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Are there any internet search engines that emphasise a focus on one or more sustainability aspects in their day-to-day operations? For example, the extent to which their vision and activities incorporate principles from sustainable development.

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    Note that Internet search engines require large computing and data storage clusters, and one of the largest cost components of data centers is (electrical) power. Even without a special focus on sustainability, reducing power consumption is paramount for a profit-oriented search engine. So, a profit-oriented search engine may very well end up being sustainable without aiming for it. (There are of course other aspects to sustainability than just electrical energy.) – Jörg W Mittag Feb 27 '16 at 13:22
  • @JörgWMittag you have a valid point, but I'd say there is a drive for efficiency rather than sustainability. In fact, given that fossil fuel electricity generation is still often cheaper to a business (but not necessarily to society) than solar (etc), the profit driven motive can prevent it from being sustainable. – Highly Irregular Feb 27 '16 at 21:38
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    one or more sustainability aspects is very broad. Are you solely interested in the consequences of their day-to-day operation, or are you also hinting at them tailoring/filtering the search results? – Jan Doggen Feb 29 '16 at 14:31
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    @JanDoggen the first. And the extent to which their vision incorporates principles from sustainable development. – orschiro Feb 29 '16 at 20:00
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If you are asking about sustainability in general, I assume social aspects should be factored in.

  • DuckDuckGo follows a number of principles linked to privacy and openness. They tend to use and promote free software (also via donating to them every year), and they do not "bubble" you (i.e. restrict your search results) or track your activity.
  • Lilo is a search engine that redirects part of its profits towards "social and environmental projects" that the users prefer. They also state that they offset the carbon emissions that the searches generate.
  • Framabee is based on the free software Searx and developped by the French organisation Framasoft. It protects privacy by not collecting data.
  • A number of websites offer a search engine with a black background that is supposed to save energy used by the computer's monitor.

Those are the ones I have used before, but an online search for "sustainable search engines" will give you several lists of them, although many lists are fairly old and some links will be dead.

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The only one I'm aware of is Ecosia, which uses a substantial amount of the money generated through its search engine to fund tree planting (80% of surplus income according to Wikipedia).

More information here: https://info.ecosia.org/what

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