TL; DR: Eco Web Hosting offers a range of web products and services designed to have minimal impact on the environment. And sustainability is an overarching theme that informs every aspect of the company. Its innovative business model includes leading-edge green datacenters and offsets carbon emissions with tree planting as part of each hosting package. And Eco Web Hosting aims to help businesses switch to sustainable technology without compromising support or performance quality.
Digital transformation initiatives have helped many businesses improve their processes, meet objectives, and grow in the globalized economy. But that progress has come at a high cost to the environment. Digital transformation demands larger and higher-performing datacenters, and these facilities, in turn, require more equipment, raw materials, and, of course, electrical power.
It’s not just digital enterprises that drive demand, of course. Anyone who surfs the web contributes to that overall carbon footprint. And the web hosting services industry has received its fair share of criticism from environmental advocates.
Some datacenters use innovative techniques to keep cool, but they are not yet mainstream. It’s a situation that has left many hosting providers caught in a dilemma as they compete to win market share with higher performance that will increase the carbon consumption of their datacenters.
Eco Web Hosting, however, turns that modern industry dilemma into a market differentiator.
“Power demands made by the world’s millions of hosting servers can be quite damaging,” said Chris Cousins, Eco Web Hosting CEO. “Methods to achieve greener IT have been an industry debate for years. The reality is that not everyone can run green datacenters in ecologically sustainable locations that can be cooled by arctic air.”
That’s why the company, based in Nottingham, U.K., provides a range of hosting services and tools run on the latest sustainable IT infrastructure. Eco Web Hosting even offers carbon offset actions, in the form of tree planting, along with its products and services.
Eco Web Hosting’s value proposition could also be described as a virtue proposition. And it’s one that places equal emphasis on providing a sustainable portfolio of products and services and offering a competitive pricing model for clients.
A Competitively-Priced Host that Prioritizes Organic Growth
Eco Web Hosting is straightforward about its cultural ideals, which differentiates it from some of its rivals who rely on growth by acquisition rather than organically building a customer base.
“We rate quality products and exceptional customer service above acquisitions and sales figures,” the company declares on its website.
Eco Web Hosting had its roots as a side project, according to Chris. Founder Rob Percival is a highly successful online web skills instructor, with more than a million students worldwide, and he wanted to offer hosting services to his pupils.
“While he was teaching web development, he thought that by bundling hosting services into his courses, it would help students learn more effectively,” Chris said. “He is also a very environmentally aware person, so he wanted to reconcile the carbon impact the project would have. That would also sync with the growth in environmental awareness over the last decade.”
Chris said he feels strongly that another essential aspect of Eco Web Hosting’s mission is to overturn any preconceived notions that green IT equates to “groan IT” — or sluggish performance and substandard customer support. That’s why he assures customers that they can receive the speed and performance they need to grow.
Carbon Offset Scales with Hosting Package Options
Eco Web Hosting was founded on two principles. First, that the company should operate as much as possible on ecologically sound procedures. That includes datacenter infrastructure and best practices for employees to minimize their carbon profiles. Secondly, the company pledged to sponsor tree planting on behalf of each customer it acquires, as part of a proactive carbon offset program.
“Our customer websites are hosted on extremely energy-efficient servers, and we are always looking for ways to improve our energy efficiency in our datacenters,” Chris said. “In terms of our carbon-offset planting, we work with organizations to plant trees for each website we host, as well as other Gold Standard certified projects.”
Eco Web Hosting plants thousands of trees per month, and the number of trees planted scales with the value of the hosting package its customers purchase. So, for example, the company plants one tree a month for each purchase of an entry-level Essential package gets one tree planted each month. It plants two trees for every mid-range Professional plan purchase, and four trees are planted for the purchase of its Ultimate plan. The company applies a similar scale across its portfolio of products and services.
And the company plans to expand the carbon offset element of its value proposition, Chris said.
“We plan to partner with an organization that helps protect the Amazon rainforest. It works with land stakeholders to stop deforestation,” Chris said. “The Amazon rainforest is a huge carbon dioxide sink, absolutely unique, and massively important. And Eco Web Hosting wants to be one of the companies helping to keep it safe for generations to come.”
Proving that Sustainability Doesn’t Mean Slow Performance
“Everyone has a responsibility to be more environmentally aware and to try and lead a greener life, including when it comes to procuring web hosting services,” Chris said. “However, that should not mean that environmentally friendly hosting results in poor customer experience in terms of features, tools, or performance. One of our mottos is ‘Environmentally friendly hosting doesn’t mean slow’ — and we prove that.”
In terms of performance thresholds, Chris cited Eco Web Hosting’s proven ability to handle surges in customer needs quickly and efficiently.
The company’s datacenters help customers automatically scale on cloud infrastructure. They deploy cutting-edge technology, including enterprise-grade SSD disks, NGINX Edge caching, and a global Content Delivery Network (CDN). And those features are more necessary than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic causes lockdowns around the world.
“Since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown in the U.K., Eco Web Hosting’s own website, which we host ourselves, went from having a couple of requests a day to 4 million per day. But the platform wasn’t fazed. It auto-scaled and used the resources it needed to. Everything remained online without any hitches.”
The ethical merits of Eco Web Hosting’s carbon-neutral, ecologically sound sustainability first business model set it apart in the industry. But outstanding service and customer support levels are just as critical in a hosting market where customer expectations increase with each business quarter.
Environmental awareness is an increasing part of corporate social responsibility in organizations of all sizes and is seen as key to responsible decision-making when it comes to procuring IT needs, including web services.
“The hosting market is incredibly competitive at the moment — in fact, it’s fully saturated,” he said. “Everyone’s jostling in that same space, and trying to bring new value — and new ways to win customers. For us, it’s the demonstrable ability to have excellent performance and make environmental-friendliness intrinsic to our packages.”
Eco-Friendly Expansion Begins with Responsive Support
Eco Web Hosting now hosts around 40,000 websites and continues to see double-digit growth each year despite having a small outbound marketing budget, according to Chris.
“We get our message out there through customer review platforms like TrustPilot, where we have a TrustScore of 4.9, customer feedback forums, and by word of mouth,” Chris said. “We believe it’s because there is an ever-growing, eco-minded populace that’s switched on to what Eco Web Hosting offers — and understands how we can replace their incumbent hosting provider.”
Eco Web Hosting maintains an open communication link with its customers and is always looking at ways to help them — whether that is sponsoring an environmental project or adding more tools, products, or services.
And the company’s auto-scaling platform is prepared to handle almost anything a company can throw at it.
“Having that scalability on demand is now pretty essential for many businesses — including online retail, which is accustomed to spikes in demand that can be hard to plan for,” Chris said.