Ecosia is a search engine
based in Berlin
. It donates 80% or more of its profits to nonprofit organizations
that focus on reforestation
. It considers itself a social business
, is CO2-negative
and claims to support full financial transparency
and protect the privacy of its users.
Ecosia is also B Lab
At launch, the search engine originally provided a combination of search results from Yahoo!
and technologies from Bing
. Ads were delivered by Yahoo! as part of the revenue sharing
agreement with the company.
Ecosia's search results are now provided by Bing and enhanced by the company's own algorithm
It is currently available as a web browser or mobile app
devices, as well as on PCs and Macs.
In 2018, Ecosia committed to becoming a privacy-friendly search engine. Searches are encrypted
that it does not create personal profiles based on search history, nor does it use external tracking tools like Google Analytics
Ecosia shows advertisements
next to its search results and is paid by partners every time a user is directed to an advertiser via a sponsored link. A single search on Ecosia raises approximately half a Euro cent (0.005 EUR) on average, according to Ecosia's FAQ,
taking 0.22 euro (€)
and as of July 2020, 0.75 seconds to plant a tree.
In October 2020 Ecosia announced that they had bought a 20% stake in the debit card
The new debit card is planned to be launched in the year 2021 in partnership with MasterCard
The debit cards produced by TreeCard are made of British cherry wood
instead of plastic
s as is customary for many other debit cards because plastic takes a much longer time to decompose when discarded.
80% of the company's profits are planned to go to Ecosia's global reforesting projects.
It is estimated that every $
60 (or £
spent will plant one tree.
There will be an option to only have the digital card using the online payment services Apple Pay
, Google Pay
, and Samsung Pay
Ecosia uses 80% of its profits (47.1% of its income) from advertising revenue to support tree planting
projects. The rest is put into backup reserves for unforeseen circumstances – if these reserves are not used they are channeled back into the company's tree planting fund. The company publishes monthly financial reports on its website.
In October 2018, founder Christian Kroll announced that he has given part of his shares over to the Purpose Foundation. As a result, Kroll and Ecosia co-owner Tim Schumacher gave up their right to sell Ecosia or take any profits out of the company.
Ecosia was launched on 7 December 2009 to coincide with UN climate talks in Copenhagen.
Over time, Ecosia has supported various tree-planting programs. Until December 2010, Ecosia's funds went to a program by WWF
Germany that protected the Juruena National Park
in the Amazon basin
. To protect this area, the organizers drew up and financed plans with timber companies and the local communities.
In 2011, the search engine had raised over €250,000.
From July 2013 to September 2014, Ecosia donated to the Plant a Billion Trees program run by The Nature Conservancy
, a program that aimed to restore the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
by planting one million native trees by 2015.
In 2015, Ecosia began funding reforestation
in Burkina Faso
as part of the Great Green Wall
project, backed by the African Union
and the World Bank
, that aims to prevent desertification.
According to B Lab
, as of January 2015, "In donating 80 percent of its ad revenue, the search engine has raised over $1.5 million for rainforest protection since its founding in December 2009". According to Ecosia, by 2015, the search engine had almost 2.5 million active users and had planted more than 2 million trees.
In May 2015, Ecosia was shortlisted for The Europas, the European Tech Startups Awards, under the category Best European Startup Aimed At Improving Society.
On 9 October 2018, Ecosia offered €1 million to buy the Hambach Forest
from German energy company RWE AG
to save it from being cut down for lignite
mining. RWE declined the offer.
On 23 January 2020, following the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season
, Ecosia donated all of its profits from that day to ReForest Now, a local NGO that not only plans to restore the forests, but also "make the area more resilient against future fires" They stated that the profits were used to plant 26,446 trees.
The company works with multiple organizations, such as the Eden Reforestation Projects
, Hommes et Terre, and various local partners, to plant trees in 16 countries throughout the world.
Ecosia currently has one or more projects in the following countries: Peru
, Burkina Faso
, Ivory Coast
, United Kingdom
, United States
By July 2020, Ecosia had surpassed 100 million trees planted in total, resulting in over 50,000 metric tonnes
of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere each month.
It was reported in the same month that Ecosia, on average, is able to fund a tree every 0.8 seconds – averaging to 75 per minute; 108,000 per day – with the revenue it makes from advertising.
Ecosia is available on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge
, and other browsers as a default search engine by downloading the extension from the Chrome web store or Mozilla's Addon site respectively.
With the release of version 26 (on 26 January 2016), the Pale Moon
web browser added Ecosia as a default, as did version 8 of the Polarity web browser on 15 February 2016. Ecosia is the default search engine of the Waterfox
web browser since version 44.0.2. Since version 1.9, Vivaldi
has included Ecosia as a default search engine option. In March 2018, Firefox
59.0 added Ecosia as a search engine option for the German version.
As of 21 August 2019, Ecosia announced that it will not participate in the "search-choice" auction to appear on Android devices led by Google.
This means that in 2020 European Android phone users will not have the option to set Ecosia as a default search engine. Christian Kroll explained the boycott decision saying: "We're deeply disappointed that Google has decided to exploit its dominant market position in this way. Instead of giving wide and fair access, Google has chosen to give discrimination a different form and make everyone else but themselves pay, which isn't something we can accept". Applications to participate in the "search-choice" auction were due in mid-September 2019.
As of 12 March 2020, Ecosia will be included as a default search engine option for Google Chrome
in 47 markets. This addition represents the first time a not-for-profit
search engine will appear as a choice to users.
As of 14 December 2020, Apple's Safari
web browser added Ecosia as a search engine option in macOS
Big Sur 11.1 and iOS
On 28 January 2021, Ecosia became an official search engine on the Brave
browser as a result of a partnership announced on that date by both companies.
*Community interest company
*Comparison of web search engines
*List of search engines
*Social purpose corporation
* – official site
company profile at Crunchbase
Category:Internet search engines
Category:B Lab-certified corporations
Category:Internet properties established in 2009
Category:2009 establishments in Germany
Category:Companies based in Berlin