An environmentally friendly way to provide websites is the so-called green server hosting, where the web hosting is done with green electricity. In this way, CO2 consumption can be reduced. Modern green hosting projects go one step further and additionally try to do something good for the environment.

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What exactly is green hosting?

The Internet is penetrating almost all areas of life, so its energy consumption is also continuously increasing. The required hardware gobbles up vast amounts of resources, equipment that is no longer needed is in many cases not recycled appropriately, and the electricity used to run data centres often still comes from fossil sources. The Green IT approach aims to change this.

To this end, there have been many developments, especially in the area of web development, because until now the ecological footprint of most websites has been far too large. An average website produces 533 kilograms of CO2 per year. If you want to run a website, you quickly get to the point where you have to pick the right server. A server holds all the relevant data that users need to retrieve in order to access a website. A comparison of web hosting providers shows that in addition to conventional servers that do not use ecologically generated electricity, more and more hosting providers are offering environmentally friendly alternatives.

General features of green hosting

Servers that are powered by green electricity only make use of renewable energy. Apart from the energy supply, green web hosting is also characterised, in the best cases, by the fact that the providers of the servers generally act in an environmentally friendly manner. For example, it is possible to recycle hardware that is no longer usable in a professional manner.

Green hosting as part of the sharing economy

Servers where users share resources are also part of green hosting. The approach of sharing economy has long focused on shifting the focus from owning things to using them. Among other things, this is intended to protect the environment. This is also one of several good reasons to switch to cloud hosting. In the comparison shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting, the resource-saving feature of shared servers is particularly evident.

Web hosting - bad for the environment?

But why is conventional web hosting so bad for the environment? Data centres generate the same amount of CO2 emissions as global airlines One hour of video streaming, for example via Netflix, causes about as much CO2 as driving 300m by car.

On top of that, the energy requirements of the Internet are constantly increasing. The Internet’s current energy consumption is already twice as high as it was in 2010. In addition, due to modern developments and digitalisation, it can be assumed that energy consumption will continue to grow. For example, more and more businesses are switching to the concept of the paperless office and need cloud storage for this. Of course, this saves other valuable resources in return.

At the same time, technical progress ensures that data centres can be operated more and more efficiently. This makes it possible to process the same amount of data using less energy, which in turn is beneficial for the environment. Climate-friendly data centres also help to meet the growing demand for energy in a sustainable way.


Would you like to host your website in an environmentally friendly way? IONOS offers both WordPress hosting and web hosting to operate your website with green electricity. Climate neutral hosting from IONOS allows you to operate your website while minimising CO2 output.

Hosting as an opportunity for the environment

It is obvious that current web hosting is in conflict with the UK government’s plan to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. However, modern approaches not only promise web hosting that is climate-neutral, but also rely on methods that even give something back to the environment.

Everyone knows it from their own computer at home. As soon as applications are started that place greater demands on computer performance, heat is generated. It’s the same with large data centres. One consideration is therefore to use the waste heat generated in data centres to heat residential areas or cities. A great deal of energy can also be saved in cooling data centres by relying on open-air cooling instead of air-conditioning systems.

There are already data centres today that completely absorb the CO2 they produce. The startup WindCloud has built a climate-neutral data centre on the North Sea. It is powered by 100 percent green electricity from wind turbines. The waste heat generated by its operation is used to grow algae, which in turn absorb CO2. In addition, the algae are subsequently processed. So, modern approaches like these make it possible to make web hosting climate neutral.

Does my host offer green web hosting?

It is not too hard to tell if your host is climate-friendly. The main feature of eco-friendly web hosting is the operation of servers with ecologically generated electricity. Initiatives that hosting providers support beyond that are also important features. The following table provides you with an overview of the crucial points for green hosting.

Conventional Hosting Green Hosting
Use of non-sustainably generated electricity Operation of servers with green electricity
No initiatives that promote sustainability Sustainability as a corporate goal: Recycling of hardware, environmentally friendly business travel, etc.
No Green Marketing Green marketing in focus
No certificates Certified by experts
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Practical example: Green hosting from IONOS

Green web hosting requires no more effort or cost from your side than conventional hosting. You just need to choose the right provider. IONOS offers green web hosting by default. In addition, IONOS saves over 900 tons of CO2 annually by recycling servers that are no longer functional in a professional manner. Highly efficient hardware and continuous optimisation of the infrastructure in the data centres also reduce the number of servers required, which ultimately reduces overall energy consumption.


IONOS’ Environmental Strategy also enables you to contribute to sustainability without much effort.

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