Innovation That Matters

60 per cent of Ekoru’s revenue goes to partners engaged in ocean clean-ups | Photo source NordWood Themes on Unsplash

A search engine that’s good for the environment

Work & Lifestyle

While Google produces around 500 kg of carbon dioxide every second, Ekoru uses green energy and donates revenue to fund ocean cleanups

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Spotted: Using a search engine has an environmental cost. Recent estimates suggest that searching for information on Google produces around 500kg of carbon dioxide every second. Search engine Ekoru was founded as a greener way to search. 

Ekoru works like most other search engines — users can key in any search term of interest and view the results. However, unlike other search engines, 60 per cent of Ekoru’s revenue goes to partners engaged in ocean cleanups. On top of this, all of Ekoru’s servers are based in data centres powered by hydroelectricity, and they use air and water cooling to eliminate the need for power-hungry air conditioning.

Even Ekoru’s underlying architecture is green. It costs around 2.9 kWh of energy to transmit 1 GB of data on a 3G mobile device, and to help reduce this energy expenditure, Ekoru has optimised their software code to make the pages it delivers as small as possible. The company, which is named after a Maori symbol of creation, also promises to encrypt all data and not to store any searches.

Ekoru was founded by Australian software engineer Ati Bakush, after witnessing the effects of deforestation in Malaysia and elsewhere, first-hand.

Bakush explained his inspiration to Springwise: “While working on these projects it occurred to me that I could be applying the same skills and knowledge for the benefit of the environment instead of profiting a large corporation.”

Ekoru is not the only company to take steps to reduce the environmental cost of data centres and server farms. Recent innovations covered by Springwise includes a town that is powered by heat from a nearby data centre and a data centre in the Arctic Circle that runs entirely on renewable energy.



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