Going Green with Environmentally Friendly Web Hosting

Posted: Tuesday December 20th

When the Internet first started gaining popularity there were few who could possibly have guessed how massive the scope of the World Wide Web would become. In the 21st century millions of individuals access the internet from their home, and businesses both large and small now operate their own website for the purposes of marketing and sales. As the size of the Internet has grown, so has the carbon footprint involved in keeping all those websites up and running 24/7.

Behind every business and personal website there are a number of services being provided that negatively impact the environment in one way or another. Large buildings play host to servers that run millions of websites. These buildings use a lot of energy to not only power servers, fire suppression systems, and security mechanisms, but also use a lot of energy to power the systems that keep servers cool. Companies that provide web hosting services also have office locations that have the same needs and leave their own negative impacts on the environment in the form of emissions, trash, and other waste.

Just because the Internet is a massive technological industry, doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to reduce its carbon footprint. Green web hosting practices are gaining popularity for their focus on providing all the necessary web services individuals and businesses are looking for, while conducting business in a manner that is more respectful of the planet.

The greatest focus for most green web hosting companies is to negate or even counteract their businesses impact on the local power grid and the environment. Web hosting requires a great deal of energy use, so green web hosts work hard to ensure they are using environmentally friendly energy sources. Most green web hosts operate under one of the following models:
- Solar/Wind power: Companies seek to derive as much of their energy as possible from solar, wind, and other renewable sources. Many achieve 100% renewable energy use.
- Carbon neutral: Companies that can’t access renewable energy sources in their area will devote resources to purchasing renewable energy certificates that put energy back into the power grid from renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
- Tree planting initiatives. Many green web hosts, even those who already use renewable energy, partake in tree planting initiatives that give back to the environment.

While reducing energy use, or encouraging the use of renewable sources, is the primary goal of green web hosting businesses it is not the only way they ensure their operations are environmentally friendly. Behind every web hosting business is an office location with physical employees leaving a footprint on the environment in one way, shape, or form.

Some companies will stop at simply using renewable energy sources or neutralizing their impact on a local power grid. Other green web hosts believe in further reducing their impact. Those green web hosts with the greatest level of dedication to the environment adopt some of the following tactics in their office spaces:
- Electronic correspondence over paper. A special emphasis is placed upon using little or no paper, reducing waste in the process.
- Telecommuting. Businesses will encourage staff that can effectively work from home to do so, saving emissions from their vehicle and using less energy in the office with fewer employees physically present.
- Carpool. The most dedicated companies will encourage their employees to carpool to work as often as possible, further reducing their businesses impact on the environment.

Not every green web host takes their business practices to such extremes when it comes to saving the environment. Regardless, all green web hosting services have a commitment to reducing the massive energy needs of their business and work to promote the use of renewable energy sources.

Lastly, don’t be fooled by their devotion to green energy sources. Green web hosting companies don’t provide a lesser product in order to work within the confines of sometimes lesser renewable energy sources. Green web hosts all work to provide their customers with the type of quality product they would expect from any web hosting company.

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