TalkTalk is marking this year’s Earth Day by committing to planting thousands of trees to help tackle climate change and promote biodiversity.

The Salford-based connectivity provider is switching its internal search engine to Ecosia, the green tech platform which funds tree-planting in biodiversity hotspots around the world using advertising revenue from user searches. As a result, TalkTalk estimates that its colleagues will plant 10,000 trees in 2023 – simply by going about their day-to-day work.

To mark the start of this new tree-planting initiative, TalkTalk colleagues visited Willow Farm in Trafford, Greater Manchester to plant 200 tree saplings by hand, in collaboration with a local not-for-profit. These new trees form part of plans to convert the area into a nature reserve, which will enable a variety of British plants and animals to thrive.

Will Ennett, Head of Sustainability and ESG at TalkTalk, said: “These trees will help transform a local landscape and serve as a reminder that sustainable action can be done from your doorstep. As a business, we’re always looking to ensure that we act with the climate crisis in mind. Using a tool like Ecosia is a simple and effective way to promote sustainability and invest in the planet without even having to think about it.”

Ecosia uses advertising profits from searches to plant trees in more than a dozen countries, including the UK, at over 13,000 planting sites. More than 15,000 Manchester residents use Ecosia every week. Last year, Manchester Ecosia users collectively funded the planting of nearly 250,000 trees, with one million monthly searches being made in the city. To date, Ecosia has financed the planting of over 170 million trees, including 250 trees which were planted at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with NHS Forests, using the profits from UK searches in 2020. The trees are dedicated to NHS staff as a living monument and gesture of thanks for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sophie Dembinski, Head of Ecosia UK, said: “By helping its employees to be climate active every day with ease, TalkTalk is enabling Ecosia to rebuild landscapes in biodiversity hotspots across the world that have been affected by deforestation. As more people become aware of the devastating impact of the climate crisis, we’re delighted to see growth in cities like Manchester and we’re delighted to be providing a solution to support them in their everyday lives.”

TalkTalk’s search engine switch joins other sustainability efforts, such as using renewable sources for the electricity supply in its offices, that have seen TalkTalk’s operational carbon footprint shrink by more than 80% over the past five years.

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