Information Systems for Sustainability and Global Competitiveness


The environmental impact of IT is facing increasing public attention. The search engine Ecosia takes advantage of thissituation by pursuing a Social Business model. Search engines need electricity to provide their services and indirectlyproduce CO2. The estimation of greenhouse gas emissions for the average search query using the market leader Googlefluctuate between 0.2 g and 10.0 g of CO2. The search engine Ecosia tries to compensate the emissions by donating most ofits revenues to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and save rainforest from deforestation. Rainforests process CO2 throughphotosynthesis and store it as carbon. The question arises if Social Business models in general possess potential for success inthe search engine market. To investigate this question we apply case study research. Additionally, we use a survey to evaluatewhat is important to users and which aspects of search engines influence the customer’s attitude towards social business.