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Wild Magazine x Ecosia Q&A

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Wild Magazine spoke with Fred Henderson, a Project Coordinator and Partnerships Manager from Ecosia, an eco-friendly search engine, as part of the student-run Ecosia on Campus campaign at the University of York.

Fred visited York in November to present Ecosia’s eco-friendly business model and tree-planting initiatives to a range of staff, students and student union representatives; and spoke with the University’s IT Department about the logistics of a potential University-wide switchover to Ecosia.


We’re happy to announce that post-event, with key support from YUSU President Pierrick Roger and the University’s IT Services Team, Ecosia will become the default browser for all Classroom PCs across the University of York’s Campus! The University’s rollout will begin January 17th, with adoption across the University’s smaller Mac collection to follow at a later date.


Ecosia’s revenue model allows it to direct 100% of profits towards reforestation projects around the world, meaning roughly 50 Ecosia searches plant one tree.

As a campus of over 20,000 students, it’s exciting to see how the University of York’s sustainability contribution will grow with the power of eco-positive web searches!


If you’d like to start or get involved with an Ecosia on Campus campaign near you, you can register and learn more here!


Below is our Q&A with Ecosia’s visiting Project Coordinator and Partnerships Manager, Fred Henderson; we asked Fred more about Ecosia’s mission, its impact around the world, and how he first got involved as a student.


Can you share a bit on what Ecosia does? What is your role in the organisation?


Ecosia is a not-for-profit tech company that plants and protects trees. We dedicate 100% of our profits to the planet and are powering the regeneration by enabling people to be climate active every day. Collaborating with local communities, we have planted more than 160 million trees all over the world.


I work in Ecosia’s country development team where I support a range of initiatives in our core markets, from User Support through to Organisations using Ecosia.


What impact does Ecosia have around the world?


To date Ecosia has planted over 160 million trees in parts of the world where they are needed most. Each project serves a unique purpose for the local communities and climate. In Burkina Faso, for example, the 17 million trees Ecosia has planted are helping to restore a dry degraded landscape, turning a desert green. In Indonesia, where 25% of the country’s rainforests have been replaced by vast palm oil monocultures, Ecosia is restoring mixed forests on former plantations while creating alternative sources of income for land owners.


Where do the trees get planted and why? Does Ecosia do this directly?


Ecosia is currently working with more than 70 tree planting partners in over 35 countries around the world. Primarily focusing on the planet’s biodiversity hotspots and areas facing deforestation.


Wild Magazine Managing Editor Antonia Devereux and Ecosia Partnerships Manager Fred Henderson, pre-event


Where does the funding come from for projects and tree planting?


Just like other search engines, Ecosia makes money each time someone clicks on one of the ads displayed in the search results. We dedicate 100% of our profits to climate action, primarily through financing tree-planting projects.


By simply using Ecosia as your default search engine you’re helping to plant trees.


How did you get involved in Ecosia? And why?


While I was studying at university I launched a campaign to make Ecosia the default search engine on campus and managed to persuade the Vice Chancellor to endorse making the switch to Ecosia. I was inspired by Ecosia’s unique business model and wanted to maximise my impact by sharing Ecosia with others.


What is the aim of the Ecosia on Campus campaign? And how can people support it?


Ecosia on Campus is a global movement of students aiming to make Ecosia the default search engine at their college, school or university. Over 30 campuses have already made the switch, all thanks to climate-active students driving change.


If you’d like to help bring Ecosia to your campus, visit the Ecosia on Campus page to register and download all the resources you’ll need to get started.


Help power the regeneration of our planet by campaigning for Ecosia at your university.


If you’d like to read more about the University of York’s campus-wide adoption of Ecosia, take a look at the University of York Student Union (YUSU) President’s adoption announcement here: @YUSUPresident on Instagram


If you’d like to read more about Ecosia’s mission, projects and blog series, here are some extra resources to get started;


About the Author(s): Louis Saunderson, Wild Magazine’s Deputy Managing Editor, is a final year Environment, Economics and Ecology student at the University of York. He has wondered for a while how trees use the internet to do all this web searching. Apparently, they log in.


Antonia Devereux, Wild Magazine’s Managing Editor, is a final year Environment, Economics and Ecology student at the University of York. She finds sustainability solutions very in-tree-guing – if you can be-leaf it.

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