Green Domain Hosting

For Canadians, I have found two ways of becoming a “greener” presence on the Web. One is to use Green Hosting, where everything is powered by renewable energy:

All the electricity required by the server and ancillary operations (101% of demand) is generated by wind turbines in Alberta, and is distributed through the Greenmax© program of the Calgary utility ENMAX. Both generation and distribution are certified under Canada’s national EcoLogo© program to ensure that this service contributes directly to the reduction of GHG emissions and supports new renewables facilities.

Another possibility is to use Ethical Hosting’s service, which uses offsets, or green tags:

Obviously we can’t just throw up a Wind turbine outside our office and it would be very expensive to do so (but would be very cool if we could!) This is where green energy certificates or Green Tags come into play. After auditing our energy usage, we were able to calculate the electricity usage of our office and computers. We are then able to purchase the necessary amount of Green Tags through a nationally recognized provider: The Pembina Institute.

Definitely a couple of considerations if you’re looking for a new host or considering changing your current host.

3 Responses to “Green Domain Hosting”

  1. Lupe

    What about having your web site powered by solar….AISO (http://www.aiso.net) is 100% solar powered, both their servers and data center are powered by onsite solar panels. And they also have a partnership with Co-Op America, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Green Building Council. Plus, they are doing more then just making sure their electricity is green. Their data center and office is green too by using environmentally friendly air conditioners, solar tubes to bring in natural light, a propane powered generator instead of diesel, VMWare virtualization to reduce their server electricity usage, 6 watt energy saving desktops computers for their employees, and soon to be LEED certified as a green data center, the only public one in North America, at least that I have found so far. So as far as the environmental concern, I think AISO is more concerned about the environment then any other of its competitors will ever be.

    Reply
  2. Michael Bloch

    Thanks for this post! I just wanted to make mention of our company if I could – ThinkHost, Inc:

    http://www.thinkhost.com/socialchange/renewable-energy-hosting.shtml

    http://www.thinkhost.com/socialchange/

    We’d like to offer free setup and 3 months free hosting to readers of this blog:

    Here’s the coupon code:

    THD99999AFM3A

    Further details regarding using the coupon cand be found here:

    http://www.thinkhost.com/options/hosting-coupon.shtml

    I’d also like to offer some comments on the green hosting industry.

    We use green tags. Around the world, there’s an awful lot of data center infrastructure already in place and while it would be nice to have solar panels and wind turbines directly powering each one of them, it’s horribly expensive at this point, somewhat wasteful of current infrastructure and is going to be some time coming.

    The purchase of green tags is a great way for hosting providers to do something environmentally positive right now by ensuring the equivalent power that they use is fed into a grid somewhere from renewable sources such as solar and wind (these are the offsets we use). It’s a big picture concept and a practice that should be encouraged rather than being seen as the poor cousin to direct renewables powering.

    Imagine if every data center in the world started purchasing authentic green tags – that would be a wonderful thing as more renewable sourced electricity would be pumped into grids everywhere! That sort of demand would also help fund new renewable energy power generation projects over filthy coal-fired power.

    When looking at a green hosting provider, it’s also good to go beyond the renewable energy angle to get a greater sense of if the company is just using renewable energy as a marketing angle. What else does the company do to back this green/progressive claim?

    A bit of poking around on each host’s site will soon reveal how committed they are to progressive values. A host may buy green tags (or be powered directly via solar, wind, whatever), but approach other aspects of their operations in a totally non-progressive way.

    You can also buy green tags yourself if you have a non-green host, but you may still be supporting a hosting company that supports all sorts of nasty stuff.

    I think the whole subject of green hosting needs to be approached holistically rather than just a focus on if the company has solar panels on their roof :).

    … but, I am somewhat biased :).

    By the way, part of our broad commitment to progressive business practices, we’ve also just launched a Tree Planting initiative 🙂

    http://www.thinkhost.com/socialchange/tree-planting-hosting.shtml

    Reply
  3. John Brown

    I use Hostpapa webhosting and they rock…how can you beat their green web hosting package. I have found their support team to be wonderful and I am new at web hosting. If you are truly looking for a good green hosting company, I would recommend Hostpapa

    Reply

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