At the end of September, Google released a new feature in Google Hotel Search that makes it easier for you to shine a light on sustainability in your hotel.
The green “eco-certified” label next to the small leaf icon, just to the right of your hotel’s rating, represents your hotel’s commitment to sustainability. This commitment has to be certified by an external agency and is based on an assessment that uses a set of globally recognized criteria. The assessment focuses specifically on your environmental impact in four categories: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and sustainable sourcing. On your hotel’s detailed information page, all practices are then further broken down into these four categories:
Here’s how it works
You can add your hotel’s sustainability practices through your Google My Business (GMB) account. Simply choose from a list of options in four categories and indicate whether you hold any environmental certifications. The attributes and certifications will show up on the hotel overview in the Sustainability section, depending on what you’ve specified.
You can select the following attributes in GMB:
- Energy efficiency
- Water conservation
- Waste reduction
- Sustainable sourcing
According to Google, these attributes have been carefully reviewed, selected, and summarized as the most common and effective practices in the industry.
Eco-certifications are awarded to hotels that meet sustainability criteria set by an independent certification body. Eco-certifications also serve as a signal to consumers and the public that your hotel is actively working to make a positive impact on the environment.
When a hotel is labelled “eco-certified” on Google, it means that it has received certification from an agency identified by Google as meeting the following standards:
- The agency must use globally recognized and reputable criteria to rate the hotel.
- The assessment must focus on environmental impact in at least the four categories listed above.
- The agency must conduct an on-site audit to verify the hotel’s sustainability practices or hire an independent third party to do so.
Note that Google does not verify the certification status of individual hotels. Here is a list compiled by Google of environmental certifications.
Definition of sustainability terms
One more thing: since wording can be very wide open to interpretation – especially in the area of sustainability – Google provides more information on some of the sustainability practices you’ll find in GMB. Google uses the following terms and definitions to standardize sustainability practices across our hotels:
- Energy from carbon-free sources
- Locally sourced food and beverages
- Organic cage-free eggs
- Eco-friendly toiletries
- Responsibly sourced seafood.
Of course, Google’s new feature will only begin to make an impact once lots of hotels start using it. Our account managers would be happy to answer any questions you may have about sustainability. Nevertheless, you can see here again how important and crucial your hotel’s online presence on Google is, for example, if you want to focus on sustainability and thereby attract guests. Our account managers and sales team are happy to provide advice and support for your hotel’s online presence on Google. Feel free to contact us using the form below.