Is your website green?


Reading about CO2Stats (via TechCrunch), a company who says it monitors your website’s environmental footprint and purchases renewable energy to neutralize it:

[…] The carbon footprint of air and automobile transportation is widely known, but few people are aware that the electricity generation required for information and communication technologies (ICT) is now responsible for 2% of global CO2 emissions, exceeding the emissions of the entire aviation industry. With CO2Stats it is for the first time possible to get precise emissions data on a site-by-site basis, enabling fine-grained ownership and management of environmental footprints at the experience level.

We’re paying more attention to green issues and energy conservation with things like recycling, asking more questions of manufacturers and suppliers about their supply chain and their social responsibilities regarding the environment.

So why not concerning your website?

I’m already green thanks to my hosting service, DreamHost.

How about you?

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Tim Almond

    I indirectly pay VAT on the fuel that is used to power my servers, which was brought in as a green tax, so no. I’ve paid for the externalities of my actions.

    This is the correct approach to green issues – tax at the level of external effects and let the market work it out from there.

  2. Richard Millington

    I’m a little concerned about this. It relies heavily upon the renewable energy credits system working.

    The problem is, once someone has visited your website, that CO2 is out there. The pollution has happened.

    surely, instead, the solution is to just have web hosting which doesn’t produce any CO2? I.e. hosting powered from renewable energy sources in the first place?

  3. Rob Safuto

    The buyer definitely needs to beware here. The only companies that can control the type of power that they are supplied are those who generate the power themselves, usually with on site solar. Everyone else gets whatever power their utility supplies.

    The effectiveness of the REC programs are questionable at best. A “green” energy program was recently shut down by the state of Florida because an investigation found that eighty percent of the money spend went to marketing and administrative expenses.

  4. James Cridland

    It would appear to be that Dreamhost’s approach (“we pollute but we’re paying a nominal fee to someone so therefore that’s all okay then”) and CO2Stats’s approach (“we pay for ‘the pollution your site makes’ but our prices to do this are the same it’s 5 million or 500 million page views per month so, er, eh?”) are almost entirely as reprehensible as each other.

    The only “green” way of hosting is solar/wind power; or those very large sites that dynamically power up extra servers to cope with demand. And being honest, if you’re not a vegetarian and only eat local produce, you’re doing far more damage to the environment than leaving a little server on somewhere.

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