When choosing a hosting company, people want to know how well the company performs as a service provider, what services it offers, and how good its customer service is. Most people don’t consider the environmental impact their hosting company has.
However, energy conservation is becoming a priority, with energy costs and production methods under scrutiny. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are more affordable than ever. People choose these green solutions more often for their homes and small businesses, finding that they produce enough energy for their daily needs.
Energy efficiency is also a concern for many web hosting companies. The equipment needed to run a hosting platform uses a lot of power, so hosting companies always look for ways to reduce energy costs. Servers and other rack-mounted devices need to run 24/7. When you consider that a typical data center contains hundreds or even thousands of pieces of rack-mounted hardware, you can imagine how massive the energy drain is.
Some web hosting companies are aware of this impact on their operations’ carbon footprint and have started trying to reduce their energy usage through green web hosting.
In this post we talk about green web hosting and why it’s necessary to reduce the internet’s environmental impact. We’ll also look at your benefits if you choose to go green for your VPS hosting or shared hosting plans.
- What is Green Web Hosting?
- Internet’s CO2 Impact on the Environment
- Certificates of Green Web Hosting
- What Are the Advantages of Green Web Hosting?
- How to Check if You’re Using a Green Host
What Is Green Web Hosting?
Green web hosting is a greener, more environmentally friendly way to host websites. Most green web hosting companies aim to provide high-quality services while doing everything they can to limit their carbon emission.
A common approach is to produce an equivalent or a greater amount of energy than what is being consumed and return that energy to the grid. A company can generate energy using renewable power technologies like solar and wind. Those technologies are prime examples of green energy production and two of the most environmentally friendly methods of generating electricity.
What if a company doesn’t want to invest in a solar grid or wind farm?
A green web hosting company doesn’t have to generate their own power to feed back into the system. They can pass that responsibility to a certified green energy supplier.
Companies can purchase Green tags from certified green energy suppliers to sell them. For each Green tag purchased, the certified green energy supplier will add a prescribed amount of energy to the grid on behalf of the web hosting company that purchased the tag.
This makes sense because the cost to produce any type of electricity is high. Renewable energy, while gradually becoming more affordable, is still quite an expensive technology when scaled to meet the power needs of a data center.
Using a green energy provider is a good way for web hosting companies to offset their energy consumption without generating the power themselves.
Another way a company can be accountable for its energy usage involves recycling initiatives that give the company carbon credits. These credits allow businesses to cancel out the carbon they have contributed to the global system.
Internet’s CO2 Impact on the Environment
The internet has made our lives so much faster, automated, connected, and convenient. We can only associate good things with it, right? Most of us don’t realize it, but the internet – in its full glory and mission to connect the world and store and share information – leaves a huge CO2 footprint on the environment.
Unaware to many of us, the internet’s functioning has a massive environmental impact. So massive that it equals the gas emissions of the entire aviation industry! Unbelievable as it may sound, harmless words like wireless data and cloud are harming our planet and depleting our natural resources in more ways than one.
The wireless data we use each second to do harmless activities like listening to music, chatting, sending emails, and storing data rely on data centers and networks to relay information between devices across the globe. These data centers consume a significant amount of electricity to send and store this data between devices and servers.
This is where green web hosting comes in. Responsible web hosts use the green, environmentally friendly approach to power websites and maintain servers and domain names. For their functioning, they only use renewable green energy, giving back to the environment and making responsible contributions to sustainable practices.
Green Web Hosting Certification Types
There are many levels of green certification from different certification bodies. Still, the two main types of certifications related to green web hosting are Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) and Carbon Offset Certificates (VER).
Renewable Energy Certificates (REC): These are commonly known as Green tags, although you might also see them referred to as Renewable Electricity Certificates or Tradable Renewable Certificates.
In the US, these certificates prove that a full 1 megawatt-hour of electricity has been generated from a renewable energy source and fed back into the electricity grid. This ensures that the power used by a web hosting facility has been replaced by a renewable electricity provider.
Carbon Offset Certificate (VER): Think of carbon offset as a way to make up for carbon created due to energy generation and consumption. For web hosting companies with large installations inside data centers, it makes sense to get certified with carbon offsets. It’s an effective way to ensure that their energy usage complies with the rules of the country where they operate.
Recycling is another good way to get a carbon offset certificate, and it can help reduce an organization’s carbon footprint.
What Are the Advantages of Green Web Hosting?
Green web hosting provides multiple benefits to your business and the environment. Let’s explore three main advantages of a green hosting plan.
Harmless to the Environment
The major advantage of green web hosting is that it’s completely harmless and damage-free to our planet. It is a safe and sustainable way to power websites and share data and a great way to contribute towards reducing your carbon footprint on the environment.
Whether you’re helping the environment by reducing the web host’s carbon footprint or contributing power back into the grid, green web hosting means interacting more positively with the environment.
Less Expensive Than Conventional Hosting
Green web hosting is not just eco-friendly but also cost-effective. It’s a cheaper option for running your servers than regular hosting. Standard web hosting consumes much electricity, making its service and package costs pricier.
Meanwhile, green hosting is powered by a renewable sources of energy like solar and wind, which slashes its running costs. This results in reduced and cheaper hosting package costs for the client.
But don’t assume you’ll get a compromised set of options if you choose a green hosting plan. By choosing to go green, you’ll get an equally well-rounded and fully optimized web hosting package as any other conventional plan, which includes all types of hosting plans, including WordPress hosting. You’ll also get site security, backups, domain name, email, and more.
Great for Your Business Profile
Opting for an eco hosting provider is fantastic for your company’s reputation and profile. By endorsing green web hosting for your domain name, you’re endorsing sustainable living and working practices, which adds brownie points to your profile. It creates a great impression in the professional market and on your clients. It indicates that you’re part of the global community of conscious change-makers who want to protect their environment.
How to Check if You’re Using a Green Web Hosting Provider
Web hosting companies that provide green shared hosting plans declare it proudly and loudly. Investing in a green hosting setup is a big cash investment for web hosts and makes them a part of a responsible environmental protection movement.
Your hosting provider will proudly display their green hosting certificates or talk about their green practices on their profiles. Either way, you’ll know easily if you’re on a green shared hosting plan.
Get On Board with Green Web Hosting
Green web hosting can benefit your business or personal website.
Not only will you be satisfied knowing that you’re helping the environment, but your visitors will also know! You can proudly display your website’s green status and show people you care about the planet. Maybe you’ll even convince a few people to go green themselves.
By getting the word out to the rest of the world, you can help encourage a green revolution in which we all focus more on efficient energy usage and environmentally friendly living.
If everybody does their part, we can make a big difference.