Our Ideas are the compilation of thoughts and moments in time amidst a constantly evolving world. An awareness of art, design, sustainability and branding inform the work that we create. Ideas encapsulates our perspective and the lens through which we perceive the past, present and future. 

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Ecosia – Planting more trees, one search at a time


Christian Kroll wasn’t always driven by a desire to change the world and plant more trees; when he was younger he and his friends would play the stock markets and his dream was to become a stockbroker. But between a trip to India that instilled a desire to create a better world and a class in business school revealing the profits of search engine advertisers, an idea began to form. 

Ecosia is the portmanteau of “eco” and “utopia”, and allows users to plant trees simply by searching the internet - a habit most people already do. The business model works by investing 100% of the profit earned from ad revenue to charities who plant trees. For every 50 ad clicks on Ecosia, one tree is planted - since its inception, 156 million trees have been planted across the world. And in an age where data is stored and sold as a commodity, Ecosia promises data privacy and does not sell data to advertisers. The best part is that Ecosia’s claims are backed up through monthly financial statements detailing revenue made and charities donated to, offering full transparency and accountability on their actions.

There are approximately 5.6 billion Google searches every day, and scientists have estimated that to power one Google search, anywhere between 1g and 10g of carbon is produced. Whilst Google are claiming carbon neutrality through the help of carbon offsets (that have allowed them to produce 20 million tonnes of CO2 since 2007), Ecosia have stepped the game up by being carbon-negative. They’ve invested in twice as many solar panels needed to run the search engine, and are using the remainder to crowd out fossil fuel energy from the grid. By specifically planting CO2 sequestering trees, every search made actively removes CO2 from the atmosphere. 

The recent rebrand of Ecosia by Koto Studio steps them up from just a search engine to a fully rounded brand with more holistic offerings as the brand prepares to expand into new areas. Koto settled on two interlinking ideas, “power the regeneration” and “never neutral”, and with those ideas came a soft-formed identity of sloping tree icons depicting several different species and brought to life through motion. The new brand identity provides a crossroad where Ecosia are able to still convey serious messages yet remain friendly. 

There are many barriers to adopting a sustainable lifestyle, price being the biggest barrier to entry. But Ecosia’s model promotes actual environmental and sustainable change through an action millions of people do thoughtlessly. There is no motive or value based decision when using Ecosia, it’s simply inbuilt into daily practices. 

Our team is working towards switching to Ecosia as our primary search engine in the office, and stand behind Ecosia’s cause of providing a better future for our planet.

Hortenzia is a full-service design agency delivering creative and strategic outcomes across branding, design, digital, production and communication. 

Hortenzia acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation as the traditional and ongoing custodians of the lands on which we work. We pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded and recognise First Nations peoples’ rights to self-determination and continuing connections to land, waters and community.

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