Yelp adds eco-friendly business search filter

Diving brief:

  • Yelp on Wednesday introduced new search tools to help users find eco-friendly businesses and businesses that have adopted sustainable business practices. According to a company blog post, Yelp is working with the Plastic Pollution Coalition for the initiative.
  • New business attributes highlighted on Yelp’s search and business results pages are sourced from both business owners and consumers and include information such as “provides reusable tableware”; “bring your own container allowed;” “compostable containers available;” “EV charging station available;” and “plastic-free packaging”.
  • Yelp said the feature coincides with growing customer interest in sustainability, with searches for “plant-based” increasing an average of 56% from 2018 to 2021, and searches for “EV charging” increasing in average of 41% each year.

Overview of the dive:

Yelp users aren’t the only ones paying more attention to eco-friendly options. New research shows more than 70% of global consumers are actively purchasing more environmentally friendly products than just five years ago, while more than a third of consumers are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products of the environment.

This trend is expected to continue growing as 39% of Gen Z and 42% of Millennials are more actively taking steps to be more sustainable, according to consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners. This means Yelp should have – and keep – an engaged audience when introducing these new features.

Yelp has already introduced search attributes, including for Asian-owned, female-owned, Black-owned, and LGBTQ-owned businesses. Guiding consumers to the features they’re looking for should make their experience easier, while translating into sales and traffic for businesses. Thirty-five percent of Yelp users visit a company’s website within 24 hours of searching, for example. Yelp’s giant footprint, which included 33 million unique users at the end of 2021, could entice more businesses to add more such attributes.

According to The Impact Investor, there are several new apps to guide consumers towards a more sustainable lifestyle, including apps that help people reduce food waste, but none specifically focused on restaurants. OpenTable has a list of the best eco-friendly restaurants in the United States, but it only includes 202 restaurants.

Yelp goes a step further by allowing businesses to tout their sustainability efforts and making those attributes searchable. Yelp users can find the new green attributes on business pages under “amenities and more,” while business owners can add these attributes for free to their “business information” section.

The app has also added a new Sustainability Resource Center for Business, which provides access to information and tools from environmentally focused nonprofits, including the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Upstream, ReThink Disposable, Reusable LA, Surfrider Foundation, Food Rescue Hero and other organizations.

In its blog post, the company said the hub was created to help companies implement more sustainable equipment, as companies often don’t know where to start.

“This collection of resources provides tools to help businesses effectively communicate to consumers how they are giving back to the environment, learn how to adopt more sustainable business practices, and learn from the efforts of other businesses like theirs,” said Yelp.

In addition to sustainable attributes, Yelp has also created a list of the top 100 vegan restaurants in the United States and coordinates local events across North America, such as vegan dining experiences, public park cleanups and more. .

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