Google is introducing a way for hotel owners to highlight their sustainability practices to environmentally-conscious consumers. There’s a growing trend of consumers who care about the environmental impact of their purchases. They’re increasingly seeking out information to help them make more informed and responsible decisions.
You can add your hotel’s sustainability practices through your Google Business Profile. Choose from a list of options across 4 categories, and indicate if you’ve received any eco certifications. Attributes and certifications will appear on the hotel placesheet in the “Sustainability” section based on what you’ve reported.
Sustainability practices and definitions
These are the attributes which you're able to select in Business Profile. They have been carefully considered and selected to best summarize common and most impactful practices across the industry. Google uses the following terms and definitions to align sustainability practices across our hotels.
|Energy conservation program||
Your property has an energy conservation program that includes the following:
Emissions are either verified by a third-party organization or published in external communications.
|Energy from carbon-free sources||
Your property sources carbon-free electricity through one or more of the following methods:
|Energy use audited by an independent organization||
Your property conducts an energy audit every 5 years. The results are either verified by a third-party organization or published in external communications. An energy audit is a detailed assessment of the facility which provides recommendations to existing operations and procedures to improve energy efficiency, available incentives or rebates, and opportunities for improvements through renovations or upgrades.
Examples of organizations that conduct credible third-party audits include: Engie Impact, DNV GL (EU), Dexma, and local utility providers. These organizations often provide energy and water audits.
|Energy-efficient heating and cooling systems||
|Energy-efficient lighting||At least 75% of your property's lighting uses LED or CFL light bulbs with more than 45 lumens per watt.|
Your property installs energy-saving thermostats throughout the building to conserve energy when rooms or areas are not in use. Energy-saving thermostats are devices that control heating and cooling in the building by learning temperature preferences and automatically adjusting to energy-saving temperatures as the default.
The thermostats are automatically set to a temperature between 68-78 °F (20-26 °C), depending on seasonality. In winter, set the thermostat to 68 °F (20 °C) when the room is occupied, lowering room temperature when unoccupied. In the summer, set the thermostat to 78 °F (26 °C) when the room is occupied.
|Electric car charging stations||Your property provides EV charging stations where guests recharge their electric cars.|
|Green building design||Your property has LEED or BREEAM certification.|
|Towel and linen reuse program||Your property offers a towel and linen reuse program.|
|Water-efficient faucets, toilets, and showers||Your property’s guest rooms have shower heads that use no more than 2 gallons per minute (GPM).|
|Water use audited by an independent organization||
Your property conducts a water conservation audit every 5 years. The results are either verified by a third-party organization or published in external communications. A water conservation audit is a detailed assessment of the facility, providing recommendations to existing operations and procedures to improve water efficiency, available incentives or rebates, and opportunities for improvements through renovations or upgrades.
Examples of organizations who conduct credible third-party audits include: Engie Impact and local utility providers. These organizations often provide energy and water audits.
|Compostable food containers and cutlery||
Your property offers 100% compostable food containers and cutlery. Compostable materials are capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site, such that material is not visually distinguishable and breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass.
|Donates and composts excess food||Your property has a program and policy for diverting waste from landfills that may include efforts to donate for human consumption or divert food for animal feed.|
|Food waste reduction program||
Your property has a food waste reduction and donation program aiming to reduce food waste by half. These programs typically use tools such as the Hotel Kitchen Toolkit and others to track waste and measure progress.
|No single-use plastic water bottles or straws||
Your property bans single-use plastic water bottles and straws.
|No Styrofoam food containers||
Your property eliminates the use of Styrofoam in disposable food service items.
|Recycling program||Your property has a recycling program, aligned with LEED waste requirements, and a policy outlining efforts to send less than 50% of waste to landfills. The recycling program includes storage locations for recyclable materials, including mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals.|
|Refillable toiletry containers||Your property has replaced miniature individual containers with refillable amenity dispensers for shampoo, conditioner, soap, and lotion.|
|Safe disposal of electronics, batteries, and lightbulbs||
|Safely handles hazardous substances||
Your property has a hazardous waste management program aligned with GreenSeal and LEED requirements, and meets all regulatory requirements for hazardous waste disposal and recycling. Hazardous means substances that are classified as “hazardous” by an authoritative body, such as OSHA or DOT, are labeled with signal words such as “Danger”, “Caution”, “Warning”, or are flammable, corrosive, or ignitable.
|Soap and toiletry donation program||Your property participates in soap and toiletry donation programs such as Clean the World.|
|Water bottle filling stations||Your property offers water stations throughout the building for guest use.|
|Eco-friendly toiletries||Your property provides soap, shampoo, lotion, and other toiletries that have a nationally or internationally recognized sustainability certification, such as USDA Organic, EU Organic, or cruelty-free.|
|Locally sourced food and beverages||Your property sources locally in order to lower the environmental footprint with reduced transportation and to stimulate the local economy. Products produced less than 62 miles from the establishment are normally considered locally produced.|
|Organic cage-free eggs||Your property sources 100% certified organic and cage-free eggs, which includes shell, liquid, and egg products. Cage-free means hens are able to walk, spread their wings, and lay their eggs in nests.|
|Organic food and beverages||At least 25% of food and beverages, by spend, are certified organic. Organic means products that are certified to one of the organic standards listed in the IFOAM family of standards. Qualifying certifications include USDA Organic and EU Organic, among others.|
|Responsible purchasing policy||Your property has a responsible procurement policy in place. Responsible means integration of social, ethical, and environmental performance factors into the procurement process when selecting suppliers.|
|Responsibly sourced seafood||
|Vegetarian and vegan meals||
Your property provides:
Eco certifications are granted to hotels that meet sustainability criteria designated by a third-party certification agency. Eco certifications also serve as a signal to help consumers and the broader community know that your hotel is actively working to make a positive environmental impact in the world.
When a hotel is labeled “eco-certified” on Google, it means they have reported earning a certification from an agency that Google has identified as meeting the following standards:
- The agency must use globally recognized and reputed criteria to evaluate the hotel.
- The evaluation must focus on environmental impact from at least these 4 categories:
- Energy efficiency
- Water conservation
- Waste reduction
- Sustainable sourcing
- The agency must conduct an on-site audit to verify the hotel's sustainability practices, or use an independent third party to do so.
List of eco certifications
Currently, the following eco certifications meet our standards. Each has comprehensive and rigorous sustainability criteria that aims to reduce a hotel’s carbon footprint.
- Asian Ecotourism Standard for Accommodations (AESA)
- Biosphere Responsible Tourism Standard
- Bureau Veritas
- Control Union
- Eco-Certification Malta Standard
- Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification Standard
- GREAT Green Deal Certification
- Green Globe
- Green Growth 2050 Standard
- Green Key
- Green Key Eco Rating Program
- Green Seal
- Green Star Hotel Standard
- Green Tourism Active Standard
- Hilton LightStay
- Hostelling International’s Quality and Sustainability Standard
- Hoteles más Verdes (AHT) Standard
- ISO 14001
- ISO 50001
- Nordic Swan Ecolabel
- Preferred by Nature Sustainable Tourism Standard for Accommodation
- Sustainable Travel Ireland – GSTC Industry Criteria
- Sakura Quality
- TOFTigers Initiative’s PUG Standard
- Travelife Standard for Hotels & Accommodations
- United Certification Systems Limited
- Vireo Srl
- Wyndham Green