CO2 neutral search engine green ‘alternative to Google’

Berlin-based search engine Ecosia aims to turn green niche products into a mass phenomenon by providing users with green information when entering search terms.

According to the start-up, Ecosia gives users the chance to help the environment for free without “forcing them to compromise on search results”.

Ecosia founder Christian Kroll said: “From now on, there’s no longer a reason to search with Google. Ecosia gives equal-calibre search results – and even lets you help fight climate change at the same time”.

Ecosia aims to plant a million trees over the next year by partnering with environmental protection organisation The Nature Conservancy. A total of $1m is planned for donation to the organisation’s “Plant A Billion Trees” program.

The company also wants to turn “green niche products” into a mass phenomenon by incorporating green information into search results, including sustainable shopping tips and news.

Ensuring transparency, Ecosia now measures its contribution in trees planted, which it claims allows users to track how many trees they have helped to plant.

“We still donate 80% of our ad revenue, and we’re still 100% CO2 neutral. To keep donations completely transparent, Ecosia publishes monthly donation receipts with certification,” the firm states.

However, Google has recently increased transparency into its environmental impact by measuring the carbon footprint per user.

Although an estimation, Google says its carbon footprint per user is equivalent, on a monthly basis, to driving a car for one mile.

Leigh Stringer

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