Ecosia is an Internet search engine based in Germany which donates much of its profit to plant trees in different parts of the world. The search engine uses results from Microsoft’s Bing search engine and then applies its own algorithm for sorting results. Ecosia is a CO2-negative, positive impact, and privacy-friendly search engine company. In February of 2019, the company donated 80% of its profit to plant trees. The company makes its profit from advertising and merchandise, however, doesn’t track users to present personalized results to ensure user privacy.
Ecosia is a web-based Internet search engine with applications for iOS and Android. The company launched on December 7th 2009, the same day as the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Ecosia ships as a default search engine for Brave, Pale Moon, Waterfox, Vivaldi, and Firefox (German version only). Ecosia including Duckduckgo and Qwant are a few of many search engines using Microsoft’s Bing as a source.
Ecosia features web, image, maps, news, and videos as default search filters. The results can be further sorted with time and filtered by region. It lets the user save specific settings as a region, language, and safe search options through cookies on a user’s browser. The search engine can be used to search another Internet search engines with a specific keyword followed by a hash (#) sign called search tags.
Current list of search tags as of April 2019 include:
The company uses advertising revenue from clicks generated to sponsored links shown in its search results as its primary source of income. It also sells merchandise like shirts, hoodies, and jumpers on its online store. Ecosia doesn’t take any profit from merchandise sales and is sourced into its tree plantation fund. The company publishes a monthly financial report to provide transparency about their operations detailing profits, investments, and operational costs.
Ecosia operates under European Union jurisdiction which mandates higher user privacy. Ecosia offers encrypted searches and does not create user profiles to personalize results. The search logs are not kept indefinitely and are not sold to advertisers or third-party partners.
Christian Kroll founded the company in 2009