“When many of us have a question, want to find something nearby, or are looking for information, we think, “I’m going to Google that.” Google is the world’s predominant search engine, commanding more than 90% of market share. The company’s name is synonymous with looking something up on the internet. But, like many large tech companies, Google often faces criticisms for its handling of user privacy, its algorithms that determine how information is disseminated, and its employee relations.
There are, of course, other search engines people can use, including Ecosia. Ecosia is the largest search engine based in Europe, yet it still only has about 1% of market share. The company is trying to attract users with a unique proposition: Every search on Ecosia helps reforestation efforts around the world.
“Technology can play a role in the solution to climate change, of course. Obviously I’m a fan of technology, but I don’t think technology is more than 50% of the solution actually,” says Christian Kroll, founder and CEO of Ecosia. “The other 50% is nature, and the power of nature is currently heavily underestimated. When it comes to forests and agriculture absorbing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, there’s a huge potential, and we want to help scale that potential and give it visibility.”
Kroll says his love of technology and his realization about the harms of climate change gave him the idea to launch Ecosia in 2009. Since then, the company has planted more than 130 million trees; launched Ecosia Travel, a hotel search engine that plants trees based on a user’s booking value; and has gone carbon negative, removing carbon from the atmosphere by running its servers on more than 200% renewable energy. The company is also a Certified B Corporation.
As part of my research of purpose-driven businesses, I spoke with Kroll to learn about Ecosia and how the company executes its tree planting strategy…..”