Do you know that web hosting industry is responsible for 2% of the global carbon emission? It’s the same amount of carbon emission as the airline industry. Just imagine its adverse effects on the environment. With the increase in demand for web hosting it can soon reach 3-5%. Green web hosting is part of the solution.
You might be wondering what makes a hosting provider company emit such a huge amount of CO2. Well, the data that we host online is stored in energy-intensive data centers. Keeping them running 24/7 requires air conditioning to avoid overheating the hardware. The energy often comes from burning fossil fuels.
Green web hosting can help reduce carbon emissions significantly, that’s why it’s the next big thing. If you’re new to the term “Green Web Hosting” and wondering what this exactly means or how it works? Then let’s find out.
What Is Green Web Hosting?
Green web hosting is the type of web hosting that completely relies on renewable energy sources to run the data center. This means that no fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) are burned to generate electricity. Instead, renewable sources like water, wind, and solar power are used as a source of energy to generate electricity.
The purpose of green hosting is to stop the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and avoid polluting the environment. Green web hosting also tends to use natural ways for cooling the data centers instead of air conditioning. This can be done by:
- Natural cool air
- Water cooling systems
- Placing data centers underground
- Data centers in places with cold weather
If some hosting providers can’t run their operations using renewable energy sources, then they opt for carbon offsetting. This means the amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted by a hosting company is compensated by planting trees to cancel the effect.
What Makes A Web Hosting Green?
To earn the status of being a green web hosting, eco-friendly practices need to be implemented by the hosting provider. Several factors are considered which include:
- 100% renewable energy source: making sure that not a single source of energy is acquired by burning fossil fuels. All the electricity is generated by renewable energy.
- Net zero carbon emission: in case green hosting is achieved by carbon offsetting then there must be net zero carbon emission.
- Using energy-efficient hardware: using servers and other hardware that provides the best performance using minimum energy.
- Prioritize recycling and reuse: implement the recycle/reuse practices and minimize the e-waste. Do all the electronic communication and go paperless.
- Natural cooling system: using air, water, and weather conditions to control the temperature of data centers.
- Green hosting certification: obtaining verified certifications (REC or VERs) to claim the status of being green hosting.
So, now you know all the factors (mentioned above) that make web hosting green.
Types of Green Web Hosting Certificates
The type of hosting certification defines whether the hosting provider is using renewable energy sources for power or does carbon offsetting. So, there are two basic types of green web hosting certification which include:
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
The Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is proof for a hosting company that all the power consumed to operate the data center comes from renewable energy sources. This ensures that the hosting provider doesn’t emit any carbon into the environment. For instance, if a data center consumes 10TW of energy per year. Then the web hosting company would have to prove that 100% of this energy is generated by a renewable source.
Carbon Offset Certificates (VERs)
The web hosting companies having Carbon Offset Certificates (VER) don’t use renewable energy, but they guarantee carbon offset. VER certificate shows how much carbon has been offset by the web hosting company. This is a counteract to the emission of CO2. For instance, if a company is utilizing 1MW energy then they would plant 100K trees for compensation.
Why You Should Choose Green Web Hosting?
According to the global climate report in June 2022 earth’s surface temperature is the 6th highest in the last 143 years. If we don’t start moving towards green energy, then a global environmental crisis is expected by 2025 where many countries and regions would be unlivable. So, green web hosting is a step in the right direction.
Besides all the benefits that we’ll discuss later. The answer to the question “Why choose green hosting?” is very simple. To make a much-needed difference for the environment because every bit counts.
In the past few years trend has shifted towards eco-friendly hosting due to awareness. Now more and more consumers and businesses prioritize green hosting over conventional hosting. Ask yourself whether you want to be part of a problem or change towards the solution i.e., green web hosting.
How to Choose the Right Green Web Hosting Provider?
Finding the right web hosting is crucial as many different aspects need to be considered. So, we’ve gathered a list of things to check before making your decision. Some of the aspects are mentioned below:
- Do they follow green/eco-friendly business practices?
- Are data centers powered by renewable energy sources?
- Does the hosting provider have green hosting certification?
- Do companies utilize energy-efficient hardware and appliances?
- Does the web hosting company have carbon offsetting credit?
- Are they reliable enough to be trusted in the long term?
How Green Web Hosting Works?
Unlike a typical web hosting provider green or eco-friendly hosting works by taking all the measures to ensure they’re not causing any environmental damage. This starts by either using all the green energy sources or planting trees to compensate for the amount of CO2 emitted.
It doesn’t end there because green hosting works in compliance with the rules of VER or REC certifications. Since they must be certified they have to follow green practices. Similarly, these hosting use energy efficient SSD which require much less power compared to usual storage.
Drawbacks of Conventional Hosting
We’re all aware about the adverse effects of greenhouse gasses on the environment. In the next few years, electricity consumption for the internet industry is expected to be around 20%.
There is a huge contribution of traditional hosting to the emission of greenhouse gases. With a 9% increase in the demand for hosting each year, the hosting industry is killing the environment.
However, this is not the case when it comes to green hosting as it doesn’t emit any carbon. This is not the only drawback of conventional hosting and we’ve listed some others for you.
- Cause of pollution and doesn’t recycle their hardware
- Doesn’t fall under any certification to follow the protocols
- All the energy comes from burning fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal)
- Hardware is not energy efficient which results in a loss in energy sources
Benefits of Green Web Hosting
There is not just one but many benefits of using green or eco-friendly hosting. It benefits the hosting provider company, consumer of hosting services, and environment as well. Besides that, it doesn’t have any such notable drawbacks either. So, we’ve listed some benefits:
- Beneficial for environment
- Instead of fossil fuels, it is powered by green energy
- Ensures no harmful effect on the environment
- Use energy-efficient hardware equipment and software
- Paperless, less e-waste, recycle, and eco-friendly cooling
- Improves your reputation for being environment friendly
- Certified by expert authorities for zero carbon emission
- Avoid pollution and follows green business practices
- Cost-effective for both web hosting providers and consumers
How to Know If Your Hosting Is Green?
It is very easy to find out whether your hosting is green or not. Simply visit your web hosting provider’s official website and see whether they’ve mentioned it to be green hosting or eco-friendly hosting. This is because every green web hosting provider would proudly highlight it on their first page prominently.
One more thing you need to check is if they have any certification for being a green hosting provider. Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) and Carbon Offset Certificate (VER) are the most common so find out if they have any one of these certificates. It would be a bonus if they also have an energy star.
Methods to Make Website Hosting More Green
Different methods can be followed to make website hosting greener. Besides using renewable energy sources and carbon offsetting companies can follow green business practices. This includes going paperless, using energy-efficient hardware/appliances, and recycling e-waste.
These things might seem like very small change but brings a huge impact. As discussed earlier, companies must also move towards natural cooling solutions instead of using air conditioning systems. Another thing that can be done is to support eco-friendly causes and spread awareness as much as possible.
Before it’s too late, every one of us who uses hosting services has a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. As a common user, you can opt for a green web hosting company rather than a conventional hosting provider to become a part of this change. We hope that after reading this article you’d know everything about green hosting.
Many big organizations and companies are now adopting this increasing trend to prioritize the use of eco-friendly hosting. This step has influenced many individual users as well. If we keep on storing our online data in data centers operated by burning fossil fuels, then the internet becomes more toxic to the environment.
So, be a part of this change to spread awareness and only buy web hosting services from those companies that don’t pollute the environment. If you still have any queries regarding green web hosting, then do let us know in the comment section down below.