Christian Kroll founded Ecosia, a search engine based in Berlin, Germany, in 2009. In Thomas Friedman’s 2008 book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, the author says that carbon produced during deforestation makes up seventeen percent of global emissions contributing to climate change. Stunned by that disheartening statistic, Kroll decided to use his background in business administration in service of the environment.
His search engine, Ecosia, donates eighty percent of its ad generated revenue to organizations that combat deforestation. The other twenty percent of revenue is used to neutralize the carbon dioxide emissions from Ecosia users’ searches, as well as maintaining company growth. Accountability is as important to the company as environmental sustainability. Ecosia publishes its financial reports and tree planting receipts online in order to provide its users with full transparency.
Kroll’s dedication to Ecosia’s mission to promote environmental sustainability by combating deforestation never wavers. Recently, though, Internet users’ investment in the company’s mission changed drastically. Ecosia experienced a one thousand one hundred fifty percent increase in downloads after forest fires ravaged the Amazon rainforest in 2019. Christian Kroll told Business Insider that Ecosia usually averages twenty thousand downloads. His work colleagues and he have “mixed feelings” about the search engine’s sudden popularity. he says, since it is due to an environmental disaster.
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, representing sixty percent of the world’s remaining rainforest. Though almost half of the Amazon is in Brazil, it benefits the whole continent. Its rainfall and rivers sustain regions that account for seventy percent of South America’s Gross Domestic Product. Its three hundred ninety billion trees reduce carbon emissions by storing carbon in their leaves, branches, and trunks, a third of the carbon stored by tropical rainforests worldwide. Its precipitation stabilizes the water cycle. It contains thirty percent of the world’s plant species, which means humans depend on it for the innovations in food and medicine made possible by its biodiversity. Ecosia has planted over sixty-five million trees worldwide. The company has pledged to plant one million trees in the Amazon rainforest.