We found a range of web hosting providers across the ‘green spectrum’ from the “we planted some trees”, to those who have won awards and recognised forms of accreditation for their environmentally friendly practices.
We learned that whilst there are a reasonable number of suppliers of zero-carbon hosting in the US (servers that are powered by renewable energy), there is very little of that hosting available in the UK, especially of a high quality.
We also realised that, though important, the energy use of a web server is a relatively small amount compared to that used by the rest of the business – heating and lighting the office, running staff computers and (most importantly) boiling the kettle 🙂
Choosing an Environmentally Conscious Data Center Provider
Recognising the need to act quickly against climate change, we opted to start our company by identifying a leading, environmentally conscious data-centre provider.
Around the time we were forming, iomart launched their “Racks for Acres” campaign, which supported an Ecuadorian cloud forest preservation project. They also adopt green policies throughout their business, particularly in relation to efficiency, consumption and waste.
Becoming a Green Business
So, as well as choosing an environmentally conscious company to house our servers, we decided to make our whole business as green as possible.
Going Beyond Carbon Neutral
The first thing we did was switch energy suppliers, so that our office runs on 100% renewable energy from a mixture of solar and wind generated electricity. That effectively makes the office carbon neutral.
We then installed a smart meter to monitor our electricity usage. Because we are more aware of our energy usage, this actually helps us minimise what we use.
Though we don’t do much travelling in relation to the business, we also record our total annual car-based mileage.
Even though the electricity we use in the office is environmentally friendly, we wanted to go further.
Knowing what our annual energy use is, we calculate our annual carbon dioxide impact as if our electricity was not from renewable sources and make an appropriate donation to a carbon-offsetting scheme that helps to protect tropical rainforests.
The supported projects, not only ensure that the forests store carbon dioxide, but also help protect biodiversity, environmental services and local communities.
Our Hedge Fund
Forming our business after the global “financial crisis” when hedge funds were getting a bad name, we decided to establish our own “hedge fund“. Ours makes a positive impact on our local environment. We dedicate a tree in the hedge to each of our hosted websites. And the hedge, like our websites, is literally blossoming 🙂
So we are confident that our green hosting is amongst the greenest and highest quality available in the UK, which means we can sleep easier at night and we can enable others to rest assured that their website helps to have a positive impact on the environment.