Web publishing provider Squarespace announced this week that all of the electricity they buy is Green-e certified renewable and they are now a TerraPass certified carbon-balanced business. In a post on their official blog, Tristan Handy writes “We recently sat down to do a review of our complete footprint and realized that we were so darn close to being carbon-balanced that we might as well go the rest of the way.”
Squarespace has long had a commitment to reduced environmental impact, designing their product to minimize the number of servers required, achieving more than 20 times the efficiency of most custom hosting solutions. They also chose their office location in a dense urban center for lower impact, are nearly paper free, recycle within their office, reuse old servers in their testing environment, and use carbon offsets for employee travel and other carbon emissions that can’t be avoided.
They use 100% renewable energy generated by wind turbines to power their office, and their data center utilizes renewable energy certificates, resulting in a 100% renewable operation.
Servers across the nation consume an estimated 2 – 3% of the total electric energy used in the United States.
Renewable energy certificates are a way for businesses and individuals to purchase renewable energy even when the power coming directly off the grid to their location is not, thus displacing the polluting power being consumed.
Carbon offsets from organizations such as TerraPass are essentially financial instruments which represent the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. According to their website although complex in practice, carbon offsets are fairly simple in theory. Projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions sell one credit for every ton of emissions reduced in order to finance their operations. Buyers of the credits use them to make up for their own actual or estimated carbon emissions.
We congratulate Squarespace on achieving carbon balance, and setting such a great example for all of us.
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