Often, when we talk about sustainability and ethical business practice we immediately think of paperless working, a feature that is becoming ever more common thanks to the wonder that is the iPad and other portable devices. Or, perhaps, we think about recycling bins or eco-friendly disposables.
But, whilst I imagine most of us have considered the impact of the energy our computer and hardware consumes, it is not just the tangibles that impact the environment, but the intangibles. In fact, every website; including the web hosting provider has an impact upon the environment. Sadly, we only have American data to support this – however there is little question their statistics can be applied to the situation in the UK. According to this website, there are three million data centres in America(there are currently 70 million in the world) which make up around 2% of total United States electricity use – which is around five nuclear power plants. To put this into perspective, a single server, on its own, produces more carbon dioxide than a car – which is rather a lot. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, web hosting will be polluting just as much as the airline industry. A rather shocking sentiment. Clearly, something has to change.
This is where green eco hosting comes in; a phenomenon we suspect will become increasingly common place over the next few years. Green web hosting uses electricity only from renewable sources. More than that, we expect that in the next few years, increasing numbers of data centres will be built with the environment in mind with the ultimate aim of reducing the amount of energy required to run these processors.
Traditionally, in data centres the room is kept at an extremely cold temperature as the servers produce a huge amount of hot air. However, in an energy efficient data centre, this hot air is automatically extracted which eases the strain on the cooling system. Not only that, but in the winter these data centres can simply utilise the cold outside air, significantly decreasing the amount of energy that is required in this process.
At Nimbus Hosting we suspect that this may well be the future of hosting. We also wonder if Google may soon start encouraging websites with improved SEO in much the same way they have been encouraging websites to gain an SSL certificate? Obviously, this is purely speculation, but we suspect that soon this will become a conversation that is brought to the forefront of the public consciousness. Ultimately, we only have one planet and we should probably do our best to take care of it. In the meantime we will continue to recycle our paper, use thermos and flasks and wash our Tupperware judiciously.
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