I think that measurement is going to be huge in 2011. As companies like 1E innovate and create ever more ways to save energy, other organizations are working hard to make sure that you can measure those savings. One aspect of IT energy use that has to date been quite tricky to measure is software, and websites in particular.
Now however, the Green IT Review reports that a researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Communications (CESC) based at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, has developed an application to calculate the carbon footprint of individual websites.
It’s called Greenalytics (not sure on the name guys..) and matches web stats with environmental data to show the emissions generated by the infrastructure behind a website. It’s effectively compiling information from various sources to calculate a result in real time. It uses statistics from Google Analytics to measure how many visitors a site has and environmental data on electricity consumption from servers, routers and from users, from research carried out by KTH.
The application is running live at http://www.greenalytics.org/sites, showing the total emissions for a number of Swedish web sites for the year to date, so go and take a look.
The more I looked at this idea the more I liked it. And Jorge Zapico, the researcher who produced Greenalytics, had some tips on how to reduce a website’s climate emissions; ”The electricity source for the server is the most important factor that can easily be influenced. Choose a server located in a country with a climate-friendly mix of electricity sources such as Sweden. If the server is powered by electricity from renewable sources, it is even better. It is also important to build light websites that do not need to load heavy content”.
I would of course add to that. If your website is hosted on a server that is running NightWatchman Server Edition , you can be sure that it’s only running at full throttle while your website users demand it.