Green Hosting for WordPress: How Sustainable Can Web Hosting Be?

4 Min.
Green hosting
Last updated on 17/08/2020

Everyone is talking about how we can protect our planet and limit the effects of climate change. When you run a website or an online shop, you consume a lot of resources. We want to take countermeasures - with our climate positive hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce. In this article we'll explain the possibilities and limits of green hosting.

"If the internet were a country, it would have the sixth largest power consumption on our planet" - this is how the situation was described in a recent documentary. Various studies provide different totals for how much electricity really is consumed but one thing is clear: Web hosting devours energy and causes considerable CO2 emissions.

Does a faster internet waste more energy?

When we're talking about energy consumption, we don't just mean the servers on which your WordPress or WooCommerce site is hosted. The infrastructure of a data center also requires a lot of resources, from air conditioning and administration to emergency power generators. As a hosting and software provider we need electricity for:

  • Technical infrastructure
  • Office fittings and cleaning
  • Office supplies and marketing
  • Food
  • Mobility/travel
Climate positive WordPress hosting

Not to mention the fact that even the journey your information takes across the internet also costs energy. And if you, understandably, want to offer your customers a particularly fast portal, you'll use high-performance web hostingwhich uses more energy. Services like ecograder.com show you how sustainable the design and hosting of your website are.

Faster websites are better for the environment

It's important to properly optimize your website or your online shop. This is your personal contribution to protecting the environment. Find out more about this area in our e-book Page Speed & Performance.

Web server
The higher the performance of the web hosting, the more energy is needed

Carbon neutral? Climate positive!

green hosting cannot reverse the necessary energy expenditure but it can provide a balance. Essentially, there are three ways to do this:

  1. Ensure the electricity used comes from sources that are as "clean" as possible
  2. Support projects that minimize CO2 emissions
  3. An overall sustainable corporate philosophy

At RAIDBOXES we use all three options for our green hosting as we want to do even more for the common good. Have a look at our workshops on the subject. With our programs for renaturation, our work is not only climate neutral but climate positive. More on that in a moment.

If you host with us, you are actively contributing to climate protection. In concrete terms, this means you are supporting:

1. Trees for the Eden Reforestation Projects

We spent a lot of time researching partners who could provide CO2 offsetting with added value. For each WordPress site or WooCommerce shop you host with us, we will plant a tree for you. To do this, we work with Eden Reforestation Projects (short: Eden). The non-profit organization works in regions that are particularly affected by climate change and global deforestation.

According to Eden, it has planted over 300 million trees since 2004, in five countries with a total of 82 projects. At RAIDBOXES we've been able to add over 54,000 trees to that total so far - all thanks to our customers.

100,000 trees in 2020?

Update: In just the first quarter of 2020, we've already been able to donate 25,500 additional trees for Eden, also thanks to the efforts of our customers. We have a big target ahead: 100,000 trees for the climate in 2020. You can help us reach it.

Eden relies on local residents and workers for its projects, which are paid for by donations. This is yet another reason why we chose Eden Reforestation Projects, the organization makes an active contribution to the fight against poverty:

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2. Climate-positive project work

In addition to reforestation, we also support the initiative Get Mads. This initiative invests in climate-friendly projects selected according to strict criteria - including the United Nations Convention to Combat CO2 Emissions. The projects Get Mads is involved with focus on developing counties, which also contributes to local social and economic growth.

Through this partnership alone, RAIDBOXES currently offsets 40.48 tonnes of CO2 every month by funding Get Mads certified carbon and plastic offset projects. Here are some examples from Get Mads of what this means in terms of CO2 savings:

  • Offset equivalent of 7700 plastic bottles polluting the seas
  • 43 return flights from London to Los Angeles
  • Removal of over 300,000 straws or 38,500 disposable plastic cups from landfill
  • More than 160,000 kilometers traveled by car
CO2 hosting compensation
The CO2 offset from RAIDBOXES and Get Mads

You can find out more about the initiative on the Get Mads project site.

3. Green electricity from hydropower

RAIDBOXES uses 100 percent electricity from hydropower. We're aware that not all green electricity is cast in the same mold. That's why we pay attention to the following basic conditions with our partners:

  • The electricity comes entirely from plants that generate energy from hydropower. Hydropower electricity remunerated under the feed-in tariff is not included.
  • Our electricity is produced exclusively in Europe.
  • The criteria are certified by TÜV and are subject to annual inspections
Web hosting from hydropower
WordPress Hosting from hydropower

4. Sustainable management

In addition to the offsetting with our green hosting with carbon offsetting, we're gradually implementing a corporate philosophy that focuses on sustainability in all areas. This philosophy include the following points:

  • Goals that don't focus on maximizing profits, but on the benefits for our customers and society. See our vision on the topic in our article on Open Source and Equal Opportunities.
  • Environmentally conscious products and materials for our office and sustainable food for our employees
  • Employee benefits and the concept of Holacracy. Read more about why there are no more bosses at RAIDBOXES. Support for working from home and working remotely.
  • Team fundraising, for example for disadvantaged families.
  • Internal workshops, for example on Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

We'll continue to work on fulfilling our social responsibility. And we hope that the models mentioned will inspire others to take action too.

#GreenHosting: Your questions

Have any questions about sustainability at RAIDBOXES ? Please use the comment function. Want to keep up with the latest articles and news on green hosting? Then follow us on Twitter, Facebook , or subscribe to our newsletter.

Pictures: Markus Spiske, Taylor Vick, Samuel Zeller @Unsplash

Michael takes cake care of the areas of content and mental health at RAIDBOXES. He has been active in the blogger and WordPress community since 2007. Among other things as co-organizer of WordPress events, book author and corporate blog trainer. He loves blogging incredibly, professionally but also privately. Michael works and writes remotely from sunny Freiburg.

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