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Green Web Hosting

Posted in Blog

Responsible ICT Sourcing

Green Web Hosting
With ICT in the UK responsible for about 4% of the national energy bill, and a carbon footprint approaching a scale similar to the aviation industry, it's time to think seriously about the cost of the web.
Web servers are, by neccesity, switched on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This leads to somewhere in the region of 7000 Kwh energy useage per year, and over 3 tonnes of carbon dioxide production. (Source:http://www.zdnet.com/toolkit-calculate-data-center-server-power-usage-7000013699/)

Estimating how many servers there are running at any one time? Your guess is as good as mine. But Google alone has a couple of million (best guess).

I know from experience that datacenters have improved greatly over the past few years, with more efficient climate control systems; more efficient servers; hybrid cars for staff; and even encouraging employees to use IP telephony instead of travelling to meetings, the bottom line is still a huge consumption of energy and output of pollutents.

Now, my own business is fairly green. I work from home, so car travel is limited. I switch the PC off when I'm not using it, and my speakers and my modem, and I rarely use my printer. So far, so good. But I do use other people's services. So shouldn't I be checking their credentials and seeing what they're doing as well?

The upshot is, that for several months, I've been looking into cost-effective ways of reducing the impact that my particular business has on the environment. And apart from the micro-measures mentioned above, my biggest, unavoidable impact, is web hosting.

Fortunately there are now a plethora of Green web hosting companies out there, mainly in the U.S. but a growing number in the U.K. as well. And the market has rapidly adapted to provide varying ways of offsetting and reducing energy use.

These include: Windfarm projects (from Norway to Tamil Nadu), Tree planting schemes, Solar power, Biomass fuel, Hydroelectric renewable energy, Prevention of deforestation and many other projects through organisations such as http://www.carbon-offsets.com.

Based on cost, support levels and service levels I've found an excellent UK based service, but it took a fair bit of research. Not every company is as green as they claim, and even if they are, it doesn't guarantee they can provide a good service.

But, even if you think disastrous climate change is nonsense, reducing energy useage and offsetting pollution is undeniably sensible.

So, if you're concerned about green hosting, or want some pointers, just give me a call...actually, no, email me... it's far more efficient.


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