University of Jena plants more trees while searching the web than any other university in Germany

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The University’s Green Office uses the search engine Ecosia. Image: Sabrin
The University’s Green Office uses the search engine Ecosia. Image: Sabrina Stangl/Uni Jena
Friedrich Schiller University Jena set Ecosia as the default search engine at approximately 1,200 computers in its administration and computer pools and will contribute to the planting of thousands of trees around the world every year.

This switch is the result of an initiative by the University’s Green Office, which had launched an (EOC) at the University in January 2021. In a little over a year, the University was able to finance 5,757 trees with its campaign. 3,211 of those trees alone have been financed since the University introduced Ecosia as default search engine on all computers of its administrative staff in October 2021; and they are now being planted all over the world. As a result, the University has helped Ecosia plant more trees than any other university in Germany.

Planting trees around the world

EOC started out as an idea between three students and has since developed into a worldwide tree-planting phenomenon: Over the last three years, 211,766 trees have been planted thanks to more than 314 university campaigns around the world.

based Ecosia is a not-for-profit search engine that uses its advertising revenues to plant trees in areas affected by deforestation. So far, searches have led to the planting of over 149 million trees across more than 30 countries worldwide-mostly in areas where trees have the strongest ecological and social impact, such as Brazil, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Statements from those involved

Prof. Dr Walter Rosenthal, President of Friedrich Schiller University Jena: "The only way to tackle climate change is to be even more willing to change and to take many small steps towards sustainability."

Robin Muggenthaler , Head of the University’s Green Office: "Thanks to a pilot project in the Division for Student Affairs, initiated by student and Green Office staff member Jelle Stollwerk, we were able to convince the University administration of the benefits that come with using Ecosia as its default search engine. I’m delighted to see how well the administrative staff have received the switch and that our University is planting the most trees thanks to it."

Fred Henderson , Ecosia’s Partnership Manager: "We are thrilled that Friedrich Schiller University Jena is now using Ecosia as its default search engine and has been funding trees so successfully in the process. The move to Ecosia is a big success for the Ecosia on Campus campaign in Germany and will help us plant thousands of trees more."

If you would like to use Ecosia and plant trees, go to ecosia.org , install the Ecosia app on iOS or Android, and download the Firefox or Chrome browser extension.

Dies academicus on sustainability on 31 May

University members who want to find out about the University’s further activities in the area of sustainability or who want to contribute their own ideas are invited to the ’Zukunftswerkstatt’, a future workshop on sustainability taking place on 31 May from 16:00 at the campus on Ernst-Abbe-Platz (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3). The ’Zukunftswerkstatt’ will start with an introduction and keynote speeches from 16:00 to 17:00. From 17:00 to 19:30, participants will work in small groups (WorldCafé) to collect ideas and suggestions for more sustainable practices and action at and by the University. The number of places in the WorldCafé is limited due to the room sizes. You can already post your suggestions for sustainability goals and concrete measures on an online pinboard for everyone to see.