In our busy lives, we rarely pay attention to anything outside our small circle in which we live. We hear the news, but we do not listen to them. We watch the objects around us, but do we actually see them? Most of us have heard about the Kyoto Protocol, but how many of us really understand and more importantly care for what it is about. We do mention the changes in the climate, but do we actually realize the impact of this change? Global warming, Ice Ages, natural disasters, extinct of species….the list is long and not very optimistic. Now the question here that most of you probably ask yourselves is ‘What is has to do with me and why this article is posted in a review site for hosting companies?’ Two answers, one direction – it is up to you since each product that you buy can make a difference and buying a hosting plan is not an exclusion; and respectively it is up to each hosting company whether or not they will become a green one.
Not a lot of hosting companies have gone the green way since it requires efforts, investments and a lot of dedication into being part of the change. In this article we will focus on what measures could be taken and how each of them contributes to the whole plan. But before we start did you know that an average server produces the same carbon emissions as a sports utility vehicle (SUV) consuming 15.68l/100 km (15 miles to the gallon) and the data center is taking from the grid power the equivalent of 30 000 households? Below are a few steps that could be taken in order to compensate and minimize these emissions.
Renewable Energy Credit
A lot of companies that have decided to integrate green policy, have chosen this type of doing so. The basic idea here is that one REC credit is generated when 1000 kWh are produced from a renewable energy facility. Each company can choose how many credits to purchase, but if they decide to purchase REC credits equivalent to their consumption of electricity, then they have compensated for the environmental footprint they create by using electricity generated from non-renewable sources such as coal, nuclear power, natural gas.
Benefits: helps the development of the renewable energy sector, minimizes the effects of using the traditional fossil fuel plants, helps with funds for further research in the field of renewable energy
Emission Reduction Credits
These credits are earned by reducing the emissions a company generates. This could be done by implementing ways to minimize the emissions of ROC, NOx, PM (including PM10), CO or SOx beyond what is required by APCD permits and rules . Once these credits are granted, they can be bought from other companies in order to compensate for their emissions.
Benefits: reduces air pollution, is a mark for social responsibility program
Wind energy credits
These credits have the similar idea of REC, the credits are for generating energy from the wind farms and could be purchased to compensate for the electricity the company uses from the grid.
Benefits: helps the development of the wind farms, shows that the company is environmentally responsible, such efforts also provide a better, healthier environment for the customers and the people from all over the world
Efforts in the office
This is one of the most important measures. It is probably with the smallest effect when considering the numbers, but it shows the most important thing – mentality of the employees. If each of us is environmentally responsible, it will be easier to contribute and make our planet a better place to live. Steps that could be taken include using utilities (cups, plates, etc) made from renewable sources, printing on both sides of the paper, having most of the communication via email so not to print tons of unnecessary paper, working from home so not to have an office which uses a lot of electricity, etc.
Benefits: nurturing green mentality, reducing pollution
Optimized green servers and green data centers
using optimized servers can have a tremendous effect. Some companies such as Dell and Samsung launch such servers which can be used from the hosting companies. Not only the type matters, though, these servers should be changed on a regular basis with better new ones since continuously there are newer and more optimized decisions on the market. Here the cooling system is also important and using an Outside Air Cooling technology is a choice some green data centers choose to implement. No need to mention that the power from the grid is important and if the power is from a renewable source, then the data center is even more green oriented.
Benefits: reducing pollution, reducing the amount of electricity used from the grid
Trees for the future
This is a non-profit organization that has dedicated all of its activities into helping communities to plant trees. The effect and the role the trees play into our ecosystem is so important that this initiative is a very nice to be followed and supported from the hosting companies and not only.
Benefits: diminishing the effects of the carbon emission, preserves the ecosystem
All the efforts and measures mentioned above require a lot of financial investments. This is why not every hosting company has decided to follow a green policy. The ones that have decided to invest into becoming green, though, can provide their customers with not only hosting plans, but with the opportunity to take a role into saving our planet. Most of the hosting companies that have chosen the green path also provide you with banners so for you to share your green company with the world.
Each person could make the decision for himself/herself and decide whether or not a contribution to reduce the pollution is worth it. The mentality that such steps are too small to count for is the wrong one, no matter how small the step is, it is still in the right direction. Having a green conscience is not something that should be ignored, it should be motivated and nurtured so that we can all make a change that matters.
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