A big topic that has been discussed recently in our industry is green and sustainable energy. How green is your business? That's a question we have been asked by a number of clients this year. All of us pretty much use the Internet on a daily basis, and many of us don’t realise that the pollution from this resource is substantial. With this in mind, it’s very important that not just as a business, but individually, we play our part in being considerate towards our carbon footprint.
Many of us don’t realise that daily tasks such as sending email, browsing the web, using search engines and storing data are a real cost for the environment. Below are three quick statistics which form just the tip of the iceberg:
- A search on Google equates to around 7 grams of Co2
- Sending an email with a 1Mb file is 19 grams of Co2 which you may feel is small, however, with over twelve billion emails being sent every hour, this then equates to more than 4,000 tons of oil. Putting it another way, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, calculated that the average business user creates approximately 135kg of Co2 from sending emails every year which equates to around driving 200 miles in a family car
- Following on from this, the storage of emails also has an impact, due to a reliance on data storage. Data centres can be very energy-intensive, creating a need to be cooled via air conditioning on a permeant basis. In some parts of the world, these data centres are powered largely by the burning of fossil fuels.
As you can see, the energy concern soon mounts up, especially when you consider that roughly 4.1 billion people or rather 53.6% of the global population currently use the internet. Source: https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx
Everything that you see online is stored in a data centre, and these are a critical requirement for the continuation of all of the daily operations online, not to mention the fact that they centralise an organisation’s storage, processing and distribution of data. There are just over 300 locations that contain data centres and London, in particular, has the largest concentration in any given city across the globe. Data centres make up for 2% of global carbon emissions and in just 20 years, this is expected to rise to as much as 14%.
As a business, we look closely at what companies offer and how green their solutions are. As an example, our hosting provider makes use of a UK data centre that is powered by 100% renewable energy from Ørsted, which is one of the only suppliers in the UK that provides renewable energy. These data centres are regularly maintained to ensure that our services stay reliable and powerful to meet your needs. We also use services from Microsoft Azure which is up to 98% more carbon-efficient than using a traditional enterprise data centre.
The impact on the environment from these data centres is as low as possible, with electricity powering them that is generated through offshore wind and biofuel. Our hosting provider also holds ISO 50001 certification for their energy management, ensuring that any renewable energy used is allocated in the most efficient way possible. Renewable doesn’t mean unreliable either, with a power supply that is switched instantly to a backup generator, there is guaranteed to be zero interruption.
We don't just look at the tech side of being green either. View our environmental statement of how else we do our bit!