The Business Model of Ecosia
Ecosia was founded in Berlin, Germany in 2009 and is known as a sustainable search engine that plants trees for every search you make. The concept is straightforward: an individual downloads the engine onto their computer or laptop, makes a search on it, the search results generate income for Ecosia, and Ecosia uses that income to plant trees and support other sustainable projects. They are extremely transparent about their finances and activities, publishing monthly progress reports so that the public can always follow along with their development journey. Furthermore, they do not sell user data to 3rd parties in order to protect the privacy of those that trust them most. The system does not own its search algorithm but uses that of Microsoft Bing. This means that Bing provides the results and advertisements created on Ecosia. The only way Ecosia directly makes income from searches is through advertisements or regular links that consumers click on, which in turn also creates revenue for Microsoft. The brand also operates an online clothing store, a tree store and other browser extensions to diversify its revenue streams. Ecosia is actively used by over 20 million people around the world – over 36 million EUR have been raised through its efforts, enabling over 162 million trees to be planted in more than 13.000 locations.