Pokémon GO developers team up with Ecosia to create environmental incentives

Pokemon GO Community Day
Image: Niantic

When Pokémon GO was at its peak, it encouraged millions around the world to get out and take a walk. Though it made a few headlines for the wrong reasons, it actually got people exploring the places they live, and even places they’ve never been before, all in search of finding a gym or catching a brand new Pokémon.

Developer Niantic – who is also responsible for Pikmin Bloom and Ingress Seeks to do more good in the world by partnering with the search engine Ecosia to help with replanting efforts. Now you might be thinking, “why?”, But Ecosia is known for donating a large portion of its profits (80%) to tree replanting. This is the first time the company is partnering with a video game developer, and Niantic will fund the planting of up to 100,000 trees a month until the end of July.

It all starts on Saturday, April 23, which is the next community day for Pokémon, Pikmin and Ingress. Each player who plays in the Community Day hours and walks 5 km will result in the companies planting a new tree. It’s a nice little incentive that adds to Ecosia’s already admirable task. And Community Day until the end of July will be included in this incentive, which is great news. So you can have a double good time catching these Stuffuls on Saturday or planting your digital petals.

Here are all the details of the Ecosia partnership:

Ecosia, the world’s leading green search engine that uses ad profits to invest in tree planting across the globe, joins forces with Niantic to enable augmented reality (AR) players to plant trees during Niantic Community Days over the next four months.

Starting with Niantic’s next Community Day on April 23, the company will plant a tree with Ecosia for each player playing Pokémon GO, Pikmin Bloom or Ingress, moving 5 kilometers up to 100,000 trees per month. Niantic will repeat this for its community days until the end of July, with the potential to plant 400,000 trees in reforestation and biodiversity hotspots to combat the worst effects of the climate crisis.

Catch a mew, plant a tree

Niantic’s monthly community days bring players together to an event venue to play their list of AR games in person. With 65 locations available globally in April, thousands of people are expected to gather in cities such as Berlin, Dubai, London, Sao Paulo and Sydney to catch rare Pokémon, plant mushrooms and flowers and hack portals.

The company’s games have been a resounding success in encouraging people to come outside and meet with their friends to play games and take care of some exercise. Niantic’s partnership with Ecosia to plant trees for every 5 km a player walks also allows its millions of players to help invest in the planet for future generations while having fun.

Ecosia has planted over 145 million trees to combat the climate crisis worldwide. From protecting lemur habitats in Madagascar to resorting to deserted soil in Burkina Faso and making forests more fire-resistant in Australia, Ecosia currently supports 60 projects in over 30 countries and works with carefully researched NGOs and tree planting organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute Austria. The company is committed to using replanting and nature-based solutions to solve our climate crisis.

Ruby Au, Tree Planting Projects Network and Impact Officer at Ecosia, said: “We are excited to offer a simple way for Niantic’s millions of players to be climate active when they meet at Community Days over the next few months. Partnering with world-leading companies like Niantic enables us to continue to fund replanting and biodiversity projects around the world to support communities and invest in our planet for the future. “

Yennie Solheim, Director of Social Impact at Niantic, said: “We are very excited to promote our sustainability work by engaging directly with real-world actors. Thanks to Ecosia, we are unlocking real impact by tying outdoor exploration to tree planting.”

It’s actually Earth Day today, so this is a great way to kick-start some eco-friendly game. it also ties in really well with Pokémon GO’s Sustainability Week.

Do you want to participate in these Community Days? Let us know.