Ecosia’s search engine crashes more trees with every web search
And of course, what is labeled as marketing in the budget is the funds spent on running Ecosia ads in front of your eyes, but the real marketing is the trees themselves. There are plenty of options if you don’t want your search history tracked, but only one if you want your query on Nina Simone’s Deep Cuts to put saplings in the ground.
Margins in hand, Ecosia works with organizations that plant trees by the thousands and tens of thousands in regions rich in biodiversity, and without the use of child labor or chemical pesticides. Of course, much of the reforestation occurs in areas that have been deforested, and if Ecosia partners cannot meet the existing incentives to cut down trees – namely a need for farmland, firewood and more. wood – the company could take its funds elsewhere. Community support is essential to the sustainability of a project.
“It’s easy to plant trees,” says Kroll, “but it’s very difficult to make sure they stay upright. “
Planting itself can bring paid labor to the community, and from there the planting organization often works to show how the harvest, branches, and benefits of the soil make the tree more valuable in the soil than it does. beaten down. The success of these efforts obviously changes on a case-by-case basis and from year to year.
Kroll says Ecosia monitors the ongoing progress of every planting project it funds and may reduce future donations to an organization if it is unable to plant or keep trees in the ground. Ecosia tackles these issues and more with every organization they work with.
Partner organizations that responded to my inquiries described a long process of working with Ecosia to determine where, when and how many trees would be planted in a specific area. Trees for the Future, for example, wrote, “We plan to plant 1,200,000 trees as part of the four-year project. As of August 2019, 598,896 trees had been planted in our Kaffrine 3 project [in Senegal] thanks to the support of Ecosia.
Hommes et Terre, who received nearly a million euros from January to July 2019 for his work in Burkina Faso, described an equally detailed three-year plan that he developed with Ecosia.
By making their own operations sustainable, the founders of Ecosia saw a growing threat: the value of their business. As he grows up, the possibility of cashing out becomes more important. After all, with 50 percent margins there is plenty of room to deliver dividends to shareholders while putting a staggering number of trees in the ground. Kroll and the other executives could sell, become millionaires, and move on to whatever type of project they’re in the mood for. So they legislated their power to do so.
Ecosia describes itself as a “business for purpose” which, according to Kroll, means that a foundation owns 1% of its shares, 99% of its capital and veto rights over any sale of the business. Ecosia is not authorized to pay dividends to shareholders, and only employees can be shareholders. To sell, the foundation would have to be convinced that the sale will result in the planting of more trees.
Behind all of this is the assumption that planting trees is a good idea. For Kroll, that’s almost enough to stop climate change.
“We have enough space to plant 1,200 billion trees. If we planted these trees, we could almost completely solve climate change. To plant these trees, we would need 1% of the world’s military budget. It is much more profitable than renewable energies, electric cars. I think it is underestimated.
How big a slice of the carbon pie can be managed just by planting trees is a live debate among climatologists, but all will agree that it can be a significant part of the solution. Add the benefits to the surrounding economy and ecosystem, and it’s hard to dispute tree planting as a worthy use of the available funds. (Although even that requires a caveat: a recent IPCC report noted that massive tree planting initiatives could dramatically increase food prices.) That said, truly addressing climate change will inevitably involve real changes in the way we live and transport ourselves. Trees help, but, to sum up a jungle of climate debate, it’s more complicated than that.