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Going Over The Top Green

Going Over The Top Green

When thinking of the many industries that are considered highest in pollution, many think of steel, aluminum, and paper industries. As it turns out, the web hosting industry is among the highest, on course to overtake the airline industry as a major contender in global emissions by 2020. The outlook is not bright. However, two web hosting companies are doing what they can to change this with the purchase of carbon offsets.

Achieving carbon neutrality

A web hosting company that proclaims to be carbon neutral is required to have a net zero carbon footprint. In order to comply with this properly, the company in question has to achieve net zero carbon emissions by balancing a specific amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount of offset. This can be achieved in several ways. One way is balancing the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere with renewable energy that creates an equal amount of useful and green energy, Other ways this can be achieved is by planting trees to reforest (such as what is being currently accomplished by Cr8Change) or by purchasing carbon offsets such as wind energy credits.

GreenGeeks sets its sights on 300%

One company changing to a greener solution is GreenGeeks. Its current data center runs the old fashioned way, pulling its energy from the power grid and thereby ensuring its 99.9% uptime. However, by purchasing enough wind energy credits to equal three watts of wind power for each watt of power it consumes, it offsets the equivalent amount of carbon released by threefold. This enables the company to proclaim that it is 300 percent green.

GreenGeeks has also worked on its servers and configured them to run more efficiently with less energy and at cooler temperatures. And it doesn’t stop there. The company strives to efficiently recycle and encourages telecommuting as a greener option to hiring new employees.


Another managed hosting provider going greener is Attenda with the launch of its “CarbonNeutral” hosting package. The program is Verified Emission Reductions (VERs) – 60% investment into renewable energy and 40% invested in resource conservation schemes. The CarbonNeutral Company, which is responsible for certifying companies utilizing carbon offsetting and carbon management, recognized Attenda as having attained a net zero CO2 emissions rating.

Attenda lets its customers offset their carbon emissions by providing a way to measure and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to net zero while hosting with the Attenda data center environment. In this way, customers have a bit of control over the company’s and their own carbon neutrality.

Net result

There are many critics of carbon offsetting stating that the purchase of credits does not actually offset the actual power consumption of a data center. However, any time a web hosting company is encouraged to utilize alternative sources of energy, change its practices to achieve a net zero carbon footprint or even purchase energy credits to offset their carbon emissions, the planet is saved that much more. This is a wonderful legacy to leave our children and the future of our planet.

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    5th October 2009
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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