The Ultimate Guide to Green Hosting


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Image credit: DailyHostNews

When you sign up for web hosting, you’re probably not considering that you’re in some way contributing to earth’s pollution. 

Your web host houses its equipment in a data center. Data centers host everything on servers, from simple text to audio and video. Because these servers house millions of things, they can get heated. A well-managed controlled environment keeps these servers cool (requiring a CO2 output and a large amount of energy), which makes them less environmentally friendly.

There are currently over 89 million servers in the world – all of which produce large amounts of carbon. Every second someone spends accessing a website adds CO2 to the environment. This is where green web hosting companies come in.

Before we dive into the details, let’s first ask – what is green web hosting? Green web hosting refers to a web host that actively carries out eco-friendly initiatives to eliminate or minimize the global environmental impact of its service.

How Green Web Hosting Works

Green web hosts endeavour to use electricity from renewable sources like sunlight, water, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower energy, wherever possible. Non-renewable energy sources such as oil, coal, gas, and other pollutants can cause significant harm to the environment. Green hosts try to reduce their usage and the amount of energy used for efficient processes. For example, they might build data centers while prioritizing energy efficiency.

Usually, server rooms in data centers are kept cool, but the servers themselves produce a lot of hot air. In green hosting, the hot air generated by the servers is vented outdoors. These hosts also ensure they use outside air during winter days and that they don’t waste energy with air conditioning units. 

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Different Sources of Renewable Energy for Green Hosting

A micro-grid is independent of the electrical grid and can work alone or in tandem with the regional electrical system. A micro-grid is a small-scale, localized station with power supply, production, and specified limits. 

Datacenter wind farms or solar arrays also provide electricity to the primary electrical grid, which grid users may use via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Data centers use solar energy (obtained by trapping the sun’s heat) to cool their servers. 

Wind energy has also become common in green hosting. Turbines capture wind flow and convert it into electricity. Biomass is a type of energy derived from biofuels, and waters in rivers and oceans generate hydropower.  

Benefits of Green Hosting

  • Green hosting mitigates the environmental damage caused by data centers. This is better than going with hosting plans that only hurt the environment. You’re doing your part!
  • Using green energy could enhance your company’s reputation – going for green hosting will show your customers you care, and attract even more customers. You can even show it off in your credentials to improve your public image. Going green can be used as a marketing strategy. You could attract more customers by publicizing your environment-conscious attitude – and notice an increase in business revenues. 
  • Going green often comes with discounts and other incentives. You can look for and contact NGOs and environmental bodies that may share costs 
  • As technology improves, the world’s climate condition grows more critical. “Cloud hosting” refers to the storage of digital materials in data centers that users can access at any time. Cloud hosting becomes green when natural resources are employed – like solar electricity or wind to store information – by data centers. Updating these green data centers will become a priority. Meanwhile, data centers that rely on traditional power sources will become outdated. If you’re currently using eco-friendly hosting, you’ll be able to take advantage of new green technologies as they emerge. 

Features of Green Hosting

  • The overall process is fast and efficient
  • Results in a low carbon footprint
  • Uses renewable and green energy and cuts down on harmful gasses
  • CO2 is captured by planting new trees and forests 
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Image Credit: Web Hosting Prof

Ways Green Web Hosts Can Use Carbon-Offsetting Measures 

Green Web Hosting Using 100% Renewable Resources

Green web hosting with 100% renewable resources is done by purchasing certificates or tags from a certified green energy supplier. The green energy supplier calculates your total energy consumption and returns 100% of that energy to the power grid. In this way, tons of C02 and other harmful gasses are eliminated from the environment. 

Renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and water energy, power these data centers instead of non-renewable ones, reducing fossil fuel burning and harmful gas emissions.

Green Web Hosting Using Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

Companies that produce renewable energy can obtain Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to verify that they’ve generated a specialized amount of renewable energy. The company selling these certificates uses the money to invest in green energy programs. Each REC represents an MWh of energy generated, and you can save it as such. This can eventually lead to an increase in renewable power production that can replace conventional forms of energy production. 

Green Web Hosting Using Carbon Offsets

Carbon Offsets are reductions in carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses that compensate for harmful gas pollution elsewhere in the world. Companies can obtain Verified Emission Reduction certificates (VER). 1 VER is equal to 1 tonne of CO2 emissions. VERs are calculated by set standards and enable companies and individuals to voluntarily cut down their carbon footprint and contribute towards a better environment while making progress in the business.  

Green Web Hosting Using Reforestation and Forest Preservation Projects

Planting many trees is another common strategy for carbon offsetting. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses, which is why planting more trees helps reduce CO2 emissions.

Green hosting firms support sustainability while lowering carbon emissions by investing in forest conservation and management projects. These projects address forest degradation and deforestation while also contributing to carbon sequestration and the long-term conservation of water, soil, and biodiversity for future generations. If you’re currently using eco-friendly hosting, you’ll be able to take advantage of new green technologies as they emerge. 

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Factors to Consider for Green Hosting 

How environmentally friendly is green hosting?

Many hosts make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, but some green solutions are more environmentally friendly than others. If a hosting firm advertises itself as environmentally friendly, do some research to see how eco-friendly it actually is and whether its environmental policies align with what you’re looking for.

How much more money will conservation efforts cost you? 

Though green hosting isn’t always more expensive than non-green hosting, some forms can be – like those that purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs).  While the environmental advantages of green hosting are apparent, make sure you pick a host that offers plans within your budget.

What are the characteristics of your green hosting plan?

Conservation may be a great benefit, but you need a host that will supply you with services to grow your website. Examine the basic and professional features offered by the green hosts you’re considering, as well as how accessible their support team is. 

Does green hosting hold up in terms of speed and availability?

The ultimate standards of an effective web hosting service are speed and dependability. Even if a web host solves every sort of energy conservation accessible on the market, it’s not the ideal green hosting solution if it can’t offer lightning-fast loading times.

How do I know I can trust a green web hosting company’s claims?

Before opting for any green hosting company, you need to make sure they’re trustworthy. Research the company, check their certifications, and decide for yourself whether or not the hosting company is committed to benefiting the environment or not. 

The Gold Standard 

With third-party verification, the Gold Standard is one of the best sets of standards in the world for carbon offspring. It’s significant for developing nations that don’t have emission reduction objectives. Since tree-planting programs aren’t considered useful to tenable resources, they’re excluded from Gold Standard certification.

Green Power Partners 

This certificate verifies that a green hosting company has used only a minimum percentage of its electricity.

Green-e Certificate 

A Green-e certificate certifies that the hosting company follows environmental standards, especially those related to renewable energy resources and carbon offsetting. It guarantees that carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates aren’t double credited, GHG reductions are confirmed independently, and consumer statements are genuine. 

green-certificate

Verified Carbon Standard 

The CHG program helps web hosts decrease their carbon footprint by buying carbon offsets, with a focus on GHG reduction. 

Climate Action Reserve 

The Climate Action Reserve is a carbon offset register that maintains high-quality criteria for carbon-offer projects – by monitoring independent third-party verification organizations, awarding carbon credits created by these initiatives, and transparently tracking them over time. Its purpose is to safeguard the North American carbon markets’ integrity, openness, and financial worth. 

By staying within the set criteria, you can save valuable resources and not damage your devices. So, what are you waiting for? Get green cloud hosting at an affordable price!

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