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Should companies’ environmental credentials appear in search results?


Should companies’ environmental credentials appear in search results?

Studies repeatedly show that consumers are taking more than a passing interest in what brands are doing when it comes to sustainability and the environment, with one report indicating that four out of five of us are likely to choose sustainable sellers.

One search engine is so focused on the environment, it has started to give its users an indication of what some companies are doing for the planet in its search results.

The green-focused search engine Ecosia has given a selection of companies a “climate pledge rating”, and is making this visible when people search for the companies in question.

Climate pledge rating

Companies are given a rating from A to F for their pledge, which can instantly be seen next to their name in the results, and is expanded upon in an information box on the right. So far, only a small number of companies seem to have been graded, with Microsoft being the best I’ve seen with a ‘B’ (Good) and Amazon the worst with a ‘D’ (Weak).

Ecosia, which promises to plant trees in return for searches, describes e-retail giant Amazon’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2040 as “too late”, and says the company has yet to make a credible, public plan to reduce its emissions. Microsoft, meanwhile, is praised for pledging to be carbon negative by 2030, although Ecosia points out that its energy consumption increased last year.

Other big names like Google, Meta/Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and the BBC are all ranked as ‘C’ (Modest), which Ecosia describes as a “good first step” but not enough to prevent a 1.5°C rise in global temperatures. More information on the methodology behind the ratings is available here.

Although this is currently limited to a selection of huge companies, any businesses with a proud environmental policy should note this on their websites and help search engine algorithms direct eco-conscious users their way. For assistance in attracting your ideal customers to your site, speak to Engage Web today.

John Murray

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