Applied Financing Solutions
In operation since/from: 2016
Ecosia is a free search engine and a certified social business based in Berlin, Germany, that devotes itself to reforestation projects in biodiversity hotspots worldwide. By donating over 80% of its profits – derived from clicks on online advertisements – to nonprofit partner organizations, the company finances a newly planted tree every 0.8 seconds on average.
One of Ecosia’s biggest reforestation projects is located in Madagascar. The world’s oldest island is home to over 200,000 species that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. But 90% of the island’s forests and mangroves as their natural habitats have been destroyed due to burning for grazing or cut-downs for wood and charcoal by the local population who live in extreme poverty.
Ecosia’s planting partner Eden Reforestation focuses on restoring mangroves along the northwestern coast and planting deciduous trees slightly further inland to reconnect remaining forest patches. In total, 35 million trees have been planted and 3,500 hectares of land restored since 2016.
Success Factor | Hero Moment
Ecosia only plants trees in deforested areas where trees used to grow naturally – this ensures that the area offers an environment where the seedlings can actually thrive. Critical for the success of the reforestation measures is that people in and around the project area understand the benefits the trees bring – which can be a change to the earlier situation that caused the trees to disappear. Trees are planted only where people want them in the first place and where there are no adverse incentives to fell them later on. In addition, the trees are tracked for at least three years, using satellite technology, a monitoring app, geotagged photos, independent auditors, and field visits.
Ecosia GmbH, Germany
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