When many of us have a question, want to search for something nearby, or find information, we think “I’m going to Google”. Google is the world’s leading search engine with over 90% market share. The company name is synonymous with anything you see on the Internet. But, like many large technology companies, Google has often faced criticism for its handling of user privacy, its methods of determining how information is disseminated, and employee involvement.
There are other search engines that people can use, including Ecosia. Ecosia is the largest search engine based in Europe, but it still has around 1% market share. The company seeks to impress users with a unique proposition: every discovery in Ecosia contributes to timber revival efforts around the world.
“Technology can play a role in addressing climate change” The other 50% is natural, and nature’s energy is currently underestimated. There is a huge potential when it comes to forests and agriculture that absorb CO2 emissions from the air, and we want to help measure that energy and provide visibility into it. . ”
Kroll said his love for technology and awareness of the evils of climate change gave him the idea to launch Ecosia in 2009. Since then, the company has planted more than 130 million trees; launched Ecosia Travel, a hotel search engine that grows trees based on user booking value; And turns carbon negative, removing more than 200% carbon from the atmosphere by running its servers on renewable energy. The company is also a Certified B Corporation.
As part of my research on goal-based businesses, I spoke with Kroll about Ecosia and company to find out how the tree planting strategy works.
Christian Kroll: It’s like David against Goliath – it’s the big Goliath, we’re the little David. We have a competitive advantage that Google can never reflect, and that’s basically how we grow as a business. Google is a for-profit company. It has to pay dividend to the shareholders, otherwise shareholders will get angry. We have a different system where basically the company cannot sell and the profit cannot leave the company. We are set up differently, which allows us to create a competitive advantage where we give all the advantages available for planting trees. With a lot of credibility and transparency, this makes us very interesting to many people who care about climate change and other topics in social justice.
can do things better. Since we are not a revenue generating company, our business goals are really different. We run search engines because we want to address climate change. Sometimes I say we make money because we have to plant trees; Whereas, other businesses grow trees because they want to make money or do a green wash because in the end, they want to please the shareholders.
For us, it’s the exact opposite, and it allows us to do things very differently. This allows us to attract different types of users and different types of employees in a highly competitive market. We have really good people in the company and this allows us to gradually gain market share. Europe’s biggest search engine also looks so great, we only have 1% market share. Google is over 90% in most market rankings. But we are growing fast, so who knows how far this model will reach us.
Marquis: Where did the idea to start a tree planting search engine come from?
Kroll: I don’t know what I’m getting at. I had the courage to do it. I studied business management, and during my university years, I thought I wanted to pursue a normal career and something with a purpose other than earning. But I don’t know what it really is. So after I finished university, I decided to set aside some time and travel around the world. At first I thought it would take half a year, but it took a year and a half. I spent most of my time in Nepal, South America and Argentina.
At that point, I saw how much we were destroying our planet and how unjust the world was. In fact, there are a lot of people in Nepal, they are smart, hardworking and nice people. So I witnessed such great, global injustice and injustice, which convinced me that I had to dedicate my life to helping those who did not have equal opportunities.
Later while living in Latin America, I witnessed the massive destruction of our planet. In 2007, I learned for the first time about climate change and realized how big a threat it is to humanity. Things combined drive me to help people, help our planet, and address climate change. So I did a little testing to find out what the biggest drivers of climate change and social injustice are, I think cutting down trees is a big, big campaign, so I wanted to discuss it.
I have always been interested in computers and information technology. At a young age I started integrating my computers, mostly I play computer games. During university, I actually started the first business, a website comparing different financial products and different banks. If a user registers with a bank account, I get a commission, so this is a standard business model. Many big cs. Huh