One in eight .nl domain names are hosted 'green' - 16 April 2009

SIDN, the .nl-registry and Cleanbits, the green Internet promoter, carried out a joint study in March 2009 to quantify the market share of CO2-neutral service providers in the .nl Internet zone.

Green or Grey

The study involved finding out whether the 3.3 million-plus .nl domain names were hosted by ‘grey’ or ‘green’ service providers. The findings indicate that roughly one in eight (11.3%) of .nl domain names are hosted by firms operating on a CO2-neutral basis – in other words using (only) green energy, or offsetting grey-energy CO2 emissions by funding the plantation of trees.

In March of this year, the European Commission stated that by 2015 the ICT sector had to cut its CO2 emissions by 20 per cent. Since the Dutch ICT sector is expanding rapidly, the target represents a major challenge for all market players, including SIDN and Cleanbits.

Towards a green zone

As the registry for the .nl domain, SIDN is very much part of the local community. It therefore wishes to demonstrate its commitment to Dutch society through sustainable trading and responsible corporate citizenship. ‘According to a report by Tebodin, the amount of energy consumed by data centres will exceed one terawatt-hour in 2009,’ commented SIDN’s CEO, Roelof Meijer. ‘That’s as much as 285,000 homes, and means an awful lot of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. So we are pleased to support initiatives that can bring emissions down. At the end of last year, we teamed up with Cleanbits to offset our own emissions by planting a hectare of what’s known as the Internet Forest in the Dutch province of Gelderland. In the coming years we will address our CO2 footprint in a way that compensation won't be necessary after a certain moment in time. Because a truly green zone implies zero emissions.'

Cleanbits works to create transparency regarding the ecological footprints of Internet sites and service providers. Using Cleanbits ‘green check’ engine, anyone can immediately see whether a given website is hosted by a grey or green service provider. ‘The more Internet users opt for a ‘green’ service provider, the greener the .nl zone will become,’ observed René Post, Director of Cleanbits. ‘It is also important for service providers to pay attention to purchasing in sustainability – an increasingly topical issue.’ 

Cleanbits and SIDN will continue to monitor progress towards a sustainable Internet and will therefore repeat the study in autumn 2009.