The Search Engine That Plants Trees

by Senior Writer, Joe Gallop.

Ecosia, the search engine, is having a positive influence on the planet by using the profit they generate from internet searches for planting trees. 

Based in Berlin, the company are currently on their way to reaching 95.3 million trees planted all over the world in the places where they’re needed the most. The project greatly benefits the environment, as well as local economies.

How does it work?

Each month, Ecosia pays its partners to plant trees and to bring back forests through practical methods, such as firefighting and natural regeneration.

Ecosia became the first German company to become accredited as a B Corporation. Also, Ecosia, built its own solar plants in Germany to ensure that only 100% renewable energy was being used to power searches. The company currently has over 9,000 planting sites and plants trees in five different continents – most notably Africa and South America. 

The green search engine was founded by Christian Kroll in 2009 after he travelled around the word and saw the consequences of deforestation. Kroll, claims that countries aiming to become “carbon neutral” is not enough. He was, therefore, inspired to aid the drive to net carbon zero by planting trees, which effectively removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and aids in reducing the negative effects of deforestation.  

Planting for the future

In 2020, Ecosia is becoming the first company to produce twice as much solar power needed to power all their searches. This will actively accelerate the energy transition away from fossil fuels by adding solar energy and crowding out dirty energy from the grid.  

The search engine, which has won several awards, uses servers that run on 100% renewable energy, and every search request removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

Mobile App Developer, Paul Quinney, said: “It’s pretty hard to find a job in the tech industry where you are doing something other than just making the investors rich. In our case, we are trying to make the world a better place.” 

With over 15 million users, Ecosia was recently added to Google Chrome as an official search engine option, which means even more trees will be planted and people can now use Ecosia across all their devices. 

As well as dedicating their profits to tree planting, Ecosia are also focused on privacy, so there is no third-party trackers and all searches are anonymized within one week. 

Joe Gallop

Joe Gallop is a Senior Writer at Cleantech News with a degree in Journalism & English Language. Joe has a strong interest in technology, sustainable development and transport, and is fusing these interests with his strong writing and communication skills whilst at CleanTech News. Joe is fascinated by how clean technology continues to grow and make a difference in the world and he relishes the opportunity to work with various industry experts.