An Earth Day 2022 Initiative: Helping Consumers Find Businesses that Offer Recycling Services

As we celebrate Earth Day 2022, we cannot help but think of the many floods, storms, and droughts in recent times that have left people with no choice but to leave their homes. The effects of climate change are becoming clearer each passing year. People around the world are mobilizing to fight further exacerbation by making more sustainable lifestyle choices and opting for recycling services. Recycling is one example of how business owners and consumers are doing their part to reduce emissions and save resources. On Earth Day 2022, we partnered with Google to spread the word on the recently launched Recycling Attribute that helps local businesses promote their recycling services online.

Consumers are proving themselves to be more environmentally conscious and Google searches for recycling facilities have more than doubled in the past 5 years. At the same time, an increasing number of industry-led initiatives are introducing recycling programs to improve their environmental impact. A great example is the fashion industry where, according to a recent McKinsey study, more than 60% of executives have already invested or plan to invest in closed-loop recycling by 2023.

On Earth Day 2022, we also sat down with Charles Antoine de Leiris, Product Marketing Manager at Google, to learn more about what the company is doing to encourage sustainable action and how businesses offering recycling services can better connect with increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

You've come up with a new feature called Recycling Attribute for Earth Day 2022. Can you tell us what it is and how it works?

CA de Leiris: The Recycling attribute is part of a wide array of attributes aimed at letting customers know details about a business, such as outdoor seating, but also whether they’re a Women-led or LGBTQ+ friendly brand.

It helps consumers to easily find recycling services for specific products, like batteries, clothing, or plastic bottles in their area. For instance, when people search for “battery recycling near me”, businesses that have battery recycling services and use the Recycling attribute on their Business Profile will appear in Google Search.

In the past, only recycling centers would appear, many often located outside of city centers and not so easily accessible for many people. Luckily there are many retailers that already offer such services, it’s just that most people are simply unaware.

As a business owner, what do I need to do to use this attribute?

CA de Leiris: Businesses can activate the recycling attribute in their Google Business Profile by simply going to “Business information”, “More” and then selecting the attributes they want to activate. The chosen attributes will then appear to the public on their Business Profile and they can be easily identified as a business offering recycling services.

What led Google to the idea to create this attribute?

CA de Leiris: For a long time Google has been committed to sustainability and helping to protect the environment - and recycling services are an essential part of that. We realized there was a real consumer need as people are becoming more environmentally conscious. Recent research conducted by Deloitte in the UK shows that people want to recycle, but they don’t know how to do it properly. Gaining a better understanding of how to recycle products came up as a top priority for most people, and that’s where this new feature can help to make a difference.

In what other ways does Google encourage businesses to act sustainably?

CA de Leiris: Our main goal is to make sustainable living the easier choice for consumers. Attributes are a current focus, but we have many vertical solutions. For instance, hotels can choose to highlight their sustainable business practices, such as having a more eco-friendly policy for towel changing. Another example is online food shopping, where we’ve been working on ways to help expand consumers’ choices for more sustainable products.

With the recycling attribute, we’re focussing on the businesses at the heart of the community, helping local chains and independent shops to make their sustainability offerings and recycling services more visible. By doing this, we not only support small businesses but consumers too. Consumers are in fact more empowered and able to choose shops that align with their values - something that has become a priority for many.

As a global company, a lot of people look up to Google. As a role model, how do you reduce your carbon footprint in your daily life?

CA de Leiris: We indeed want to set an example. For quite some time we’ve been working to reduce our own carbon footprint by using electricity that comes from sustainable sources among other things. We set strict criteria to improve our energy consumption and lead the way. We’re now working to leverage technology to offer more sustainable solutions to our partners and customers too - such as the application of AI to recycling lines making the process of sorting waste more efficient. We’re also taking part in initiatives to help solve issues like ocean pollution and regularly partner with other organizations setting ambitious goals for sustainability.

Does your business offer recycling services? As a supporter of sustainable and environmentally-friendly living, we highly encourage you to tell your customers about it this Earth Day 2022.

If you want to know more about how we can help your customers find your business for the right reasons at the right time, reach out to us using the link below.

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