The University of St Andrews is transitioning its network to Ecosia as part of its strategy to achieve net zero carbon by 2035.
Ecosia, a non-profit search engine, uses search ad revenue to plant trees – for every 45 searches you do, you plant a tree.
Ellie King, St Andrews on Ecosia campaign manager, said: “After campaigning for two years for the university to move to Ecosia, we are delighted to see this happening now.
“Throughout the campaign, we have been supported by so many people across the University, from students and staff to student societies and associations, who have come together to show the power of environmental activism.
“Making this change will help the university achieve its ambitious goal of net zero by 2035, which will have a positive impact on the world right from the start.
“We hope we will inspire other students to start their own grassroots movements at other universities to make a difference with Ecosia.”
Ecosia’s tree planting mission mirrors the university’s St Andrews Forest, which brings together alumni and friends of the university to plant trees around the world.
Professor Clare Peddie, Vice-Principal Education (Supervisor), added: “For an institution that places sustainability and social responsibility at the heart of its mission, the move to Ecosia demonstrates our commitment to dealing with the global climate emergency.
“St Andrews is home to some of the brightest and best, eco-friendly and socially conscious students in the world.
“The student-led campaign is a great example of how to challenge green thinking around technology, and how staff and students can come together to make a positive impact on a global scale.
“We want to be recognized as a university that practices what it preaches and puts sustainability at the heart of its operations.”
Working with the Environmental Strategy Board, students at St Andrews understood the benefits, implications and environmental impact of switching to Ecosia.
Fred Henderson, project coordinator at Ecosia, said: “Now that St Andrews has made Ecosia its default search engine, we will be able to plant hundreds of thousands more trees.
“I cannot thank the team at St Andrews on Ecosia enough for initiating this environmental change, and the faculty and IT department for implementing the change.
“I hope this inspires other universities around the world to join the movement.”
The switch to Ecosia will take place on January 24, and students will also be instructed on how to make the switch on their own devices.