What is it?
Our digital belongings now live in the cloud.
As dreamy as that sounds, they haven’t gone to internet heaven, they are being stored in data centres. Huge buildings, full of computers called servers, which hold onto the software, vast databases, and every image, video and audio file found on every website you browse. They send us what we need, over the internet, when we need it. Rendering it, out of sight and out of mind.
These data centres need power, not only to keep the servers running, but to cool them down. You’ve probably felt an old laptop get hot on your lap, but these data centres often reach 46°C.1 With the average data centre measuring approximately 100,000 square feet, that’s a lot of juice.2 Green hosting is the answer.
Whilst people are becoming more educated, for the most part they don't think (or care) about the infrastructure behind a website. This means the responsibility of ensuring we have an eco friendly internet of the future, lands on us. The ones who are continuing to build on it every single day. Sometimes the best kind of user experience can be a seemingly invisible one.
Mike Masey, Senior Developer
Green hosting can mean a few different things, so be wary. Green hosting can include Carbon offsetting, powering a data centre directly with renewable energy, planting trees, plants, and grass around and over Data Centres and more day-to-day activities such as energy conservation and the use of energy-saving appliances.3
In short, it means that your organisation ensures the emissions your hosting produces, or resources it uses, are minimised and/or compensated for.
Loading an average web page can emit up to 6.8g of carbon dioxide and, with 4.95 billion internet users in the world today, these emissions can soon add up.4
Why should I care?
The impact of hosting is becoming visible to consumers, fast. Today in most UK schools, students learn what a data centre is, and exactly how the cloud works. This means fewer and fewer consumers will be in doubt about the environmental cost of digital storage.
That being said, we don’t need to wait for that awareness to reach paying adult customers, with customers feeling both the ethical and financial pinch associated with unsustainable energy. A 2021, UK survey conducted by EY found that over three-fifths (62%) of UK energy consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service that is sustainable, with over 40% of under 35s willing to pay a premium for sustainable energy. In fact, almost a third of respondents (32%) said they had stopped using a product or service because it was unsustainable.
If your business is not taking action to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions emitted due to internet use, you’re behind. Apple has made it one of its missions to lessen its global carbon footprint. In 2018 they reached a milestone of being powered by 100% renewable energy across the world. This includes Apple’s retail stores, offices and data centres in 43 countries including the UK, America, China and India.5
What can I do right now?
Ask the right questions.
You can get an indication of whether or not a company is using green hosting with this tool from the Green Web foundation.7 If your favourite brand isn’t, ask them why not. Consumers are king, and when we express that we care about the environment, brands are forced to listen. Remember that green hosting is one way to keep carbon budgets low, and carbon off-setting is often used in combination, or as an alternative.Try the tool
Switch to green hosting.
If you’re in a position to make this decision, we recommend using a hosting provider like webwiz, who use solar energy, Tesla Solar Energy Storage, Energy-Efficient Servers and are carbon neutral through a combination of the measures mentioned here and planting trees to offset what little they do produce.6Explore green hosting
Use a digital agency who can help.
Many agencies specialise in eco-friendly websites, but not all of them can balance business needs, delightful design and the environment without seriously compromising on one. When your project is live, Yoyo provides reliable, solar powered, green hosting for your website or digital project. Guaranteed to be climate neutral.Contact Us
- How the Heat from Data Centres can be Recycled / Lifeline Data Centres
- And The Title of The Largest Data Center in the World and Largest Data Center in US Goes To... / Mark Allen
- Web Communication: A Content Analysis of Green Hosting Companies, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China / MDPI
- Should your business choose green web hosting? / Nerdwallet
- Apple now globally powered by 100 percent renewable energy / Newsroom
- Green Hosting / Webwiz
- Is your website hosted green? / The Green Web Foundation