icannSince its inception in 1998, The organization that oversees the Internet (ICANN) has had as one of its goals to open up the “top level domain” (TLD) space. Now, ten years later, a comprehensive change is planned to allow a multitude of new extensions, allowing for the creation of .ECO — a TLD for the environment.

Dot Eco, LLC intends to apply for the .ECO TLD in the upcoming ICANN round. Our goal is to provide .ECO web addresses free of charge for non-profits, and to define a standard format for companies and individuals to showcase their green initiatives. This will have multiple benefits:

“I believe that Dot Eco represents a unique opportunity for individuals to make a meaningful contribution to the environment.”
Davis Guggenheim
Director, An Inconvenient Truth

1. First, it will provide a standard place for companies to place their eco efforts. Right now, this content often exists, but in multiple places. Hopefully, in a few years, it will be a natural thing for every company to have a .ECO in addition to their .COM or .ORG addresses.

2. Second, for companies with a truly environmental focus, choosing a .ECO extension as their main web address will help brand them as primarily ecological, as opposed to “commercial” or “non-profit”. The .ECO extension will help consumers easily distinguish products designed with the environment in mind when doing web searches.

3. Third, the .ECO namespace will open up the possibility of getting a meaningful domain name for millions of registrants who have been “shut out” of .COM by speculative domain holders who have quite literally bought every .com name in the dictionary. Instead of paying thousands of dollars in the secondary market for a reasonable .COM, users will be able to find the same name in the .ECO namespace at a fraction of the cost.

4. Finally, over 50% of the profits of Dot Eco, LLC will go to environmental causes, including the Alliance for Climate Protection and Surfrider. This new fund raising model could provide significant resources for worthwhile causes.

“I just don’t think the world needs another top level domain, and certainly not one that is designed “for companies to promote their environmental initiatives”.
Mike Arrington
Techcrunch, .eco opponent

It’s important to realize that there are many opponents to new top level domains — including .ECO. Some large corporations, under advice of their legal departments, feel compelled to register every one of their trademarks in every single top level domain. This very expensive behavior is expected to get worse with the opening up of the TLD space — which is why some large corporations are vehemently opposed to new TLDs. Fortunately, others, including our many supporters of the .ECO initiative are taking a more progressive view, and some are even considering registering their own .brand TLD themselves.

By adding your name, or your corporation to our list of supporters, you can help shape the outcome of this debate. If you are writing from a medium to large company, we ask that you send us a physical letter of support — in your words — which we will submit both to ICANN and to the department of Commerce, which oversees it. You CAN make a difference