Green Hosting can often be a misleading term because there are no definite requirements for claiming a “green” status. Governing bodies, like the FTC, only look for companies to provide some effort for bettering the environment. Generally, hosts will do one of two things in order to claim that status: either implement several technologies and policies to reduce power consumption and use renewable sources of energy or buy carbon credits in order to claim they are offsetting their carbon footprint. All of the hosts below fall into the former group, sortable by popularity or by lowest price.

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Buying Carbon Credits Vs Green Technologies

Carbon credits effectively act as a permit to produce a
certain amount of emissions and reduce carbon footprints. Suppliers/providers
in a given industry all pledge to not exceed a net amount of emissions, or the
amount is regulated by governing body, and the credits can then be sold amongst
all involved parties. By buying carbon credits, web hosts raise their emissions
caps in order to remain compliant and avoid action taken against them.

While it is a step forward for a for an industry to agree to
a cap and trade system, it can be a shortcut for companies relying solely on buying
carbon credits. That said, it is nearly impossible – both logistically and
financially – for web hosts to use only renewable sources of energy; most hosts
do buy offset credits to some degree. Companies opt for technologies and
policies that actively work to lower carbon emissions, like:

  • Renewable sources of energy like wind, solar,
    and even water
  • Data centers built with energy-efficient power
    grids and hardware
  • Recycling hardware, equipment, computers, and of
    course, company waste
  • Ensuring proper disposal of hardware and
  • Plant trees

It’s impossible to distinguish the source of power on the
grid. This allows companies buying carbon credits to claim they are green and
even using renewable sources of energy.

Impact Of Green Technologies On Hosting Cost Or Performance

While everyone wants to imagine a better world for all of
us, businesses have to worry about their bottom line and service quality in
order to continue operations. Fortunately, the impact of green technologies on
the cost and performance of web hosting is minimal. While companies opting to
be green incur a higher cost of operations, parts of this cost can be mitigated
through tax breaks from state and federal authorities. The end result is
hosting that is competitive with the rest of the industry in both pricing and
services offered.

Whether or not a web host has taken steps to reduce their
carbon footprint at their facilities, all hosts have to rely on a mix of
renewable energies and carbon credits to meet and claim compliance. As a
result, web hosts use the same sources and grid for power, and there is no
perceivable impact on performance.

Further Reading