Matomo empowers Climeworks with cookieless tracking and enhanced user privacy

With a strong commitment to user privacy and a goal to go cookieless, Climeworks switched from Google Analytics to Matomo.

About Climeworks

Climeworks empowers people and companies to fight global warming by offering carbon dioxide removal as a service via direct air capture (DAC) technology. Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher in 2009, Climeworks is on a journey to climate impact at scale. To do so, Climeworks strive to inspire 1 billion people to act and remove CO2 from the air.  Their growing customer base includes over 160 companies, including multinationals such as Microsoft, BCG, UBS or Swiss Re, as well as more than 19,000 individual Climate Pioneers.

Driven by values: Upholding ethics and user data privacy

Climeworks are all about doing what’s best for the planet and the environment, and they apply that philosophy to everything they do. A particular area of concern was around the use of cookies, small files that websites can download onto a user’s device to track their behaviour and preferences. 

“When you consider data management, privacy and GDPR, we started thinking about not only the legal obligations but the moral aspect as well,” says Climeworks’ Chief Marketing Officer, Julie Gosalvez. “We feel, not only as users but also as a company, that we don’t want to be tracking people with cookies or collecting any personally identifiable information to create the best user experience.”

Throwing out the cookie jar

Having made the decision to go cookieless, Climeworks didn’t delay. As of December 2022, they removed all third-party cookies from their website, only retaining those necessary for web functioning. They also decided to replace Google Analytics with Matomo, a privacy-friendly web analytics solution that ensures compliance and delivers accurate data analysis. 

“One of our team members had worked with Matomo before,” Julie recalls. “They said they knew of a solution that would enable us to do what we wanted to do from a professional standpoint. That included tracking and analytics capability while respecting the data privacy that we want for our customers.”

With Matomo, Climeworks has the flexibility to handle their web analytics data according to their preferences, including the ability to anonymise the data and self-host with Matomo On-Premise. “Matomo’s user-first values of respect and privacy are more aligned with how we want to proceed in this space,” Julie explains.

Results of going cookieless

At the heart of the decision to go cookieless was to ease any concerns website visitors might have about their privacy, helping them to focus instead on the crucial fight against climate change. With Matomo on board, Climeworks have:

  • Eliminated third-party pixels that collect and distribute data to major tech giants like Google and Facebook
  • Eliminated tracking cookies, ensuring that all website usage data is completely anonymised, securely stored on their servers, and not shared with any third parties
  • Discontinued the need for cookie consent banner on their website, which greatly improved the user experience and ensured the accuracy of their data

These changes also mean that Climeworks’ website will become more efficient, reducing its carbon footprint by 22%. Ultimately, their goal is to inspire one billion individuals to combat CO2 emissions, and they firmly believe that cookies are not necessary to achieve this vision.

A screenshot of Matomo's Visits Dashboard

Balancing power and privacy for a successful solution

Julie notes that Matomo’s combination of robust technical capabilities and commitment to a moral perspective was unique among other options they looked at. “We didn’t find that anywhere else,” she says. “The collaboration and partnership with Matomo was very important because it made everything quite straightforward and we ended up with the ideal cookieless tracking solution. It was very easy to roll out, and everything was super-well documented.”

Julie affirms that the transition to a cookieless approach has not resulted in any downsides for Climeworks. She emphasises, “When we look at the quality of the data we have, we actually got exactly what we needed.”

Since the changes went live, Julie says that the reaction from their customers and website visitors has been very positive. “We’re getting recognition for bringing our values to life – how we treat our users,” she says. “It’s reflecting positively on us as a company because we’ve made that choice, but also because it surprises them that the cookieless option exists.”

"We have the satisfaction of being legally compliant and still understanding how visitors use the website."
Julie Gosalves - Climeworks
Julie Gosalvez
Chief Marketing Officer at Climeworks