How does green web hosting work (and which hosting companies are green)

Internet carbon footprint

The Internet goes far beyond its days and grows exponentially at a rate that has never been seen. Custom content has evolved from plain text into several multimedia formats, including audio and video.

All of this content is hosted on servers, most of which are located in data centers.

These massive objects build rows on rows of servers that handle everything from corporate websites to personal blogs. These servers must be stored in refrigerated, controlled environments, so they require large amounts of energy and have significant carbon dioxide (CO2). This makes them less optimal for our environment.

For the average person who develops content, a service provider, such as a web host, is commonly used. With the comfort of our homes or offices, we subscribe, pay and manage digital content and do not even step into the data center, as this affects us?

All this is due to the fact that in the end we still use the use of data centers. Although we subscribe to a web host, for example, that the web host still needs to place the equipment in the data center.

What is green web hosting?

Green web hosting refers to web hosts that are actively trying to implement environmentally friendly initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts.

Unfortunately, even the largest web hosting companies occupy only a small part of the data center.

A solar energy farm used to produce clean energy (source: US Department of the Interior ).

Thus, it is completely impractical to expect that they will dictate requirements for data centers with respect to environmental friendliness. However, fortunately, many of them realized that, although it may be, there are still ways in which they can contribute to a healthy environment.

Primary means that web hosts return the environment through renewable energy sources or carbon offsets.

Renewable energy that is produced using natural resources such as sunlight, wind or even water. They are replenished in a natural way, and their conversion for use does not require burning fossil fuels, which leads to highly efficient clean energy.

Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)

Of course, since they cannot dictate this to their data centers, alternatives may be renewable energy certificates (RECs) or loans for renewable energy sources.

Sample Certificate of Renewable Energy (REC).

RECs are generated by companies that specialize in creating renewable energy sources. By purchasing them, the web host can confirm that they have helped in creating a certain amount of renewable energy sources. In turn, the company that sells REC, gets money to cover operating expenses, and also invests in additional green energy initiatives.

Carbon Shifting Certificate (VER)

Besides REC, another option is to choose carbon dioxide correction or VERs, which is another type of program. The main difference here is that, although RECs confirm that clean energy has been generated, VERs simply confirm that greenhouse gases have been reduced somewhere in an equivalent amount, as indicated in the certificate.

Carbon Shift Certificate (VER) Sample

Annual CO2 release on the Internet: how much does it affect all this?

Instead of listing and contributing to the annual release of CO2 on the Internet, let’s look at a few simple examples that will lead to its equivalent:

  • 31 million cars worldwide
  • Boeing 747 flies to the moon and back 5,674 times
  • The countries of Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Mongolia in the aggregate

According to a laboratory report at Berkeley, only data centers located in the United States will need 100TWh of electricity per year 2020. This amount of power is what large nuclear power plants will need 10.

Which web hosts turn green?

Let’s look at some Green web hosts and what they did;

Hosting 1-A2

Type of certification: VER

Although it’s not what they blew up their horn, A2 Hosting works with – green . Thanks to this partnership, they buy carbon waste, which allows Carbonfund to invest in sources of clean, renewable energy on a global scale. Nor is this something recent, in response to rising global warming warnings, but has been around for over a decade.

According to the Carbon Fund,

Over the past ten years, carbon dioxide emissions A2Hosting offset the donations of neutralized almost 2.3 million pounds of greenhouse gases, which is equivalent to planting seedlings of 27,000 trees and allowing these trees to grow over ten years!

2-Gastric host

Type of certification: REC

At first, deciding to try to help the environment, Acorn Host began offering preferential plans that benefited non-profit organizations, among which were green-oriented groups. Today he has completed the purchase of REC to not only cover the energy used to run his servers, but also covers their offices and other equipment.

Acorn Host also works with data centers that are environmentally friendly. Their data center partners ServInt and Liquidweb use low-voltage servers, rework hardware components that can no longer be used, and contribute to reforestation projects.


Type of certification: VER

DreamHost places its servers in data centers that offer high-performance cooling with cooling systems that partially use regenerated water. These data centers are also partners in the “clean wind” programs at the state level and work directly with electricity from renewable sources.

He also buys REC, and at the end of 2017, DreamHost has invested enough money to offset almost 30,000 tons of CO2.


Type of certification: VER

EcoHosting may be one of the companies that users of VERs instead of REC, but they contribute to the environment in different ways. For example, a company invests in reforestation projects in the UK and supports research and conservation.

Their support includes many activities to preserve biodiversity and restore the natural habitats of animals. This is a very personal way by which EcoHosting demonstrates a real interest in the environment, in addition to simply acquiring green certification.

5- GreenGeeks

Type of certification: REC

GreenGeeks also works closely with companies in the environmental business to buy credits for wind energy. They go higher and higher, paying for the triple amount of energy they consume. In addition, they also use energy-efficient equipment for their servers, which are located in data centers.

According to Trey Gardner, CEO of Greengeeks, “the web hosting industry can be held accountable and can change course, but only if the consumer decides to go green and get other companies in the industry to do the right thing and become environmentally friendly.”

6- HostPapa

Type of certification: REC

HostPapa runs on renewable energy and buys REC to power its data centers, web servers, office computers, laptops, and even office space. They decided to support solar and wind energy to help reduce the impact of the carbon footprint on the world.

In your own words; “Whether you are a business owner, entrepreneur, webmaster or blogger, you are also a consumer of energy and energy products and services. Every kilowatt-hour of power you use, including the launch of your site (s), affects the rest of the world. ”

How to know if your host is green?

This is straightforward: if your host is Green, they will tell you loudly and proudly!

Going green is often a significant web hosting investment, and you can be sure that they will let you know. Although not everyone will always show their green certificate, the amount of information they provide to you regarding their green initiatives often reflects their investments.

HostPapa created a dedicated page to talk about the company’s green policy ( See here ).

Some of them have set up their own web hosting business around the concept of selling green hosting. For example, GreenGeeks. In fact, they are so proud that they offer their customers “green” green icons to allow them to share their own visitors with the fact that they are also environmentally friendly.

However, the only way to say for sure is if the host displays Green certification, for example DreamHost.

GreenGeeks not only turns green, but also links it to a marketing strategy.

Eco web hosting * solution *?

Going Green is something very real, not just for the web hosting industry.

However, REC and CENTURIES aside, cash will not solve the problem. This is why web hosts like EcoHosting, which go the extra mile, are important. In addition to the obvious green certification, the company shows a real interest thanks to the programs and initiatives it supports.

Despite all this, the most critical moment that I have not yet said is this; Studying the value of Green to any hosting company, ultimately, the most important factor for you, the interested party, is their competence in their core business – web hosting!

In the end, this is what you pay for the right? In this post, take a look at the comprehensive and competent (yes, we also take very seriously what we do) The best web hosts hosting reviews .

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1 Response

  1. Caroline says:

    Peace to your home. Thank you for the wonderful articles.

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