Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Nasir Hanif
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia is a search engine that uses 80% of its profits to plant trees in the areas of the world where they are most needed.
This search engine was born in Germany in 2009 from an idea of Christian Kroll, a German entrepreneur who was the founder of other sustainability projects such as Xabbel, Forestle and Znout.
Ecosia’s mission is to concretely contribute to creating a world in which man can live in harmony with nature in a sustainable and green way. To do this, Christian Kroll has decided to focus on a business model with a positive social impact for all: generating profits through the advertising of his search engine and donating most of the profits to a beneficiary who invests these proceeds in reforestation works.
At the moment this beneficiary is WeForest with the “Great Green Wall” program, literally “Great Green Wall”. These are green oases created to combat desertification in Africa, to encourage agriculture and to develop indigenous plantations. This has generated new jobs, reduced food shortages and decreased episodes of mass exodus due to the poverty of the area.
Why is it so topical now?
Ecosia has increased its notoriety from year to year, but especially in recent months it has had a great impact on all the media thanks to the growing attention to environmental sustainability issues.
The sad episodes of arson in the Amazon, which have risen among the search trends in recent weeks, have increased even more the feeling of social responsibility of users, who have begun to be reflected in the Ecosia mission.
The new generations, in particular, are developing a great focus on the issue of sustainability. They are increasingly realizing that resources are limited and our world is a precious commodity to be conserved and preserved.
There are many habits that can be introduced into everyday life to try to minimize our environmental impact and to do good to the earth. One of these is definitely choosing Ecosia. How many times a day do we ask a search engine for information? Dozens, maybe hundreds. With Ecosia, without any effort, we can make an action we do every day extremely positive.
How does it work and how can a user use it?
Ecosia works just like all search engines.
The user does a search and the engine returns paid sites and ads for that particular search query. Ecosia’s results are provided by Bing (Microsoft’s search engine).
Each time a user clicks on one of the sponsored ads, Bing pays Ecosia a percentage of the value of that keyword (which is not always the same, but varies based on various factors such as competitiveness and search volumes).
Another source of income is the Ecosia store, where you can buy various merchandising products.
Each user can use it through different channels:
- Ecosia.org website
- Browser extension
- Ecosia app
Is it really sustainable?
While maintaining a non-profit nature, Ecosia is concretely committed to investing 80% of its revenues in reforestation works.
Planting a tree costs around € 0.22.
On average, a click on a sponsored ad brings Ecosia € 0.05.
This means that about 45 clicks are enough for a new tree to grow.
And don’t forget the online store: buying a T-shirt corresponds to 20 new plants on earth.
Transparency is one of the founding values of Ecosia: company financial reports are published every month from which, in addition to economic data, it is also possible to see investments in planting works and financing of green projects.
Furthermore, in 2014 the company obtained the B-Corporation certification, which is issued only to companies that certify that they have implemented the highest standards of environmental and social sustainability.
Not only planting desert areas or areas in difficulty, but also a direct commitment at the company headquarters in the use of renewable sources to operate the search engine and most of the plants at the same site.