Would you believe it! The internet is not eco-friendly. If you are surprised, you are not alone. Many people are not aware that webhosting contributes to environmental pollution. The reason is simple-web hosting companies use a lot of electricity. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports that data centres use 70 billion kilowatt hours per year, which is 1.8% of the country’s total consumption. An example of a data centre is shown in fig 1 below.

Fig 1: Switch Pyramid Data Centre in Michigan (image courtesy of http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2017/03/09/switch-launches-its-pyramid-shaped-data-center-in-michigan/)

Efficiency of the systems on track, but is it enough

As if that is not enough, internet addiction across the globe seems to be increasing. All this pressure is obviously on the data centres. The question that is gaining momentum is “Can the data centres soak in the pressure?” There has been progress in efficiency of the systems, so that seems to be sorted out. However, what is anyone handling the carbon footprint aspect? That is the genesis of green hosting companies, some of which you can find in reviews such as these.

Concept of Green Hosting Companies

As seen above, webhosting companies use loads of power. The reason for this is the fact that the internet does not sleep. Data centres have to run for 24 hours. Imagine the amount of energy needed by these centres considering the thousands of websites and hundreds of servers involved. Most of the power is generated by carbon emitting generators. A generator of this kind runs on non-renewable fuel and emits a lot of carbon.

So how does a green hosting company counter this?

  1. Energy Efficiency

First, these firms strive to minimize power consumption. For example, they use energy efficient machines. Others may also use managed power systems that ensure no idle equipment consumer power unnecessarily.

  1. Safe And Reliable Disposal

Understanding the life cycle of equipment is a priority for these companies. Equipment used in green hosting can contain dangerous chemicals that harm the environment both in the short term and in the long term. Green hosting companies adhere to safe disposal methods for their batteries, computers and related items.

  1. Recycling

Recycling e-waste is an excellent way of reducing the number of computer chips, plastic and metal in the landfills. Remember, any green web hosting company worth its salt will recycle the items properly.

  1. Renewable Energy Credits

Web hosting companies can also conserve resources by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). A REC, also referred to as green tag, is a legal and tradable mechanism associated with the benefits of using renewable energy power. The owner of this credit has legal proof of having bought energy from a renewable energy source.

Choosing a Green Web Hosting Company

Now you have seen what a green hosting company is all about, why would you still go for any host? No doubt, going green is hectic for any firm; leave alone a web hosting company, so getting a green hosting company may not be easy. You will find many establishments dangling a green badge, yet they are not green in the real sense. That is not to say there are not genuine ones.

Your first stop when looking for a green hosting company can be at the servers. Are they certified for minimum power consumption? Do they have energy star rating? Further, check the company’s legal documentation for any proof of their claims of being green. You may also want to check the RECs. Do they get their credits from a reputable seller?

Even if you are just a website owner or businessperson, you can contribute to green hosting by working with green hosting companies. This way, you will help reduce the strain already being experienced in data centres across the globe. Have you identified a reliable green hosting company?