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Yelp makes it easy to find and support eco-friendly businesses with new business attributes



Millions of people come to Yelp to find great local businesses that align with their preferences and values – from eating at restaurants that are Open to All, to patronizing cocktail bars with gender-neutral restrooms, to supporting women-owned retailers, and more. Relatedly, today more than ever, consumers are seeking businesses that prioritize sustainability to help reduce their environmental footprint. Adopting more eco-friendly business practices and consumer habits have never been more important, which is why we’re working with Plastic Pollution Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, Upstream, ReThink Disposable (Clean Water Fund), Reusable LA and others to double down on our commitment to sustainability this Earth Day.

Today, to help consumers easily find and support businesses that align with their values, we’re proud to announce new searchable eco-friendly business attributes, the top 100 vegan restaurants in the U.S., and local community events across the U.S. and Canada that give back to the planet, among other initiatives. Additionally, to help provide business owners with the information and tools they need to implement eco-friendly practices, we’re excited to introduce a new Sustainability Resource Hub for businesses.

Helping people find and support eco-friendly businesses

Yelp users are increasingly looking for more eco-friendly options on our platform. In fact, searches for “plant based” have increased an average of 56% each year from 2018 to 2021, and searches for “EV charging” have increased an average of 41% each year. To make it easier for consumers to find more sustainable businesses and to recognize the businesses that have committed to going green, we partnered with Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance working to reduce plastic pollution, to bring new searchable attributes onto the Yelp platform, including “EV charging station available,” “Plastic-free packaging,” “Provides reusable tableware,” “Bring your own container allowed,” and “Compostable containers available.” In addition to these new eco-friendly attributes, existing relevant attributes, such as “Bike parking” and “Vegan,” will also be searchable and highlighted in Yelp search results and business pages.

“The new Yelp sustainability attributes will allow people to more easily find eateries, bars, and cafes that are plastic free and support our values of thriving communities and a healthy, livable planet,” said Dianna Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition. “We’re grateful Yelp is using its platform in this way and we’re excited the new attributes will help more sustainable businesses stand out for their green practices.”

Yelp users can find the eco-friendly attributes on business pages listed under the “Amenities and more” section on Yelp.com or the “Info” section in our iOS or Android app, as well as highlighted on business listings in applicable search results.
Business owners can add these attributes to their Yelp Page for free by logging into their Yelp for Business account and editing their “Business Information” section. We are also surveying consumers to inform these attributes through the “Update the community” questions on Yelp business pages.

Supporting and celebrating sustainable local businesses

Practices such as reducing plastic waste and eliminating single-use utensils can sometimes require a small investment upfront, but these concerted efforts can save businesses money long term from avoided procurement and reduced waste fees. Additionally, these efforts have a major impact on communities and the environment, meet consumer demand and encourage other businesses to reflect on their own sustainable practices. 

On the other hand, figuring out how to transition to a more eco-friendly operation can be overwhelming, and businesses don’t always know where to start. To help, Yelp created a new Sustainability Resource Hub for business owners that provides access to information and tools from environmental nonprofits, such as Plastic Pollution Coalition, Upstream, Reusable LA, Surfrider Foundation, ReThink Disposable and Food Rescue Hero, as well as features the stories of small businesses who have committed to going green. This collection of resources provides tools to help businesses effectively communicate to consumers how they’re giving back to the environment, learn how to adopt more sustainable business practices, and get inspired by the efforts of other local businesses like theirs. In addition, Yelp for Restaurants will highlight industry-focused content for restaurant owners interested in sustainability, as well as host a virtual Town Hall on Thursday, April 21 featuring the Sustainable Development Goal 2 Advocacy Hub.

Leveraging Yelp data, we also released our first list of the Top 100 Vegan Places to Eat, with The Mediterranean Chickpea in Tampa, Florida taking the top spot. Eating a plant-based diet and consuming less meat and dairy helps decrease the deforestation, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal products, helping to slow climate change and secure our global food supply, according to the World Economic Forum

Celebrating Earth Day in local communities across the U.S. and Canada

This month, Yelp’s Community team is partnering with a variety of businesses, ranging from local parks to top-rated vegan eateries, to coordinate more than 35 events across North America. To help elevate sustainably-driven businesses, people can expect activities such as public park cleanups, vegan-focused meal experiences, sustainable self-care workshops and more local initiatives focused on being environmentally-friendly. 

We’re also celebrating the most eco-friendly states, according to Yelp reviews. Using Yelp review text we analyzed mentions of sustainability related topics over the past five years to identify a trend of more eco-conscious reviewers in every state – Oregon, California, Vermont, Nevada and Washington topped the list as the most eco-friendly. 

Empowering Yelp employees to go green 

In addition to supporting more environmentally friendly initiatives in our product and Yelp community, we’re also encouraging Yelp employees to prioritize green practices. Beginning April 13 through the month of May, the Yelp Foundation will double match employee donations to Plastic Pollution Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, Climate Emergency Fund, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Plant for the Planet. We’re hoping to drive real impact by supporting a diverse set of organizations that conserve resources, protect our planet’s biodiversity, respond to climate impacts, and ensure environmental justice for those most affected.

Throughout the month of April, Yelp will also host numerous events for our employees (with some available to the public) to learn more about the importance of choosing eco-friendly options in their daily lives — including topics such as sustainable investing, adopting a zero waste mindset, and more. Looking ahead, Yelp has also committed to conducting a climate assessment in 2022 to better understand and quantify the company’s environmental impact.

Our new eco-friendly business attributes, business resources, community events and more are the latest steps from Yelp as we strive to continue to do our part to encourage and support business owners, consumers and employees to take action in the fight against climate change.

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