Sustainable searching is getting even easier: Ecosia’s Climate Pledge Rating is designed to show on the search results page which climate pledges major companies have made – and whether they keep them. We took a closer look.
The sustainable search engine Ecosia published its latest feature at the end of October 2022: the Climate Pledge Rating. The rating shows on a scale from A to F how well companies keep their own climate protection promises – and how likely it is that they will actually become climate neutral by 2030. In addition to the clear scale, there is further information: which exact climate protection pledges a company has made, which of these it is likely to fulfil (in view of its current efforts) and which are more likely not to be fulfilled.
The Climate Pledge Rating was developed together with the Technical University of Berlin and rates those companies that are most frequently searched for, as well as their subsidiaries. According to a short Ecosia search, Microsoft, for example, gets a good B on the scale, while Amazon only gets a D. We have not yet found any other companies with a Climate Pledge rating – either we have not searched for the right companies or the feature is only being rolled out bit by bit.
In the meantime, sustainability is practically a trend – says Ecosia. This is indicated by the many collections and offers declared as sustainable by companies that do not necessarily stand out for their environmentally friendly working methods. Therefore, it can be difficult for consumers to distinguish between all the sustainable promises and the really environmentally friendly companies. With the Climate Pledge Rating, Ecosia wants to help us see through a little better.
According to the sustainable search engine, the aim is by no means to condemn people for buying from companies with a poor rating. Instead, the search engine wants to make companies’ climate promises visible to everyone. This will make it easier for us to make sustainable choices and also to put some pressure on our favourite companies that are not yet acting sustainably enough and perhaps bring about a change.
Ecosia has already introduced two icons in 2019 to facilitate environmentally friendly searches: The green leaf marks particularly climate-friendly businesses. The coal power plant indicates companies that earn their money with fossil fuels.
Will Ecosia’s Climate Pledge Rating lead us all to choose only sustainable companies? Certainly not. But maybe the scale will help make sustainable consumption a little easier and encourage the exchange about environmentally friendly behaviour.