34SP.com has provided hosting services for nearly two decades - in the tech world that's practically geological in age. We often ask ourselves a few existential questions as a result: Why are we here? Would anyone notice if we weren't?
With that in mind we're constantly working hard to deliver a business that's ethical, honest and transparent. A business that makes a positive impact both locally and globally.
There's no getting around the fact that web hosting is an inherently non-green business. We use hundreds of servers linked together by numerous networking and security systems. These pieces of hardware run 24/7 gulping down thousands of kilowatt hours each month. Our business activities have an environmental impact and we're keen to address that.
Over a given year, the energy consumption of our hosting infrastructure generates something in the region of 135 tons of carbon. Our Manchester datacenter actually uses 100% renewable power (see below), but we don’t stop there. We work directly with the Woodland Trust in the UK to offset more than our own energy consumption.
Through the Woodland Carbon project we contribute funding to help the planting of new native woodland such as oak and beech trees. The Woodland Carbon project seeks to plant on average 25m2 of woodland at various project sites for each tonne of CO2 emitted. CO2 emissions are absorbed from the atmosphere and stored by the trees as they grow.
We're currently committed to planting some 7,500 square meters of new woodland through this scheme each and every year. That's the equivalent of removing 300 tons of carbon from the atmosphere - more than double what our hosting infrastructure creates.
We're proud to use Opus Energy as the power provider for our Manchester offices. Opus provide a 100% renewable mix of power comprising 45.5% wind, 31.2% solar, 16.3% biomass and 7% hydropower.
In addition to our own efforts to mitigate the impact of our workload, our datacenter provider Equinix also draws on carbon-neutral power offerings from Haven Power. In fact when you add up our datacenter power provider efforts with our own participation in the Woodland Carbon project, you might even say we're carbon negative!
Work from home
All of our full time staff have the fun perk of being able to work from home, one day each week. Not only does this help our team spend a little more time with their families, but it also helps them keep off the road and rail networks 20% of the working week.
Our hosting business also generates a lot of waste material, mainly in the form of spent hardware. With the help of Tech Recycle every defunct server, switch, router, printer or desktop PC is recycled rather than sent to the dump. For their part, Tech Recycle also commit to planting new trees as part of their business model.
The Green Web Foundation
There's no need to simply take us at our word about our sustainable hosting credentials. As a partner of The Green Web Foundation, our hosting is independently verified as environmentally friendly.
Like any business we're here to make a profit; but we don't believe that goal should come at the exclusion of all others. We believe in giving back, supporting local charities where we can. For most charities every last penny is crucial.
A pound not spent on an expense like web hosting, means a pound can be spent directly on a charity’s core activities. With that in mind, we aim to donate 10% of our hosting capacity for free to registered UK charities. As of early 2019 we've donated more than £220,000 worth of free services to UK charities.
You can read more on that here:
WordPress user groups
As WordPress is core to what we do, we're also keen to help grow and support the grassroots community within the UK. To that end we support a large number of monthly meetups around the UK. You can find more about this work here:
We're also big advocates of acting locally wherever we can. One of the biggest ways we can make an impact here is through our team, who we're proud to say are our biggest asset.
Hire and train in the UK
We don't outsource any of our support department. We hire and train our team exclusively within the UK. When you pick up the phone and call us, you'll speak to someone hired locally and working out of our Manchester office.
Not everyone has the resources to take advantage of higher education and the doors it can open; as such it can be a challenge to get on the ladder in the tech industry. Over the past several years we've actively worked with government sponsored programs to help train numerous young people. Apprentices join our support team and learn all the technical ropes of web hosting. Many stay on with us and develop longer term careers, too.
Living Wage employer
The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 3,600 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. Living Wage employers pay the real Living Wage which is higher than the government minimum – and make sure all employees in London receive the London Living Wage.
We believe it’s important to invest in people. You can read more here:
It's a team thing
All of this isn't just corporate spin, our whole team shares the same ethos. For many years now our team have ran a yearly Gameathon event generating funds for local charities not to mention participated in other events benefitting our local area. Suffice to say, this isn't business strategy or a sales tool - it's just who we are.