18. August 2022
Julia Kriegel

VAST FORWARD goes Green Hosting

VAST FORWARD is a Digital Production Service Provider. Since we launched our VAST GREEN initiative, we are often asked how we incorporate sustainability into our business strategy in this digital environment. 

We asked ourselves this question at the beginning of our sustainability journey: Where do we want to start? What are the important sustainability criteria for our small organization? What are our strengths? Where can we make a difference? It’s clear from the start: there is no blueprint, no method, no comprehensible procedure, no guide to “how you become a sustainable company in 10 steps”. 

And so our first step was to work with Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl to develop our very own, customized sustainability strategy – based on sustainability principles formulated with the team and with concrete goals, described as Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). 

Building on this strategy, we developed our approach, our framework, with which we now work on a wide range of topics in various working groups – including “Green Data”. 

For us, “Green Data” connects various topics, and with it we define in concrete terms for VAST FORWARD what is often described with the buzzword “Green IT”: Green Coding and Green Hosting but also the more conscious handling of data handling, data storage and data destruction. 

As a digital service provider, these topics are relevant on a daily basis, but in the sustainability context of many companies, despite their relevance, they are often treated neglectfully or disregarded altogether. 

Yet it has been proven that deleting data that is no longer required for example in the cloud infrastructure can save CO2. 

The controlled handling of data affects many areas, including our remote communication: using the telephone instead of a zoom call or regularly cleaning up email inbox are points that can make a concrete and measurable contribution to sustainability in companies. 

But let’s first focus on the topic of Green Hosting.

Because love of technology and the environment do not have to be mutually exclusive, wabenwelt GmbH relies on partners who have everything in the green when it comes to CO2. Jens Brunner

What is Green Hosting and
why is it relevant?

Green hosting is important for a simple, if perhaps surprising, reason: information and communications technology is the fastest growing and currently one of the most climate-damaging infrastructures in the world, according to Lancaster University researchers. Today, CO2 emissions are comparable to those of the aviation industry – the big difference is that airplanes are becoming more fuel efficient, while data traffic continues to grow and data centers are getting bigger and bigger. As digitization progresses, more and more hardware is also required – which in turn has a negative impact on the climate footprint. One contribution we can make for ourselves and for our customers is to switch to green hosting. As a website operator, you already have a choice between conventional hosters – most of which are powered by coal – and those that work with green electricity.

What does green
hosting entail?

When looking for a “green” and sustainable hosting provider, it was important for us to clearly understand what exactly providers understand of “green hosting” by the definition. For VAST FORWARD and our VAST GREEN strategy, it is not enough that a hoster offers certified climate-neutral hosting. We took a closer look and paid attention to whether green electricity is used for the data centers and if providers are also committed to sustainability beyond that – in short: future hosting partners should pursue a holistic sustainability approach, without any greenwashing. 

We say it at every opportunity: With VAST GREEN, VAST FORWARD has pursued the goal not to just compensate, but to implement holistic change in our company from the very beginning – true to our motto “we do not just compensate”! To achieve this, we are looking for partners with the same ambition.

When it came to hosting, we turned to our IT service provider Wabenwelt at the beginning of 2022 and together, after some research, identified the “Green Web Foundation”, who, like us, take a holistic approach to sustainability and further advocate for free access to the internet & for data security. The Green Web Foundation has also been advocating for the internet to be fossil fuel free in operation by 2030 as well as the use of open data & code to address the climate crisis for several years.

With Wabenwelt and The Green Web Foundation, we finally switched to Green Hosting in June 2022. For VAST FORWARD and our VAST GREEN strategy, this is an important step into our sustainable future!

And we will offer this service for our network and our customers’ digital projects as well – we want to work together with The Green Web Foundation towards the common goal of helping to shape the digital world in a more future-proof way. 

We Do Not Just Compensate!

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