Internet search engine funds reforestation worlwide
Ecosia is a social business based in Berlin, Germany, which generates revenues from internet searches and uses them to finance forestation projects around the world. Currently, they are supporting projects in 4 countries: Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Indonesia and Peru.
In short, Ecosia provides a search engine to look for things in the Internet. As happens with Google, Bing and others search engines, some of the results provided by Ecosia are actually advertisement links paid by companies so that they appear in the search engine. The difference with Ecosia is that - in line with its social business model - it uses this revenue source to fund selected partners organisations that execute forestation projects around the world. In addition,, Ecosia also gives greater visibility to the overall topic and importance of reforestation.
Part of the money collected by Ecosia is used to run the online search business. Once the operating costs are deducted, the remainder (the full profit) is used either for monthly payments to the partner organisations or to build up a "Forestation Fund" that is disbursed when the partner organisations can absorb the extra amounts. Ecosia provides a very high level of transparency regarding its activities and results, with simple but complete reports that are updated every month on its website.