Google Announces New Sustainability Features

Google’s new updates allow you to make flights, driving, and other travel less carbon-intensive. On October 6th, the company announced a new suite of tools to help people live more sustainable lives. They include a new option in Google Maps to take the route with the lowest carbon emissions (if it’s not already the shortest route), as well as the ability to see CO2 emissions of flight options when searching in Google Flights. Google will also show users information about the sustainability efforts of hotels and different options for appliances and cars when shopping on its site.

Google reports that its fuel-efficient routes have constant speeds, less traffic, and fewer inclines. It estimates that it could save more than 1 million tons of CO2 from being emitted per year while saving consumers on gas money. If you use Google maps on your iPhone or iPad, this will be the option with the green leaf icon next to it. Google Flights looks at the locations, aircraft types, and the number of seats in each class to analyze emissions, using the European Environmental Agency emission estimates. Users can sort flight options from least to most emissions.

Google announced last year that its data centers and campuses would run on carbon-free energy by 2030. The company has also said it will prioritize ‘authoritative information from sources like the United Nations’ when consumers ask questions related to climate change on its search engine.