In the next post in our Sustainable Web Design series, Jeff considers a few green web hosting solutions.
In the first post in our Sustainable Web Design series, Tim shared some statistics on how the “green medium” of the web isn’t actually that green. Mightybytes also recently became one of Illinois’ first legal Benefit Corporations, making a commitment to meet a triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity.
For these two reasons, we have been thinking about different ways to reduce our carbon footprint and the carbon footprints of our clients. One of the basic tools that we use as a web development and digital marketing firm is web hosting. And what better to improve our carbon footprint by using an eco-friendly green hosting provider?
There are many different types of green hosting servers that provide sustainable services. These are examples of companies that I found in my research, that offer different types of green web hosting:
- Canvas Dreams – 100% wind powered and a B Corporation
- AISO.net – 100% solar energy powered
- Host Gator – Buys Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)
A more comprehensive list is included below. But first, I’d like to talk about the major types of green web hosting companies.
Different Shades of Green Web Hosting
100% wind and solar powered businesses are just that: businesses that run solely on wind and solar energy instead of energy that comes from less renewable sources. AISO.net maintains 120 solar panels on two large sets of arrays, capable of generating up to 60 kilowatts of electricity each day. While that is really impressive, some companies don’t have the capabilities of running strictly on wind or solar energy.
To counter alternative energy resources there are companies out there that are trying to offset their pollution production by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). An REC is a credit or credits that a company can purchase that will go toward the production of alternative energy sources (i.e. solar and wind). The difference is that the company itself will not be powered by these alternative sources.
There are two different perspectives on how green a company is when they purchase RECs. One point of view is that they are green in that even though they cannot use sustainable energy resources, because of their location or for any other reason, they at least have the right mindset of trying to give back to the earth. The other point of view is that by purchasing RECs the company cannot call itself green because outside of buying credits they aren’t necessarily doing anything to help the planet and decrease their carbon footprint.
With all of this in mind we cannot forget about our fellow B Corporation, Canvas Dreams. One thing that intrigues me about Canvas Dreams is that in addition to using 100% wind power, they put a greater focus on sustainability because it is written into their business model (their environmental policy is here).
List of Green Hosting Companies
As you can see there are plenty of options when it comes to green web hosts, but it’s up to you to find the shade of green that suits you. To aid you in your search, here is a more comprehensive list of green hosting companies.
See how green your website is with Ecograder.