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Green Search Engine Ecosia Invests in Wind Farms Via Ripple

(Bloomberg) —

Ecosia GmbH, a search engine that donates its profits toward planting trees, said it would spend 250,000 euros ($239,110) in renewable infrastructure with Ripple Energy, a UK startup that lets people and companies buy shares in green energy projects like wind-farms.

“We’re looking to invest about a quarter of a million euros in the renewable sector in the UK,” Sophie Dembinski, Ecosia’s head of policy and UK, said at the Bloomberg Technology Summit in London on Wednesday. “We would love to work with other organizations who also want to invest in renewable energy.” 

This follows Berlin-based Ecosia’s investments in Germany’s energy transition away from fossil fuels. The startup had put another 20 million euros into the country’s solar energy industry after Russia invaded Ukraine, she said.

Ripple was one of the companies partly underwritten by the UK government in 2020 when the state launched a startup rescue fund in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, injecting £1.14 billion ($1.2 billion) into more than a thousand companies via convertible loans. 

Read more: German Search Engine Ecosia Plants Trees Every Time you Browse

Ecosia was founded in 2009 by Chief Executive Officer Christian Kroll. Kroll said in a 2019 interview with Bloomberg that he started trading stocks at age 16 and studied business administration, before he decided to shift course after extended trips to India, Nepal and Latin America, where he was exposed to poverty and mass extinction. He used his earnings from trading to launch Ecosia.

Ellen Moeller, head of Europe at software company Watershed, also pointed to companies’ increasing interest in commitments to protect the climate. 

“It doesn’t stop at doing things internally,” said Moeller, who also spoke at the Bloomberg Technology Summit on Wednesday. Businesses are keeping track of their climate impact to engage with their investors and employees as well. 

Watershed’s product allows companies to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, and is backed by investors including Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins.

Moeller said she expects more standardization of emissions-tracking software like Watershed’s. 

“We are optimistic that a sum of these disclosure schemes are starting to unify around certain standards,” Moeller says, “That’s going to be very helpful for comparing apples to apples across companies.”

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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