Everyone wants to be green, including your host. In fact, “green hosting” is critical for many clients wanting more sustainability from the company hosting their website and content. A truly green web server works continuously to lower energy consumption. There are many ways to do this, starting with the data center where servers are kept. Even a data center that holds “just” two servers requires extensive energy and efforts to keep it secure and functioning at over 99 percent uptime. The average data center consumes on an annual basis the same amount of energy as five million households combined—however, if that energy consumption came from renewable resources like solar panels, wind turbines and the like, that would be the ideal situation.
As a client, it is your responsibility to find out exactly how eco-friendly your web host is. Usually, energy for data centers is created from generators that emit carbon. Carbon-emitting generators use fuels like gas, which isn’t renewable and requires the release of carbon and additional pollutants. When you choose a green web host, you are ensuring that they focus first on the servers they choose. Some servers consume minimal energy and reduce consumption in every possible scenario. Some hosts get their energy from solar resources, wind or other eco-friendly means.
Why Go Green?
Saving on energy is a biggie, but a green host has better device disposal strategies, too. There will come a time when computers, servers and other devices will need to be disposed of, and this often means releasing toxic substances in the process. A green host ensures proper disposal that minimizes the impact on the environment. The reality is that almost every element of tech equipment can be recycled in a green manner, but the web host has to prioritize it.
Web hosts can identify devices with a renewable energy certificate as an easy means of reducing energy consumption. This certification, and others like it, is paramount. It lets web hosts purchase devices that are alternatively powered (hydroelectricity is popular), and some REC programs also partner with programs that plan data centers where new trees are planted, this is done to counteract the impact of data center construction. Another method is purchasing Energy Star servers and other hardware, which further reduces power consumption.
With more and more websites going live each year, there is more demand for a way to host these websites. Electricity is vital. The majority of websites are hosted with electrically-powered equipment. Ultimately, this is a big demand on the planet. As one of the biggest energy hogs in the tech world, web hosts have to get greener—and clients need to demand it. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to claim you’re green since few people will actually check a host’s credentials.
As a customer, look for a web host’s green-related certificates and cross check them. Review their policy with an eagle eye, since this is where they’ll highlight how they’re green (or not). Finally, ask about Energy Star approved servers. Going green is a fantastic way to do your part in conserving resources while enjoying quality web hosting—and it can also be a PR strategy for your company.