How Can Online Businesses Help Kent’s Sustainability Efforts in 2024?


Kent is on a mission to become one of Britain’s greenest counties. Kent County Council has a net-zero commitment by 2050, which includes analysing, tracking and, ultimately, reducing carbon emissions across the region. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, local authorities are working to improve sustainable energy provisions across the county in 2024. With industry leaders and innovators set to meet this year at the 2024 Global Energy Transition Congress and Exhibition in Milan, it’s worth taking a look at how Kent can contribute to Britain’s environmental revolution.

Sustainability At Every Level

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Kent County Council initially published its Renewable Energy Action Plan in 2013. The seeds of this plan are starting to bear fruit across the county. For example, the rollout of ground-source heat pumps is already underway. Early analysis of the project shows that the pumps are expected to save 24 tonnes of carbon over 20 years at the new Hermitage Road development in Gravesham. Similarly, the new houses at Merston Court should save 13.67 tonnes of carbon over the same period thanks to the heat pumps.

The National Grid is also planning to build a new electricity converter on Minster Marshes. The facility will be connected to the grid via an underwater high-voltage cable at Pegwell Bay. The aim is to improve the National Grid and provide cleaner energy (through a more efficient system) to the county. Although it’s still in the early stages of planning, the new facility will be another example of Kent’s commitment to sustainable energy.

Looking at other ways the local authority and businesses can contribute to the county’s environmental efforts, one idea that’s hot right now is green cloud servers. With Google pledging to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, online businesses are being encouraged to do the same. So-called CO2-neutral websites are leading the online sector’s push for sustainability. What’s a CO2-neutral website? In essence, they’re websites that use cloud servers powered by renewable energy sources.

Go CO2-neutral with Sustainable Cloud Servers

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Google is working towards this for its operations and, now, websites that use a lot of energy are being encouraged to do the same. You might not be aware, but companies that operate solely online often have large energy demands. As noted by Wired, one hour of streaming is the equivalent of running a 75w ceiling fan for six hours. Generative AI is the latest sector to place increased demand on the world’s energy grids, but it’s not the only one. Streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube require thousands of servers to power their products.

Another industry that requires a ton of processing power is online gaming. Modern casinos have thousands of games. They also offer sports betting and massive amounts of associated data, promotions, and mobile apps. For example, if you look specifically at an online casino site in the UK, you’ll see that it has a variety of resource-heavy components. In addition to live dealer games, such as Crazy Time, which require live streams, these sites process payments and store customer details in secure servers. All of these processes require a lot of energy. That’s why major companies within the gambling sector, and many other industries,  are taking action. Executives within the online space understand the need to reduce the demand they place on energy grids, which is why they’re turning to CO2-neutral servers, such as Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Where the big websites go, others typically follow, which is why online businesses in Kent can help the county’s sustainability push by embracing CO2-neutral servers. Of course, the average business owner probably doesn’t know how much impact their website is having on the environment. That’s why a site focused on carbon footprints is useful. This free and open resource provides a simple overview of how much of an environmental impact your cloud usage has on the world. It also provides solutions to reduce your impact and tools to monitor usage.

Sustainability requires a collective effort. Kent County Council is leading from the front, but everyone has to do their part. It’s easy to assume that turning businesses into digital ventures will help the environment and, in many ways, it does. However, running a website isn’t completely neutral, which is why business owners should find ways to reduce their impact. Assessing your impact is the first step. From there, CO2-neutral servers are one of the best ways to make Kent and the world at large a more environmentally stable place to live.

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