Google Unveils Raft of New Sustainability Features Across Suite of Products

Google today revealed a raft of new sustainability features aimed at helping consumers be more green.

Google announced new features to Google Flights, Hotels, Maps, a new service called Nest Renew, and more on Wednesday, aiming to give users more information about the carbon footprint of their actions and help them make more sustainable choices.

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Here are some of the new eco-related features included in a number of Google’s products:

  • When you search for flights on Google, you’ll see the CO2 emissions for each flight, with green badges for the lowest-footprint options. The tool also calculates emissions per seat; first-class seats have a larger footprint since they take up more of the plane.
  • If you search for appliances like furnaces in the US, you’ll now see suggestions in Google’s Shopping tab for the most cost-effective and sustainable options.
  • Google Finance now shows sustainability scores for companies, based on data from the nonprofit CDP, and the tool will soon also include a sustainability score for your whole portfolio.
  • If you search for hotels, you’ll see information about the sustainability of different hotels.
  • In cities that offer bike navigation directions, a new “lite navigation” option will soon be available that lets cyclists easily see their progress, ETA updates, and elevation along the route without having to leave their screen on continuously.
  • Information about bike and scooter share locations will expand to 300 cities around the world.
  • Nest is offering a new service that will let you shift heating and cooling to the times that the grid is cleanest or the energy is least expensive. Another option will let consumers buy renewable energy credits for the energy they’re using at home.
  • In new pilots in Israel and Brazil, Google is testing the use of AI to optimize traffic lights. In early results, the intervention saves fuel use (and time, waiting at lights) by 10 to 20 percent.

The company, which is already a leader in its efforts to cut its own carbon footprint, wanted to make it simpler for individuals to also make more sustainable choices.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, said every move is part of the tech giant’s aim “to help one billion people make more sustainable choices by 2022.”

Check out the entire press release over at Google’s Keyword site for more information.

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