By Kelly Meeneghan, Manager, 1&1 Internet, Inc.
When it comes to the level of technical support needed to maintain a fully functional website, not many people consider the impact it has on the environment. Just one website requires an entire server to be running 24 hours per day, seven days per week while housed and secured in a large data center. With more than 100,000 websites created each day, it is no wonder why the concept of ‘Green Hosting’ is attracting so much attention in the industry.
Hosting companies should take their carbon footprint very seriously and execute steps to ensure they are operating with green energy, while providing eco-friendly technology to its users. Understanding the inherent need for significant energy conservation encourages the company to continue protecting the environment as much as possible.
While this green mindset is a great strategy for hosts, customers are also benefiting from these initiatives. By supporting a sustainable environment, they are implementing a strong marketing strategy. For example, if a consumer is comparison-shopping between two similar businesses, environmentally conscious characteristics can be the deciding factor. Taking this information, hosts have developed logos for customers to include on their websites communicating that they are “Powered by Green Hosting.” Using this tool to generate a positive reputation helps to draw more profits and gain credibility as a business.
What was once an industry uninformed about its energy consumption is now one Whythat has actively started to adopt different resource methods to minimize the impact on the environment. A popular strategy for the hosting industry has become the implementation of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset the amount of energy consumed with reusable energy powered by wind, sun, water or biogas. Partnering with organizations like the Bonneville Environmental Foundation allows for the simple purchasing of these RECs for larger organizations.
Solutions for offsetting energy use is a significant element for a green hosting strategy, yet Web professionals should also investigate all of the green efforts a company makes. Implementation of paperless billing to save trees and operating with highly efficient power supplies resulting in less than 20 percent heat loss, are all aspects of a truly green organization.
Every year, additional developments and innovations are emerging to offer alternative solutions for energy usage. The rise of cloud technology and for example, things like dual hosting services, are both making Web hosts more conscience of what may be their lasting mark on their surroundings. Though, these technologies require more resources in order to sustain a strong, reliable service, implementing these special means to counteract the environmental impact is worth the effort and is taken seriously throughout the hosting industry.
About the Author
Kelly Meeneghan is a manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc. (www.1and1.com). As a global leader among Web hosts, 1&1 provides businesses with the tools necessary to get online and be successful. Meeneghan is also a regular contributor for WebsiteMagazine.