Why Green Web Hosting is So ImportantJanuary 16, 2023 | By David Selden-Treiman | Filed in: hosting.
When looking for environmentally friendly hosting (aka green hosting), the fastest way to find verified companies is to go to The Green Web Foundation, go to their list of green hosting providers, and pick one. At Potent Pages, we have good experience with Hetzner, which is a certified green host as of publication.
Green web hosting is an environmentally-friendly approach to hosting websites that prioritizes the use of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient data centers, and carbon offsetting. With the growing concern over climate change and the increasing carbon footprint of the internet, it’s more important than ever to consider the environmental impact of our online activities. This includes the energy consumption of the servers that host our websites.
How Does Green Web Hosting Work?
Use of Renewable Energy Sources
Green web hosting companies prioritize using renewable energy sources to power their servers and data centers. These sources include solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. Some companies may also invest in renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset their energy consumption. RECs are a way for a company to support renewable energy projects and reduce its carbon footprint.
Energy-Efficient Data Centers
Data centers are the backbone of the internet and support the servers that host websites. However, they are also energy-intensive operations, consuming significant amounts of electricity to power servers, cooling systems, and other equipment. Green web hosting companies employ various energy-efficient technologies and practices to reduce the energy consumption of their data centers.
- Server virtualization: This technique allows multiple virtual servers to run on one physical server, reducing the need for multiple physical servers. This not only reduces the number of servers that need to be powered, but it also improves the utilization of the available hardware, reducing the need for additional resources.
- Power usage effectiveness (PUE) : It’s a metric used to evaluate the energy efficiency of a data center. PUE is calculated by dividing the total amount of power used by the data center by the power used by IT equipment. Green web hosting companies strive to achieve a PUE of 1.0 or lower, indicating that all of the power used is directly dedicated to IT equipment, with minimal wasted energy used by cooling and other infrastructure.
- Energy-efficient equipment : Using energy-efficient equipment in the data centers such as server, storage, and networking. These equipment are designed to consume less energy while providing the same or better performance. Many of these equipment also have automatic power management feature that allows them to switch to low power mode when not in use.
By implementing these energy-efficient technologies and practices, green web hosting companies are able to reduce the energy consumption of their data centers and minimize the environmental impact of their services. Additionally, these practices can also help to lower costs and improve the reliability and uptime of hosting services, which ensures that websites are always online and data is safe and secure.
Data centers aim to keep data center temperatures at optimal levels to reduce energy consumption. They generate a lot of heat and if the temperature is not well managed, the cooling systems consume more energy, which can result in a higher cost and environmental impact. Green web hosts use advanced temperature control mechanisms like air-side economizers or liquid cooling systems. This can help to reduce energy costs and improve data center efficiency.
Even with the use of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient data centers, some carbon emissions are still produced by the hosting services. Green web hosting companies use carbon offsetting to neutralize these emissions by investing in projects that reduce or remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. These projects can include reforestation, renewable energy projects, and energy-efficient technologies. Some companies may also support carbon offset projects in developing countries, as part of their social responsibility
By using these practices, green web hosting companies aim to minimize the environmental impact of their services and play an active role in addressing the climate change crisis.
Benefits of Green Web Hosting
One of the main benefits of green web hosting is that it reduces the environmental impact of hosting websites. By using renewable energy sources and energy-efficient data centers, green web hosting companies are able to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, by using green web hosting, you can also save money on your hosting costs, as many green web hosting companies offer competitive pricing. Furthermore, by choosing a green web host, you’re improving your company’s reputation, as it can be perceived as socially responsible, specially when it comes to the future of the planet.
Choosing a Green Web Host
When choosing a green web host, it’s important to do your research and look for certification from reputable organizations.
What Companies Can I Look For When Verifying Green Hosting?
There are several organizations that certify green web hosting companies. Some of the most well-known include:
This organization certifies web hosts that use 100% renewable energy and have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. They certify website hosts and providers of hosting services, and also web-related services, such as domain registrars, web agencies and web builders, among others.
B Corp is a certification for companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Many green web hosting companies are certified B Corps, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility.
The Green Grid is a global consortium of companies and organizations that focuses on advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems. They have a standard for data center energy efficiency called Data Center Power Efficiency (DCOPE), which is a framework to evaluate, improve and measure the energy efficiency of data centers.
The Uptime Institute is a global provider of independent, unbiased, and trusted thought-leadership, research, education, and professional certification programs to advance data center reliability. They have a standard for data center energy efficiency called the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) which is a way to measure the energy efficiency of a data center.
This is a certification that measures, verifies and certifies the reduction of carbon emissions from data centers. It covers the whole data center, including the IT load and cooling, and allows data centers to demonstrate their carbon reduction performance through independent third-party verification.
It’s important to note that not all certifications are the same, and it’s best to research the specific requirements and standards of each organization to find the right one for you.
Look For Transparency and Reporting
Additionally, it’s important to look for transparency and reporting from the host, so you can understand their energy usage and carbon offsetting efforts. Customer support is also an important factor to consider when choosing a green web host, as you want to ensure that you have access to help when you need it.
What ISO Certifications Support Green Web Hosting?
Additionally, you can also look for other certifications or labels that indicate environmental responsibility, such as ISO 14001 or ISO 14064. The ISO 14000 family of standards deals with environmental responsibility. These are helpful to look for if you really want to dig deeply into what hosting providers are actually serious about their green-hosting programs and how they go about providing green hosting.
ISO 14001 is an international standard that outlines the requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS). It provides a framework for organizations to identify and control the environmental impact of their operations, and to continually improve their environmental performance. An organization that is certified to ISO 14001 has demonstrated that it has implemented an EMS that meets the standard’s requirements and has committed to continuously improve its environmental performance.
The standard is designed to be flexible and can be applied to any organization, regardless of size or industry. It is a voluntary standard, which means that it’s up to the organization to decide if they want to implement it, but if implemented it helps companies to reduce their environmental impact and improve their overall sustainability performance. Additionally, it can also provide a competitive advantage, as more and more customers, regulators, and other stakeholders are looking for evidence of environmental responsibility.
ISO 14064 is an international standard that specifies requirements for quantifying, monitoring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It provides a framework for organizations to measure and report their GHG emissions in a consistent and transparent manner. The standard is split into three parts:
- ISO 14064-1: Specifies the principles and general requirements for GHG quantification and reporting.
- ISO 14064-2: Specifies the requirements for GHG project quantification and reporting, which is used to claim reductions or removal of GHG emissions through carbon offset projects.
- ISO 14064-3: Specifies the requirements for GHG validation and verification of an organization’s GHG emissions report.
ISO 14064 can be used by organizations of all types and sizes. It can be applied to an organization’s entire operations or to specific activities, products, or services. The standard is also useful for organizations that want to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, and for organizations that are required by law or regulation to report their GHG emissions.
Additionally, it can be used by organizations that are looking to purchase carbon offsets to offset their emissions, as it provides a consistent and transparent framework for evaluating the quality of offset projects. By following ISO 14064, organizations can increase the credibility and transparency of their GHG emissions reports, which can help to build trust with stakeholders and improve their reputation.
In conclusion, green web hosting is an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible approach to hosting websites that can benefit both the environment and your business. By switching to green web hosting, you can reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and improve your reputation. So if you’re in the market for a new web host, consider choosing a green web host and doing your part to protect the planet.
It’s always important to consider and to be conscious about the environmental impact of our daily decisions and internet is not an exception. By taking small steps like choosing a Green web hosting, we can make a real difference in the world. There are many resources available for further information about green web hosting and the benefits of sustainable technology.
David Selden-Treiman is Director of Operations and a project manager at Potent Pages. He specializes in custom web crawler development, website optimization, server management, web application development, and custom programming. Working at Potent Pages since 2012 and programming since 2003, David has extensive expertise solving problems using programming for dozens of clients. He also has extensive experience managing and optimizing servers, managing dozens of servers for both Potent Pages and other clients.