Green hosting first emerged at the start of the century, but adoption was slow due to lack of awareness and because hosting companies charged a premium for the service. However, according to freelance web developer and green hosting provider, Chris Harold, times have changed and the sector has evolved as consumer awareness increases and companies like Chris’ charge no more for the service.
“Working in IT, I noticed there just wasn’t much awareness around the carbon foot-print the internet has. The area is massive, but people generally don’t hear about it like, say, they do for car or an aeroplane” Chris says.
Whether it be switching off power points, becoming stringent with recycling or buying a reusable coffee cup, many of us are trying to contribute as we become more environmentally conscious. However, there’s still a significant driver of climate change we fail to address. The internet.
According to a new McKinsey & Company analysis, the energy required to power all the world’s computers, data storage, and communications networks is expected to double by 2020. McKinsey predicts the internet will be the cause of an incredible 3 per cent of all global emissions.
It makes sense that it takes much energy to keep the internet engine running. By 2020 McKinsey predicts the internet will overtake the aviation industry in global emissions. The simple fact is, as the world becomes ever more reliant on the web the Internet is rapidly increasing our greenhouse gas emissions. Unless we do something about it, this will become a serious global issue of epic proportions.
Enter green hosting. Green hosting refers to using green technologies and carbon offsetting for internet or website hosting to reduce environmental impact Eco-friendly sites are set to become more mainstream as individuals and business find ways to minimise their carbon footprint with the increasing threat of climate change. Chris saw the advantages in switching to green early on.
“Take the airlines for example. People know you can offset the carbon emissions for a little more (money) and they pay it. What they don’t realise is that you can also apply carbon offsetting to your website hosting and it won’t cost you any more” Chris explains.
Thankfully, people are now starting to take notice as many offices, and business owners appear to be making the switch to green hosting.
“Brands have greater awareness around green hosting and are becoming more conscious on their impact on the environment as a whole” Chris says.