Google has launched a new eco-certified rating for hotels that enables hotels to promote their sustainability credentials on the hotel details page. When a user searches for a hotel Google will show the eco-certified logo as part of the main listing.
When a user clicks the logo they can view more details and although hotels self-report and need to opt-in to the feature, they need to be certified by an accredited independent company that will audit based on the required standards and the audit itself must include a site visit.
According to Google, the evaluation must focus on environmental impact from at least 4 categories which must include energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and sustainable sourcing. This means that sustainable practices can range from conserving water by reusing towels to providing vegetarian meal options for guests.
To receive an eco-certified badge, hotels must contact a “globally recognised and reputable agency” to conduct an on-site audit of the hotel’s sustainability practices.
Google is partnering with organisations like Green Key or EarthCheck to perform these certification processes.