Internet, the Cloud, online videos. It’s easy to dismiss them as purely virtual concepts. On the other hand, the data we exchange all day long while listening to podcasts, sending e-mails or shopping online is collected, processed, stored and exchanged in large data centers around the world. Collectively, web use accounts for 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions, putting it on a par with the aviation sector.

That’s the proportion of greenhouse gases produced by web use… And by the aviation sector.

Does Internet use have a negative impact on the environment?

Yes. In fact, websites are hosted on physical servers that use electricity to run. We also know that around 60% of the world’s electricity comes from fossil fuels, which in turn produce greenhouse gases, most notably carbon dioxide.

With this in mind, website hosting is a key factor for companies wishing to be mindful of their ecological footprint and the impact of their activities on the environment.

What is green hosting?

It’s a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of hosting than traditional web hosting. Essentially, it aims to minimize the impact of web hosting on the environment by reducing the carbon emissions created by the host’s data centers.

What are the strategies or means for green hosting?

Green accommodation applies various strategies to achieve this, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing energy consumption and offsetting carbon footprints.

Use renewable energy sources

Opting for alternatives to fossil fuels, such as solar power, wind power or, in Quebec, hydraulic power, is a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing energy consumption

To become more responsible in our energy consumption, we must first understand and be aware of our energy consumption. For example, knowing that server cooling systems consume the most energy, hosting companies can invest in more energy-efficient cooling systems.

Offsetting your carbon footprint

Web hosts can’t completely eliminate their carbon footprint, but they can try to offset it. Some, for example, invest in projects to reduce carbon emissions (tree plantations, ecosystem protection, etc.).

Are there other ways to make my website greener?

Aside from choosing more responsible hosting, the architecture and design of a website can be thought through to reduce its size and, ultimately, generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Here are a few examples of best practices for creating a more responsible website:

1. Minimize images and videos

High-resolution images and videos are one of the most demanding in terms of loading time and energy consumption. Thinking about the images and videos you include, choosing those that are essential to a good understanding of the website’s information and making sure you have the lowest possible resolution while maintaining quality are good reflexes to develop.

2. Optimize pages

Websites need to be fast to deliver a pleasant user experience – and the faster a website loads, the smaller its environmental footprint. Several solutions are available to optimize website loading speed. For example, avoid heavy elements (widgets or overly detailed animations) or use lazy loading (website elements load as the user scrolls down).

3. Making design choices for your website

The appearance and design of the website also have an impact on its energy consumption. For example, a website with bright colors and tons of graphics and animations will inevitably be less responsive and use more energy than one that focuses on the essentials.


Growing awareness of the environmental impact of our online activities underlines the importance of green hosting and ecological web design. By opting for more environmentally-friendly hosting practices and measures such as web design and page optimization, we can help reduce our digital carbon footprint for a more responsible web.