Canadian environmental activists win .eco domain

doteco graphic

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, decides who owns those letters after the dot in your internet address, and has been having a lawn sale. Commercial names are easy and expensive, but there is also a category that were defined as "community priority." According to David Beers of the Tyee, these have a higher bar.

These groups have to meet a high bar of requirements, set and evaluated by ICANN, in order to be approved as truly representative of the community their digital suffix references. But if an applicant meets this community priority test, they leap to the front of the line.

And the big green domain extension, .eco, has been awarded to Big Room, a company in Vancouver run by Trevor Bowden and Jacob Malthouse. Beers explains why:

Their pitch: You shouldn't be able to just pay to have .eco appended to your Internet identity. You should have to earn it. And the environmental community should be able to set the criteria and have a say in how the .eco community grows. Along the way the pair collected hundreds of endorsements for their 200-page bid. "This is a huge win," says Bowden, "for the socially aware, socially responsible approach to investing."

The hard part, according to Malthouse, "is to make sure dot eco doesn't become meaningless." According to the FAQ page, there will be high standards; they want .eco to be a badge of sustainability. When asked how they will make sure that people with an .eco domain are really sustainable:

By working with the environmental community. The Community Council spent over two years developing a “.ECO System” this unique system, combined with clear rules and a “take-down” process, will keep .ECO working for the environmental community.

It will be interesting to see how successfully they can keep out the greenwashers and the fronts. It will be interesting to see if they give us!

Congratulations to Big Room on a big accomplishment, and sign up at

Tags: Activism | Environmental Certifications | Environmental Policy


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