Ecosia lets you plant trees while searching the web
Berlin-based Ecosia is a social business that lets you plant trees by using its search engine. To date, Ecosia users have helped plant over 100 million trees.
Ecosia donates at least 80 percent of its profits to nonprofit organizations that focus on reforestation. The beauty of Ecosia is that you just search the web as normal, but in so doing you help plant trees. Not only that, but also the company started building its own solar plants in 2018 and now all its searches are powered with 100-percent renewable energy.
Power to do good
Founded in December 2009, Ecosia is the first German company to become a B Corporation thanks to its social business model.
Ecosia Founder and CEO Christian Kroll got the idea after traveling around the world for inspiration on a business model that would have a positive social impact.
So why, where, and how does Ecosia plant trees?
“Ecosia supports over 20 tree-planting projects in 15 different countries; Peru, Brazil, Madagascar, Nicaragua, Haiti, Colombia, Spain, Morocco, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Indonesia. To achieve this, we work with local partners who are able to monitor your trees on the ground.
“Imagine you had a billion trees to give away, and had to decide where they could have the biggest impact on people and nature. Where would you go?
“For us it’s biodiversity hotspots, areas which hold particularly high numbers of unique species. These locations face extreme threats, hold at least 1,500 species of endemic plants and have been diminished by at least 70 percent.”
Protecting your privacy
Not only does Ecosia protect forests, but also it protects your privacy.
The company ensures this in five ways.
- It doesn’t store searches permanently.
- It doesn’t sell your data to advertisers.
- All searches are encrypted.
- It doesn’t use external tracking tools.
- You can turn off all tracking.
The company is also completely transparent, publishing monthly financial reports so that users can see that the money is being used for tree-planting projects.
“We love being transparent with you. That’s why we publish monthly financial reports. These show exactly how much money we made from your searches, and what percentage of our revenue went towards trees.
“Ecosia does not pay out any dividends to its owners. All profits stay within the company and will eventually either be invested or used for tree planting.”