we aim to have a eco-friendly approach to business and search for pragmatic solutions that lower our carbon footprint. one of those great simple solutions is to start using a different internet search engine: ecosia.
the ecosia story
ecosia was founded in december 2009 by christian kroll. his first project was called xabbel which was a nepalese search engine whose advertising revenue was intended to benefit local ngo projects. unfortunately there were only about 4 hours of electricity per day on average. so christian had to stop working on “xabbel”. but the idea to generate donations with the help of a search engine was born. christian traveled on and lived in argentina for a few months. there he learned a lot about reforestation projects, especially in the atlantic rainforest. he also read thomas l. friedman’s book “what to do: an agenda for the 21st century”. main message of the book: if we want to save the planet and survive, we have to take care of reducing the CO2 content in the atmosphere. trees could make a significant contribution to this. that’s when christian realized that he wanted to get involved in the conservation of forests to do something for the environment. he came up with the idea of combining his approach of a charitable search engine with afforestation and planting projects. in late 2009, ecosia.org was launched and has since successfully funded planting projects around the world.
how does it work
when you use google, you arguable get the best results a search engine can find. in the meantime, you generate revenues for google. on each search, google provides you not only with the most relevant results but also provides advertisements and promoted results. each search earns them a little bit of revenue, but with more than 3 billion of searches each day, the revenues add up quickly. google is a corporation aimed to make profit, so logically most profit goes to the shareholders. ecosia uses bing as a search engine and pays license fees. after deduction of other operating expenses, the remaining profit is used to fund tree planting projects around the world. more searches, more trees being planted.
+ 100 trees planted
ecosia tells us that the conversion rate of searches to one tree being planted is 45:1. so you need 45 searches to plant one tree. at arq we have been using ecosia for a while and also we do a lot of research. as a result we have reached over 4’500 searches and have contributed to planting more than 100 trees. so while it may a drop in the ocean, with many other users (+ 2’000’000 today) their is huge potential for funding more tree planting projects.
in case you are interested in setting up your sustainability program, feel free to contact us. we assist companies in setting their strategic objectives, design programs, develop the sustainable reporting and provide assurance services around sustainability.