Berlin start-up Ecosia, which has developed the world’s first ecological search engine, is now playing in the big leagues. That’s after Internet giant Google announced it was adding Ecosia as a default setting on its search bar alongside Google Search, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo.
The Berlin start-up, which celebrated its tenth birthday in December, devotes all its advertising profits to reforestation projects in places from Ethiopia to Indonesia, Burkina Faso to Brazil. The search engine’s homepage keeps a running tally of the number of trees planted (at time of writing more than 87 million).
Last year, Ecosia nearly doubled its number of users from 8 million to 15 million.
“Ecosia’s growth over the last year shows just how invested users are in the fight against the climate crisis,” company CEO Christian Kroll told online platform EU-Startups. “Everywhere, people are weighing up the changes they can make to reduce their carbon footprint, including adopting technologies such as Ecosia. Our addition to Chrome will now make it even easier for users to help reforest delicate, at-risk and often devastated ecosystems, and to fight climate change, just by using the Internet.”
According to a recent study by the university ETH Zürich, reforestation is the most economically efficient and effective way of preserving the climate, with a trillion trees needed. Kroll has said that if Ecosia were as profitable as Google, it could plant that number of trees on its own.