The environmentally friendly search engine Ecosia has become the default search engine for students who use the Microsoft Edge browser on campus computers for student user profiles.
The move, which was a collaboration between the University and the Students Union will mean that when using campus based computers and the Microsoft Edge browser, students will be contributing to the planting of trees each time they use the Ecosia search engine through the address bar at the top of the Microsoft Edge browser.
The university is the fifth in Scotland to switch to Ecosia as its default search engine and will be able to track the number of trees planted as a result of searches made on campus computers via the search engine.
When approached for comment by Brig about the integration of Ecosia search engine onto on campus computers via the Microsoft Edge browser or using the university AppsAnywhere software, Vice President Communities Alyson Mackay said:
“This change will be applied to student user profiles on the next logon. Students who do not wish to use Ecosia can still use other browsers. All of the searches will add up to a grand total for our campus’ tree count.”
Mackay added that the Students Union were “so pleased” with the change and that “the Information Services team were very open to exploring all ways of integrating more environmental initiatives wherever possible.”
Richard Aird, who is the Director of Service Delivery and Change at the University said that the University was approached by the Students Union “to explore the possibility of setting up the Ecosia search engine through one of our internet browsers and we were happy to work with them to support this initiative”.
Commenting on the benefits of the change, Aird said that the switch to Ecosia offers “the ability to search the Internet using a search engine which is powered solely through renewable energy, and which has planted almost 150 million trees through its income generation.”
Aird added that the University “believe that offering students the ability to use Ecosia is a small but effective contribution to the University’s sustainability policy, demonstrating environmental and social responsibility; and we are grateful to the Students’ Union for working together with us on this.”
Feature image credit: Stirling Student Union
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