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How can CENTR members reduce their carbon footprint?

2021-02-10 Blog

As registries we can have an impact on the sustainability of the digital society worldwide. By setting a good example of working towards a healthier planet, our partners, clients and stakeholders may be inspired and follow. Together we can make the world a better place: for ourselves and more importantly for future generations that depend on us acting now.

 

Have a plan and a policy

Having a plan is an important first step towards a more sustainable business, and the Swedish Internet Foundation, AFNIC, EURid and DNS Belgium all have sustainability programmes. However, any programme is merely a first step.

To take the important next steps in your organisation successfully, you should:

  • make it as easy as possible to start working on sustainability;
  • encourage sustainable practices;
  • enable cost-saving sustainability – it is possible to save money and the planet at the same time!
  • share objectives within your company, your stakeholders and industry peers.

Next to a sustainability program, you should have a carbon footprint policy. A good carbon footprint policy consists of the following actions:

  1. Calculate your carbon footprint;
  2. Reduce your footprint by implementing a set of measures such as digital meetings, green electricity, green hosting, sourcing locally, using public transportation and electrical vehicles…
  3. Compensate your actual and historical CO2 emissions. There are many carbon offsetting projects that compensate your emissions by funding equivalent carbon dioxide savings elsewhere;
  4. Communicate your environmental efforts and actions.

 

Share your success stories

Reading success stories of other registries is always motivating and inspiring. Key performance indicators and improvement rates should be shared and compared. But we should keep in mind that registries operate in local environments with different laws, economics etc. that can create variations for sustainability.

In 2020, consultants from Ecolife (a Belgian firm known to DNS Belgium) helped the aforementioned registries compare their sustainability metrics to find shared models for measurements and performance indicators.

 

Two carbon footprint indicators

The objective of the CENTR project to compare the methodologies is a shared model for measurements and performance indicators. Ecolife recommends the use of two carbon footprint indicators.

The first indicator measures the amount of carbon emissions (kg CO2eq) per domain name. This indicator can be used for internal policy, e.g. to set emission reduction targets, and external communication. It is in line with e.g. ISO standards and hence excludes some impact categories such as the footprint of infrastructure (the construction and maintenance of buildings and parking areas), but includes European flights.

The second indicator measures the total amount of carbon emissions of the organisation and can be used for carbon offsetting (CO2 compensation). This indicator excludes European flights, because they are already compensated in the EU-ETS system, but does include infrastructure, because past emissions related to construction are still important contributors to climate change and can be compensated.

 

Calculate compensation

Regarding compensation, all emissions should be taken into account except for the European flights that fall under the European emission trading scheme EU-ETS mechanism, as well as the energy consumption of datacentres and emissions generated by the refrigerants of datacentres. Office space and car parks should be included in the carbon footprint to be compensated, even if it is not included in the carbon footprint calculated per domain name. In Ecolife’s view, this is necessary for a company to declare its climate neutrality.

 

If you want more information on how to reduce the carbon footprint in your organisation or if you want your copy of the Ecolife report, send an e-mail to sustainability@centrlists.org