Google updates search tool for eco-certified hotels

WORLDWIDE: Google has updated certain aspects of its search tool to filter results for sustainable accommodation.


WORLDWIDE: Google has updated certain aspects of its search tool to filter results for sustainable accommodation.

The search giant has added an eco-certified filter to its Google Travel search engine, for hotels which meet certain sustainability standards.

Travellers using the Google.com/travel search engine can use the filter to limit the hotel results they see to only those which have been eco-certified.

Google is working with organisations such as the US Green Building Council and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to improve the accuracy of its hotel certification data.

Google is also a member of the Travalyst Coalition, which has helped its sustainability framework. Expedia recently joined the Travalyst Coalition and launched its Sustainability framework, Open World.

Expedia launches latest sustainability strategy Open World

WORLDWIDE: Expedia has launched its new global social impact and sustainability strategy known as Open World.

WORLDWIDE: Expedia has launched its new global social impact and sustainability strategy known as Open World.

The Open World social impact and sustainability strategy complements the Open World technology platform, which launched earlier this year. The platform was created for partners to leverage and offer products and services which would work together in the travel ecosystem.

Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO, Expedia Group said: “Travel is transformative. It broadens horizons, strengthens connections and changes perspectives. With our new Open World social impact and sustainability forward-looking plans, we will further our mission to power travel for everyone, everywhere. Travel needs to lighten its footprint on the planet, and everyone should be able to experience it and receive the associated benefits. Now is the time to innovate the existing model. We have a responsibility to enable a stronger, more sustainable industry.”

Open World aims to foster a healthy planet and a travel industry that mitigates and adapts to climate change. The sustainability parts of the report includes a Q&A section with Expedia’s CEO Peter Kern.

Q: How is Expedia Group helping advance a more sustainable travel industry?

“Our collective industry must recognise that we impact the environment with every travel experience we sell. At the same time, travel is one of the biggest economic drivers for many communities throughout the world; we must ensure the future of travel for generations to come. As travellers are increasingly shopping their values, they are turning to our platform for inspiration and guidance, and we will be ready to meet this desire for greener, more responsible choices. We’re committed to working together with our partners and peers to ensure the industry can fulfil the scientific imperative of Net Zero by 2050. This commitment encompasses our initiatives with the UNWTO and the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, among others, to accelerate sustainability in the travel industry. And we’ve already started at home with our LEED Gold Certified Seattle headquarters and the purchase of renewable electricity to power our offices worldwide.”

Expedia Group recently joined the Travalyst Coalition (helps travel companies deliver sustainability frameworks and methodologies to travellers worldwide). and signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism along with more than 450 organisations.

Under the declaration, Expedia Group will support the global goals of cutting emissions in half over the next ten years helping the travel industry achieve Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. 

Expedia Group is also developing a long-term climate action plan. A partnership with The Travel Foundation will offer training and practical guidance to destination marketing organisations (DMOs), enabling them to manage change at a local level.

Booking.com released its sustainability report earlier this year.

Travel management company CWT joins Global Sustainable Tourism Council

WORLDWIDE: CWT, a global travel management company, which helps companies manage their travel and accommodation needs, has become a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.


WORLDWIDE: CWT, a global travel management company, which helps companies manage their travel and accommodation needs, has become a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Randy Durband, chief executive officer of GSTC said: “GSTC is delighted that CWT joins the rapidly growing list of major brands that see the value in applying the GSTC Criteria, and our programs, as part of their commitment to enhance the sustainability of their extensive operations and supply chain.”

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), business travel spending worldwide has more than doubled since 2000 – and in 2019 peaked at roughly USD$1.28 trillion. However, as the GSTC says on its website “business travel also has a negative effect on our environment. Sustainable business travel is concerned with managing the costs, social impacts and environmental consequences generated by the use of different modes of business travel.”

Using the GSTC Criteria as a reference point, corporates and organisations can put in place systems to adopt sustainable working policies and practices.

CWT has a broad portfolio of responsible travel products, services and measures to help its clients reach their sustainability goals. In March CWt implemented carbon footprint indicators, and in June it launched enhanced CO2 emission reporting to underpin responsible travel programs for travel bookers to make green choices for corporate travellers.

CWT works with Thrust Carbon, to bring further enhancements to its responsible travel consulting and portfolio. 

Charlie Sullivan, VP product management at CWT said: “CWT has worked collaboratively with its customers and partners for over a decade to provide innovative sustainable corporate travel solutions and insights. We are thrilled to be part of the GSTC family, combining our efforts and influence to drive awareness and adoption of standards for sustainable travel”. 

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC®) manages the GSTC Criteria, the global standards for sustainable travel and tourism; as well as acts as an international body providing assurance for sustainable tourism certification in three key subsectors of tourism: hotels/accommodations, tour operators/agencies, and destinations. 

Recently, Agoda, the digital travel and booking platform, teamed up with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to help create sustainable tourism practices for hotels.

Photo: Google Pexels

Dubai hotel stays green with sustainable technology system

UAE: Dubai Four Points by Sheraton Downtown has developed a sustainable management plan for guests and staff.

UAE: Dubai Four Points by Sheraton Downtown has developed a sustainable management plan for guests and staff.

The plan, keeps the hotel inline with sustainable policies guided by Green Globe.

The hotel, which was certified by Green Globe in 2020, is using green technology to heat up and cool down the building. The Adiabatic Cooling Pad System creates chilled air using a pre-cooling technology that utilises less water and energy. 

The hotel also uses a building management system (BMS) and achieves carbon reduction and energy savings of up to 50 per cent.

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), as well as lighting and window sensors, are connected to the BMS meaning they work automatically based on whether the guest is in the room or the room is empty.

Karam Beshara, Four Points by Sheraton Downtown’s director of engineering said: “Receiving Green Globe Certification for the third year in a row is an important milestone within Four Points by Sheraton Downtown’s wider commercial commitment to the environment, society and culture, quality, and health & safety. It’s our intention to improve on this performance and achieve greater sustainability and environmental responsibility in the years ahead. This certification has definitely encouraged all of us in the hotel to introduce additional green initiatives.”

Guests at the hotel are also given the opportunity to make green choices, such as paperless check in, or using their Mobile Key to opt out of unnecessary housekeeping, saving energy and water.

You’ll find some of the acronyms (and more) used in this piece explained in our Glossary for Sustainable Hotels.

Scandic to open 100 per cent renewable energy hotel

NORWAY: Scandic Hotels, Norway’s largest hotel operator, has signed an agreement for a new 220-room hotel in Ski, just outside Oslo.

NORWAY: Scandic Hotels, Norway’s largest hotel operator, has signed an agreement for a new 220-room hotel in Ski, just outside Oslo.

The hotel will be part of Norway’s new environmental requirements and guidelines from Nordic Ecolabel

This means the hotel will have to use ecolabeled products and chemicals as well as 100 per cent renewable energy.

The hotel will reject any products using single-use disposables, and will be reducing its water consumption. 

There will be a “climate-friendly” menu and reduced food waste.

The rooms at the new hotel will be designed with the circular economy in mind and parts of the room interiors will be environmentally certified or made from recycled materials, most of which can be reused or recycled during renovations. 

The property will also be constructed according to a high environmental and technical standard with the goal to be certified according to BREEM Excellent, one of the highest levels in environmental certification for buildings.

Asle Prestegard, head of Scandic Hotels Norway said: “We are very happy to have had this opportunity to open a new Scandic hotel in Ski.  This agreement will strengthen our position in the region surrounding Oslo, which is undergoing rapid development, and at the same time create an exciting new meeting place for people who live and work in the city.”

The hotel is expected to be completed in 2026.

The hotel company recently opened Scandic Helsinki Hub in Finland which also adhered to the principles of sustainable development with many of the hotels original elements being preserved. The hotel achieved the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

Scandic is the largest Nordic hotel operator with more than 280 hotels in operation and under development in more than 130 destinations. The company currently operates 19 hotels with a total of 4,211 rooms in and around Oslo.