Servers work around the clock to power billions of websites on the world wide web today. In the process, a massive amount of energy is consumed.
It is predicted that the web hosting industry will soon surpass the airline industry in environmental pollution.
Green web hosting, or eco-friendly hosting, uses green technologies to minimize the environmental impact of web hosting. A green web hosting provider actively tries to mitigate the impact of hosting on the environment.
Green web hosting appeals to those with a concern for the environment looking for options to reduce their ecological footprint.
How is green web hosting achieved?
Green web hosting can be achieved through different means, such as:
1. Powering a data centre with renewable energy.
Renewable energy is produced using naturally occurring resources like water, wind, or sunlight. These natural resources replenish easily and don’t require the burning of fossil fuels.
Additionally, data centres can work with environmental organizations to create renewable energy, which is put back into the power grid. A Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is available for web hosts who want to certify that they helped in the generation of renewable energy.
2. Carbon offsetting and green protocols.
Green hosting is more than just how a company powers its servers—although this is arguably the most integral part. When looking for green web hosting provider, you should look at the company’s overall green initiatives. Because being green is more than displaying an environmentally-friendly badge on a website—it’s a way of life.
An overarching goal of following green protocols is carbon offsetting. Carbon offsetting is the practice of cutting down carbon emissions. Web hosting servers use energy directly from the power grid to power websites, and a lot of that energy comes from fossil fuels. Web hosting data centres can be mindful of their carbon footprint in simple ways, such as:
- Turning off electrical equipment that is not in use
- Turning down heating/cooling by 1 degree, or using natural air to cool down a vicinity
- Utilizing the latest heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology (HVAC)
- Using energy-saving appliances
- Using eco-friendly materials
- Planting trees and plants around the area of a data centre
- Having plants inside an office
- Recycling and composting
Data centres proactively managing their carbon footprint can obtain a Carbon Offset Certificate (VER), which certifies that greenhouse gases have been reduced.
3. Offering eco-friendly hosting solutions.
Every hosting situation is unique. For some customers a Lite shared web hosting plan with built-in Weebly site builder is more than sufficient to make a website, while some customers will require a fully managed private cloud for their enterprise. A good hosting provider will suggest the best solution for a customer’s circumstance, while also keeping the environment in mind.
Cloud hosting is remarkably efficient: highly available and scalable, you only pay for what you use, and only use what you need. A typical organization that migrates its web hosting to Canadian Web Hosting’s cloud servers typically improves energy usage by more than 68% for its computing requirements. Don’t have the expertise to manage a server but want to utilize the cloud? Shared cloud hosting makes the cloud accessible to everyone who wants to further their green goals.
If you plan on running a large website with fluctuating traffic levels, or want to host your own clients, then a dedicated server may be the most economical and ecological option.
Although it’s true that dedicated servers draw a lot of power, there are more efficient models that help customers maximize their server resources. Canadian Web Hosting uses Energy Smart servers that run on low-voltage Xeon processors with low-flow fan technology and high-efficiency power supplies. With the introduction of Energy Smart servers, every Supermicro and Dell server has a significantly reduced server power draw and resulting system heat.
Shared Web Hosting
For many customers, a small fixed amount of bandwidth and storage is more than enough. If you only need to power a small site, shared hosting is the way to go because your website is placed on a server that houses many other websites as well. No need to waste additional resources.
4. Electronic Waste
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the disposal of electronic or electric devices. A green web hosting provider should have a plan in place for recycling e-waste like metal, plastic, and computer chips, rather than having them end up in landfills.
What are the benefits of green web hosting?
Going green has more benefits than meets the eye:
1. Helps the planet.
The most obvious benefit is that green web hosting is better for the environment. By opting for green web hosting, you can give yourself kudos for helping reduce greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.
2. Sets an example for others to go green.
Many customers simply don’t know that green web hosting exists. By going green, you’re letting those around you know that green web hosting is an affordable and viable option.
3. Demonstrates corporate social responsibility.
Set yourself apart from competitors by marketing that your website is powered by renewable energy. Many green web hosting providers offer badges you can display on your website. Going green will improve your reputation as more and more people want to partner with companies that care enough to make simple changes that will help the environment.
4. It’s budget-friendly.
Not only is green hosting better for the environment, it’s better for your wallet. This is because services like cloud hosting are flexible and you only pay for what you use. Many companies offer green web hosting at no additional cost.
Canadian Web Hosting is proud to be a green web hosting provider.
Canadian Web Hosting is a 100% hydro-powered web hosting provider with data centres that use highly scalable, green hosting solutions to create a positive energy footprint on communities across Canada.
With technology evolving and energy consumption rising, green web hosting will only become more critical in the years to come. The best thing about green web hosting? It’s affordable and benefits everyone involved—including Mother Nature.
Interested in finding out more about green web hosting? Check out our green hosting technologies or tweet us at @cawebhosting