Ecosia uses 80% of its profits (47.1% of its income) from advertising revenue to support tree planting projects. The rest is put into backup reserves for unforeseen circumstances – if these reserves are not used they are channeled back into the company’s tree planting fund.
In a May 2021 article, example figures from March showed revenues of €1,969,440, while the largest expenditure was “Trees” at €789,113, ahead of the second-largest expenditure, operating costs, at €543,425. Users entering a keyword in Ecosia see essentially the same results as via Bing (Microsoft owned search engine), including the ads. When someone clicks on an ad in Ecosia, Microsoft earns money, but Ecosia gets a large portion of the sales.
The company works with multiple organizations, such as the Eden Reforestation Projects, Hommes et Terre, and various local partners, to plant trees in 16 countries throughout the world. Ecosia currently has one or more projects in the following countries: Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia, Haiti, Brazil, Morocco, Spain, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Madagascar, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Ivory Coast, United Kingdom, Canada, Rwanda, Bolivia, United States, Australia, Malawi.
By July 2020, Ecosia had surpassed 100 million trees planted in total, resulting in over 50,000 metric tonnes of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere each month. It was reported in the same month that Ecosia, on average, was able to fund a tree every 0.8 seconds – averaging 75 per minute or 108,000 per day – with the revenue it makes from advertising.
Ecosia has stressed that it is not only carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative. Combining its tree-planting initiative with investment in solar energy to power its servers (running on “200% renewable energy”, each search is said to remove 1 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.
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