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


Green Consumption Assistant at re:publica 2022

This year, in a talk at re:publica, Ruben Korenke and Maike Gossen presented the Green Consumption Assistant. In addition to demonstrating the „green functions” in the search engine and the sustainable-banner in the shopping-tab, they discussed with the audience the use of AI-supported technology, questions of data availability and user acceptance, and possible developments of…

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Product Update III: Ecosia Shopping and Green Database are available

Many things happened in the last few months. A quick overview: The work on the Chrome browser extension „Koala” was completed. The Green Consumption Assistant search technology is now integrated into the shopping page of Ecosia. The Green Database – a database of sustainable product information – has been implemented and is expanding steadily. Bye…

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Workshop at „Forum Nachhaltiger Konsum”

On 11 May 2022, Jens Bergener and Maike Gossen organised a workshop on „Digital Recommendation Systems for Sustainable Consumption” as part of the „Sustainable Consumption Forum: Why don’t we just do it?” organised by the Umweltbundesamt and by the Kompetenzzentrum Nachhaltiger Konsum. In the workshop, the possibilities and barriers for promoting sustainable lifestyles through information…

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Talk at BNW e. V. about Sufficient Marketing

At the beginning of May 2022, the Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft e. V. hosted an online discussion meeting for its members with the main question „How do I get my customers to buy less?”. Maike Gossen presented research results on the motives and barriers of sufficiency marketing and on the question of what effect it has…

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