Green search engine Ecosia has seen an increase in active users to 20 million, the not-for-profit venture announced this week.
With highest usage in Germany, France, UK, and the US, the growing user base is also reflected in the carbon negative search engine’s recent milestone of reaching 150 million trees planted, with 100 million planted in the past three years alone.
The company said the strong growth was largely thanks to a rise in mobile users, through its range of browser apps. Ecosia has also invested nearly €30m into renewable energy and claims to be the only search engine that “crowds out fossil fuels” from the energy grid with every search.
The firm also announced this week that it is rolling out a brand-new look as a “visual statement of its recommitment to climate action”, while also unveiling a new two-decade tree planting strategy.
“Our rising user numbers do give me hope for the regeneration of our planet, but companies need to move faster and aiming for carbon neutral is not enough,” said Christian Kroll, Ecosia’s CEO. “Our commitment to go all in means ramping up everything we do. Ecosia is already massively carbon negative but we’ll continue to invest aggressively in renewable energy, we’re bringing in new green search features to help our users be climate active every day , and by transitioning to 20-year tree-planting contracts we’re ensuring our trees are intergenerational.”
As one of the largest tree-planting organizations in the world, Ecosia said it has worked hard to ensure the right trees are planted in the right place. It uses satellite technology, geo-tagging, photographic evidence, and field visits to monitor the impact of its reforestation projects. The search engine’s portfolio consists of over 900 different species planted across projects with over 30 being on the endangered species list, making it the largest financier of endangered trees worldwide.
High tree survival percentages and successful reforestation can be credited to the close working relationship Ecosia has with local partners, it added.
The company said it now serves half a billion searches each month and is hoping to see user numbers to continue to grow following its first brand revamp since its launch in 2009. In addition, 20 of the most-searched companies on Ecosia are set to come with a Climate Pledge Rating this summer which will show each organisation’s commitment to climate action – the list includes the likes of Meta, Amazon, and Spotify.