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Win more business by going carbon neutral?

Do you reckon it’s possible to get more business by being labelled “carbon neutral?” – Yes, probably.

And do you think anyone checks how you do it? No, probably not…

But these guys reckon they won more business by having claiming carbon credentials. Couldn’t some of that be down to natural growth anyway?

Memset, a web host, qualified as the a carbon-neutral ISP with the Carbon Neutral Company in August 2006. Since gaining the certification, they have seen business increase by 68% year on year.

A recent survey of 140 new customers revealed that one in three selected Memset as their web hosting company due to the carbon-neutral certification, and almost half said that Memset’s commitment to energy efficiency was an important factor in their buying decision.

Kate Craig-Wood, managing director of Memset commented; “We decided to join the Carbon Neutral scheme last year, in part because we have always been conscience of our impact on the environment and wanted to do something to positively offset our carbon footprint, and also in order to gain a stamp of approval on our pre-existing commitment to developing energy-efficient hosting technologies.  The fact that we have gained new business as a result really reflects the changing attitudes of businesses wanting to work with environmentally-friendly suppliers.”

In becoming Carbon Neutral, Memset worked with The CarbonNeutral company to identify their ‘carbon footprint,’ or the approximate volume of CO2 generated by the organisation. It is calculated by assessing
energy usage, business travel, and all components of the company’s operations that consume power or generate waste and by-products. Memset uses a very large amount of electricity for powering servers, and that formed the vast bulk of their carbon footprint.

The next stage in the process is to explore ways to reduce this footprint and energy use wherever possible. This has included a review of current suppliers to explore the viability of using ‘green’
suppliers or energy from renewable resources, and also examined efficiency technologies already in use such as Memset’s Miniserver virtual machines. Finally in order to ‘neutralise’ unavoidable CO2 emissions, an organisation is encouraged to support a range of ‘offset projects’ to absorb or save the same amount of CO2 emissions as are being created.

Memset was initially supporting a sustainable forestry project, i.e. planting a tree each time it buys a new server, however, in response to concerns over the validity of forestry as a carbon offsetting measure,
Memset are moving their investment to support a new methane capture project which has very measurable benefits (methane is 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas).

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