search services have a filter that allows a comparison to be made between various options, so that a cost-sustainability balance is made for people who consider it important and feel comfortable during their trip.
We want to make sure that the environmental impact of your travel options is always part of the equation.Google
Flights that appear in the search tool, Google Flights, can be sorted according to the “Emissions” category, which allows users to determine which routes they want to take to get to their destination quickly. Similarly, accommodations can also be sorted with the “Green Certification” label.
In both cases, these filters can be even more specific and prioritize, for example, flights with low emissions over others on the same route, or only view accommodations that have a green certification on their facilities.
To improve the accuracy of these results, Google is now working directly with organizations like the US Green Building Council (which provides LEED ratings) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to begin importing their database of eco-certified hotels.
Train travel is a good option for transportation and to reduce the carbon emissions generated during the trip. These services are much more environmentally friendly because they can accommodate several passengers on the same route, which means that, per person, carbon emissions are much lower.
There is still a long road ahead but we believe these new tools bring us one step closer in that direction.Google
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), “road vehicles account for more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, compared to almost 1% for trains”.
That is why, for some countries where train travel is common, the Google Search search engine will allow users to buy travel tickets on this service directly from the platform. This feature, at least for now, is only available in selected countries, such as Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan.
When searching for train tickets, the Google Search search engine will display a module that will have information about the routes, the times they leave the station and the price they have. When the user decides to buy one, he/she only needs to click on the option he/she prefers and will be redirected to the transportation company’s website to make the purchase.
Although the train function is limited, the company indicates that it may expand to other countries where partnerships with other train companies can be established. Google also plans to begin testing a similar feature for bus tickets in the near future to broaden the choices for intercity travel.