The Green Consumption Assistant (GCA) supports consumers in making more sustainable decisions during online shopping. The GCA displays green product alternatives on the search engine Ecosia and provides information about more sustainable alternatives, for example, references to repair, rental, or sharing options. In addition, sustainable websites will be highlighted on Ecosia and the climate commitments of the organisations and companies will be made transparent in a ranking. For the recommendations of the GCA, a comprehensive product database (Green Database) with ecological and social sustainability information is being built up using machine learning techniques.

The GCA is a collaboration project between the Technische Universität Berlin, the Berliner Hochschule für Technik, and the green search engine Ecosia and is funded by the Bundesumweltministerium as a lighthouse project for artificial intelligence in use for ecological challenges. The project embodies a new, interdisciplinary partnership that combines sustainable and behavioural research with machine learning, user-centered design, and digital product development.

In the project, we rely on cooperation and exchange with various sustainability actors, scientists, and label organisations or online shops, to ensure a reliable and comprehensive data set for the recommendations of the Green Consumption Assistant.

  • Sustainability research
  • Behaviour Research
  • Ecological Impact Assessment
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Science
  • Database
  • User-Centered Design
  • Digital Product Development
  • User Recruitment


Working Paper: Sustainable Product Recommendations – Identification and Evaluation of Sustainable Products

In this publication, Marja Lena Hoffmann deals with sustainability labels and comparable sustainability indicators that the Green Consumption Assistant uses to evaluate sustainable products. The working paper points out conceptual considerations as well as methodological weaknesses that are relevant for the further development of the Green Consumption Assistant. Abstract The production, use and disposal of…

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Article at RESET „Greenwashing in Online Fashion: Consumers are Being Deceived by Sustainability Claims”

In the contribution to RESET – Digital for Good, Maike Gossen and Felix Biessmann problematise the extent of sustainability labels that customers are confronted with during online shopping. Using the GreenDB database, the GCA research team investigated how trustworthy the available sustainability information is in Germany’s largest online shops. The results show that only a…

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Article at BNW „What contribution are promises of climate neutrality making to the transformation of the economy?”

Since the Paris Climate Conference, hundreds of companies have published ‘Net Zero Pledges’ in which they show how they intend to contribute to climate protection. In order to make the ambitions behind these pledges transparent, the TU Berlin has developed the Climate Pledge Rating together with the search engine Ecosia. In the article at Bundesverband…

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Article „Credible and easily available sustainability information in internet searches on Ecosia” in the anthology „Consumer Social Responsibility in the digital space”

In chapter 7 of the anthology Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Space, an article on the GCA has been published. Marja Lena Hoffmann, Maike Gossen and Nina Güldenpenning present the green consumption assistant as a potential solution for the information complexity of sustainable consumption decisions. The anthology aims to collect current German-language research on…

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Working Paper: Climate Pledge Rating – A hands-on Evaluation and Visualization of Companies’ Responses to Climate Change

In this publication, Marja Lena Hoffmann focuses on the Climate Pledge Rating, which was developed and implemented as part of the Green Consumption Assistant (GCA). The rating shows Ecosia users reviews and ratings of sustainability pledges of selected companies. This is intended to support users in making sustainable consumption decisions. Abstract The climate crisis is…

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