Did you know that the average server produces the same emissions as a 15 mpg SUV?
Justin’s Web Design offers hosting by purchasing space at different datacenters accross the country. Our newest data center is 130% wind powered!
That’s right! 130%!
It’s not just neutralizing the environmental impact, it’s reversing it!
The datacenter has purchased certified Renewable Energy Credits representing 130% of the electricity used to both power and cool the servers* hosting your website!
The Switch to Green
(article about the datacenter making the switch)
Hereâ€™s something you may not know: the IT sector has a huge climate impact. At present, between 3 and 4 percent of all electricity (and the associated carbon emissions) used in the world goes to running data centers. If youâ€™re one of the four and a half million registered users of Second Life, consider this: the average Second Life avatar consumes 1,752 kWh of electricity per year, or about two thirds that of an actual person (globally averaged). One server alone has roughly the same climate impact as a 15mpg SUV!
Climate change is real, itâ€™s happening now, and we as a planet desperately need to reduce our IT emissions. And if we wait for the government to solve the problem, weâ€™ll be waiting for a long, long, LONG time.
Weâ€™re thrilled to announce that our datacenter has joined the ranks of many progressive companies including: Starbucks, IBM, and UPS to take action on addressing climate change right now.
Our datacenter has gone green, and itâ€™s gone green in a BIG way.
We at Integrated Ecosystem Market Services are very proud to have worked with our datacenter to develop a sector-leading program.
What makes our datacenterâ€™s program so special?
If youâ€™re thinking about switching to green hosting, good for you! Green hosting is an important step in dealing with climate change. But be aware- once you start asking some questions youâ€™ll find that not all of the .green. hosting options out there are nearly as green as they claim to be. Our datacenterâ€™s program stands out from the pack for a number of reasons . . .
One, our datacenter is using renewable energy to both power and cool their servers*, whereas a number of green hosts only offset the electricity used to power their servers*. That represents a big difference, because servers* generate a lot of heat. For every watt of electricity that a server uses, 1-2 watts of electricity are typically required to cool it. What that means is that our datacenter is investing in about twice as much renewable energy, on a per server basis, as those green hosts only using renewable energy to power their servers*.
Two, our datacenter has invested in Green -e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). That means that all of our datacenterâ€™s RECs are verified, tracked and monitored. Sure, there are cheaper carbon credits out there, but our datacenter wanted to go green the right way. Our datacenter canâ€™t very well build a windfarm in downtown Houston, so itâ€™s doing the next best thing and greening its energy at the source with rock solid RECs.
What the heckâ€™s a REC?
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are tradeable credits representing all the environmental benefits of 1 megawatt hour of renewable energy. So when our datacenter purchases 4,009 Texas wind RECs, itâ€™s basically paying a Texas windfarm to generate renewable energy on our datacenterâ€™s behalf. Our datacenter doesnâ€™t own the windfarm, but for every REC purchased by our datacenter, that windfarm generates 1 megawatt of Texas wind power and puts it into the grid. When our datacenter draws power from the grid, it can then claim credit for that wind power generated on its behalf.
Three, our datacenter has purchased RECs for 130% of the electricity used to power and cool its servers*. Good luck finding another green host that has gone this far. Believe me- if they had, theyâ€™d let you know it.
Four, our datacenter has invested entirely in wind RECs generated in their home state of Texas. Even those green hosts that have opted for certified RECs are generally sourcing them from wherever is cheapest.
Our datacenter, on the other hand, is thinking globally and acting locally. By insisting on 100% Texas wind RECs our datacenter had to pay more for their credits, but they (and you) can rest easy knowing that theyâ€™re doing their part for the environment and the local green economy.
So how did we develop and implement the greening program?
First, we calculated the total amount of electricity used by our datacenterâ€™s servers*. Based on the total number of servers* and the average amount of electricity used in a year to power and cool them, we estimated that our datacenter would need 4,009 MWh of electricity to offset 130% of the electricity used to power and cool all of our datacenterâ€™s servers*.
Second, we looked at our datacenterâ€™s carbon offsetting options. We considered RECs, Certified Emission Reductions and Verified Emission reductions, as well as a number of offset providers. Ultimately, our datacenter chose to go with RECs, and to purchase them from one of the best REC providers around: 3Degrees.
RECs and CERs and VERs, Oh My!
RECs arenâ€™t the only offsetting option out there, there are also Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Voluntary/Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). The main difference between the three is this: each REC represents 1 additional megawatt of North American wind power, whereas each CER or VER represents one metric ton of reduced or avoided carbon dioxide emissions. CERs and VERs can be generated from a whole range of projects (fuel switching, forestry, changes in industrial processes, etc.), but RECs can only be created by the production of renewable energy.
So why do RECs make the most sense for our datacenter? RECs enable our datacenter to green its energy right at the source and support the development of clean power, rather than simply paying another company to not pollute.
Finally, I should emphasize that the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits only represents our datacenterâ€™s most recent step toward sustainability. Prior to the REC purchase, our datacenter had already begun the process of reducing their environmental impact at the office (recycling, minimizing paper use, etc.), and recently switched to higher efficiency servers*.
What can you do to minimize your impact on the climate?
Well, for one thing you can switch your hosting company to our datacenter, if youâ€™re not already a customer of theirs! You can choose from one of their great shared or reseller plans.
Beyond that, there are myriad ways to go green in your personal life. Most of them are totally painless, for example turning off your computer at night, rather than leaving it in sleep mode. Many of them will save you money in the long run, for example using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescents.
For a quick start, check out CarbonTracker.comâ€™s list of 11 simple steps you can take to minimize your impact on the climate. For even more information, the Environmental Protection Agency has a ton of info on the subject:
*Servers indicate the servers holding the space purchased by Justin’s Web Design.