8 Great Green Hosting Providers

Selecting a Web host is a tough decision that not only affects a website's success, but also the environment. 

According to HostGator (featured below), the average server produces the same emissions as a 15 mpg SUV. When you look at HostGator, the company hosts more than 4,000,000 websites on its shared and reseller Web hosting servers, which means a lot of carbon emissions. Let's see how this company and others are making a difference in the hosting world.

Host: HostGator
Estimated Web Popularity*: 139

Going Green: Initially, HostGator took steps to minimize its environmental impact at the office, but the company wasn't satisfied. HostGator expanded its eco-friendly initiatives a step further by switching to 36 percent more efficient servers, but the hosting business still wasn't satisfied. Today, all of HostGator's Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) have been registered, verified and retired from the market. Additionally, all of its shared and reseller servers are now 130 percent wind powered. Lastly, HostGator has purchased certified RECs representing 130 percent of the electricity used to both power and cool every one its servers. 

Host: iPage
Estimated Web Popularity:  7,460

Going Green: iPage reduced its carbon footprint by purchasing enough RECs to offset its energy use by 200 percent. That means:

Host: DreamHost
Estimated Web Popularity: 8,169

Going Green: When DreamHost learned that running its company generated as much carbon dioxide as 545 average-sized homes, stakeholders realized they had to do something to neutralize their emissions. They found the most effective approach begins with resource conservation: turning off the lights, reducing travel, printing on both sides of the page, etc. 

"Efforts are being ramped up here daily to do what we do with less," reads the company website. "The next step is to use clean, renewable energy. Without the option to put up solar panels or connect with a green power utility for us, this means purchasing Renewable Energy Credits. Finally, to neutralize those unavoidable emissions we've invested in Emission Reduction Credits (a.k.a. "offsets") which guarantee our remaining impact is effectively erased."

DreamHost also holds a Certificate of Carbon Neutralization:

Host: FatCow
Estimated Web Popularity: 10,152

Going Green: FatCow's company offices and data centers are powered by 100 percent wind energy, and the hosting provider offers a variety of free green badges that customers can add to their websites to announce they're going green. FatCow believes that by adding their badge to a website can:

- Appeal to eco-conscious customers

- Verify that a website is powered by renewable energy

- Build a reputation as environmentally responsible

Host: HostPapa
Estimated Web Popularity: 24,011

Going Green: HostPapa was one of the first Web hosting companies to make a public commitment to going green. The company promotes the development and use of wind and solar energy resources by purchasing green energy certificates to offset all the power it uses in its data centers and offices. By putting equivalent clean energy back into the grid, the company effectively reduced its carbon footprint and supports renewable energy initiatives.

Host: GreenGeeks 
Estimated Web Popularity: 24,911

Going Green: GreenGeeks pulls energy from the grid in order to make sure that it has a constant power flow for its servers and to make sure the servers would not be interrupted by a lack of power. According to the company, in order to compensate for the power it pulls from the grid, GreenGeeks purchases three times that amount in wind energy credits.

"This allows our customers to say that their web sites are 300 percent green and are actually helping to make the Web hosting and power systems greener, not just covering the carbon footprint but covering other carbon foot prints as well," reads the website.

Here are some examples of the logos its clients can use to show their websites are hosted green:

Host: ThinkHost
Estimated Web Popularity: 110,976

Going Green: Most of ThinkHost's staff telecommutes, so they aren't contributing to global warming through trips to and from work. The company also uses little in the way of paper, as data is stored electronically. And most of the staff use notebook computers and low wattage lighting, reducing electricity requirements. What electricity they do use, including the amount used by servers, is 100 percent powered by renewable wind and solar energy.

The company also plants a tree for every new client. 

Host: Green Host It
Estimated Web Popularity: 430,476

Going Green: Green Host It's Web hosting servers are located in a green data center, and the company offsets its electricity usage with 100 percent Texas Certified Wind Power. Additionally, the company utilizes corporate Hybrid vehicles and its telecommuting staff further reduces its carbon footprint. According to Green Host It, taking just one employee off the road for a year is equivalent to removing approximately 13 tons of greenhouse gases. When website owners choose this hosting provider, they will receive a green badge to display on their sites, which is a way to start a green marketing campaign, because it shows their website visitors that their company is environmentally conscious. 

*Estimated Web popularity is based on the monthly traffic rank provided by Ranking.com