Webeden Blog How to How to Offset the Carbon Emissions of your Website

How to Offset the Carbon Emissions of your Website

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How to

Some of you might have noticed a logo on the left hand side of the blog that looks like this:

This means that we have offset the carbon emissions produced by the website WebEden.co.uk.

Its a little known fact, but PCs and web servers consume a vast amount of energy. Whilst your own PC uses plenty of electricity, all websites sit on servers in datacentres. Each server is basically a computer that is on all the time. And a data center is a vast room full of servers, which requires huge levels of air conditioning, due to the heat created by the servers.

All these factors combine to make sure that each website consumes a not inconsiderable amount of electricity. And of course where there is electricity consumption, there are carbon and CO2 emissions.

Most recent estimates are than a single server produces over 2 tonnes of CO2 every year. When you consider that the average UK household produces 5.5 tonnes, you can see the size of the problem. In all, the Internet is thought to consume 5% of the entire world’s electricity.

So we decided to offset the carbon emissions of WebEden.co.uk through the COCO2.org service. For a small annual fee, you can offset the emissions from your website. This means you get a nice COCO2.org logo to put on your website, which shows your visitors how green you are. In addition, you get a listing in the COCO2.org directory of carbon neutral websites.

The great thing about the directory is that you get a link to your website from a highly authoritative website, in a category that’s relevant to you. And as anyone who has read the link building chapter of our Search Engine Optimisation Guide will know, that can really boost your website up the Search Engine Results Page.

So how do you sign up to COCO2?

1.    Follow this link to start to offset your carbon emissions.
2.    Click on the ‘make my website carbon neutral’ link on the right hand side.
3.    Fill out the form about you and your website. At the bottom of the page you get the option to choose, shared, VPS or dedicated server. It looks like this:

Choose Shared.

4.    Pay using your credit or bank card.
5.    When filling out your entry in the directory of carbon neutral websites, be sure to concisely describe your business or website. Not only will this help boost you up the SERPs, but its also useful for people browsing the directory looking for carbon neutral websites.
6.    At the end of all this, you get a access to the logo to put on your website. You’ll need to use the HTML widget to display this logo accurately.

And that’s it! Good luck offsetting your website’s carbon emissions. And let us know if you have any problems.

  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    Yup – signed up for £6!

    I offer the option to register with coco2 when I build sites for clients. Ask them to write a guest blog about why people should sign up with them?

    Ali x

  • Suze

    I’m confused about your concept, please correct me.

    Isn’t the cost of electricity to maintain servers recouped by every ISP via hosting fees, to remain viable?

    Shouldn’t your offset product be marketed to ISP’s rather than individual website owners? Because, only the ISP can verify the electricity used via the bill they receive – they know how much needs to be offset.

    As a website owner, paying hosting fees to my ISP, I expect these costs to be covered in the hosting fees. I can’t verify how much electricity has been used to host just my website.

    Perhaps I’ve misunderstood, is this being marketed to ISP’s or also to those of us paying for website hosting?

  • admin

    Hi Suze,

    You’re right, the cost of electricity to maintain servers is recouped by every ISP via the hosting fees.

    Some ISPs and hosts choose to offset the carbon emissions from all their customer websites by paying the offset fee themselves.

    Many other hosts leave the option to you the customer to offset these emissions.

    WebEden for example does not offset the carbon emissions from the electricity consumed in the running of each website. As a website owner you can choose to do this yourself.

    The carbon offsetting by COCO2.org is not an exact amount for each individual website, but an approximation based on the type of hosting service used by the website.

    I hope that clears it up, but agree that the responsibility for carbon offsetting can lie with many different parties.


  • http://www.fractaldesign.eu Philip Evans

    Interesting issue…

    You should be offsetting the the carbon from your server, even though we pay to use it in my opinion.

    Does webeden offset?

  • http://nurburgringers rob

    Sorry don’t buy into this carbon crap,. please don’t do any of this in the name of my web-sites.

  • admin

    Hi Phil,

    We don’t offset customer websites currently, but it is an issue we’ve looked at, and will continue to evaluate. Currently the offset cost for each server is such that we’d need to ad 50p per package per month to the prices in order to be able to afford it.

    We offset our own website with coco2.org however. However as you can see from Rob’s comment above not everyone is into this!


  • admin

    Hi Rob,

    Its not done for your websites currently.