So how do “green” web hosts offset carbon emissions by their datacenters? There are a few different ways that a “green” web host can offset their carbon emissions. First, the web host can buy credits from their energy or electricity supplier.
The “credits” can mean different things to different electric companies but either way the web host is paying a higher per kilowatt charge then they would normally. By purchasing the credits the web host is also telling their energy supplier that they want more “clean & renewable” energy rather than coal energy. Another way a web host can be green with their energy company is by having agreements with their supplier to purchase only energy from renewable energy sources. These agreements again will cost the web host more per kilowatt than if they just used regular pricing.
A web host may decide to put up some solar panels and produce their own electricity. The electricity produced can be put to work inside the datacenter and any left over can be passed onto the electricity company. The web host may also enter into agreements with their electricity supplier to purchase solar energy.
Efficient buildings and lighting
Some green web hosts will use energy efficient buildings and buildings that have been certified as LEED. The datacenter and offices may employ various energy saving tactics from turning off lights when not in use to carpooling. Many green web hosts will encourage their employees to turn off their LCD displays when not in use, turn off the lights when no one is in the room, and keeping the building’s air conditioning off unless they really need it.
Some green web hosts will try to use natural cooling elements. Like a datacenter located in a snowy area during the winter may not use their air conditioners. Instead, the datacenter may let in some natural cold air to keep the datacenter cool. The techniques used by different green web hosts will vary but most web hosts will try things that will keep their bills down and still allow them to accomplish the job.
At some datacenters their may be some design changes to prevent cool air leakage. The datacenter may employ various tactics to keep the cool air in and keep the hot air out. From better cabling to using more energy efficient servers and equipment.
Another way green web hosts will help save the Earth is by planting trees. Besides having plants and other “green” things in their offices. Green web hosts may plant a number of trees whenever a certain metric is met.