We’ve scoured the Web to learn exactly what green web hosting is all about. Is it a fad, or is it for real? What is eco-friendly hosting, anyway? What does it mean for you, the web hosting customer?
As it turns out, web hosting has a big impact on the environment, and the term “green web hosting” can have many meanings.
Surprisingly, by one account, a single web server produces the same emissions as a 15 mpg SUV. And according to an InformationWeek report, the electric bill to operate servers and related equipment was more than $2.7 billion in the U.S. alone, in 2005. This has led many web hosts to evaluate their energy consumption levels, and take steps to reduce them.
For many, green web hosting means the web host purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) as a way to offset their carbon footprint. In other words, they’re using power from the grid, but then they purchase sustainable energy units that are used elsewhere in the community. In essence, this “offsets” their impact on the environment.
For others, green web hosting means focusing on energy efficient data centers with high-efficiency servers and cooling systems. Still others have proactive “green” policies around the workplace (e.g., they use 100% recycled paper only), and flexible telecommuting policies to minimize the impact of employee travel on the environment. A few plant a tree for each new customer.
And then there are a handful of eco-friendly web hosts that are 100% off-the-grid, connected to solar or wind sources as their primary power channel.
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