The search engine Ecosia has added a new feature to its site to help users understand the climate commitments of large companies.
The non-profit browser will put a note next to some of the most searched companies on the site, including Amazon, Meta and Spotify.
This brief examines each organization’s climate commitments against the 1.5 degree Celsius target set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The search engine hopes to give users a clearer picture of how individual companies are tackling the climate crisis.
What is Ecosia?
Ecosia was founded in 2009 and today is the largest non-profit search engine in the world.
The tech company says it dedicates 100% of its profits to the planet and has worked with local communities around the world to plant more than 160 million trees.
The organization also indicates that it is introducing 20-year contracts to ensure its the trees are cared for long term.
What is Ecosia’s climate commitment score?
Ecosia’s new feature update will add a climate commitment note when users search for large companies.
“It’s part of the company’s mission to empower its user base to be climate active every day,” the company said in a statement.
“Global companies know they need to publish regular sustainability reports and updates, but often the reality of their impact is shrouded in jargon or entirely hidden,” said Michael Metcalf, chief product officer of Ecosia.
The rating aims to make the climate commitments of these companies more transparent for users.
The Berlin-based company also said the feature would help highlight any greenwashing statements.
How is the climate commitment rating calculated?
Ecosia has partnered with the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin to develop its climate rating system.
It uses machine learning to analyze the ecological and social sustainability of different companies. Each company’s open climate commitments, such as reduction pledges or offset emissionsor sustainable development reports, are taken into account.
The highest A rating identifies companies that demonstrate year-over-year reductions in overall emissions and ambitious climate commitments.
The lowest grade, F, is given to companies that are not making progress on their climate goals, have no publicly available information, or actively mislead the public.
The tool will regularly reassess climate commitments, so ratings are expected to change as companies adapt their practices.
The new feature extends Ecosia’s green leaf icon, launched in 2019, which appears next to planet-friendly business websites.
The search engine is also launching a much-requested dark mode. This aims to reduce eye strain and improve battery life.
It will also introduce a mental health widget which will appear as an information box at the top of the page. This will have a phone number and a link to a partner organization such as Samaritans in the UK.