Understanding the Climate Impact of a Domain Name

Written by Dr. Naomi Marden
March 1, 2024
3 min read

Q: How do our everyday digital activities contribute to climate change?

When we sit down at the computer to send an email, browse the web or stream a movie, we don’t think of these activities as contributing to climate change. But they do.
Using our devices to do things on the Internet requires electricity - electricity to power our phones and laptops, operate the telecommunications infrastructure that transmits data to us and run the data centres that store and process the data we request. Depending on how this electricity is generated, greenhouse gases are emitted. There are also emissions produced when extracting the raw materials and manufacturing all of these high tech devices.

Q: How significant are the emissions from the Information and Telecommunications Industry (ICT)?

The sum of these emissions are significant. It’s estimated that the Information and Telecommunications Industry is accountable for 1.8%-2.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s about the same as the global aviation industry. That’s pretty huge! And the electricity demand of the industry is growing rapidly. Electricity use for data centres is expected to double over the course of the next two years!

Q: What responsibility do consumers have in mitigating the impact of digital consumption on climate change?

As consumers of digital products and services who care about mitigating climate change, we have a responsibility to make choices that minimise our impact. That means using service providers that are working toward driving down the carbon footprint of their activities. Fortunately, many of the major players in this industry are working on addressing this issue. You can check out the sustainability pages for companies like Google, Microsoft or Amazon to see the work that they’re doing.

Q: How do domain names contribute to climate change?

When browsing the web, one of the first things that we do is enter the domain name of the website that we want to visit. While they may seem like ethereal things, even domain names have a climate impact. In order to figure out where the website associated with the domain name you entered is hosted, multiple DNS lookups are performed transparently by your browser. There is a whole slew of data centres, servers and networking equipment that is used to power the DNS system. Keeping that infrastructure running has a climate impact.

Q: How does .eco strive to minimise its environmental impact?

.eco is the top-level domain for everyone who cares about creating a more sustainable future for our planet. Everyone using a .eco domain, like yourselves at SKOOT.eco, are committed to protecting the environment.

Cognizant that our business, like all businesses, has an environmental impact, we strive to do what we can to minimise its impact. One of the ways that we do so is to account for our carbon footprint and do what we can to minimise it. We operate one of the only certified carbon neutral top-level domains. SKOOT has helped us neutralise the residual emissions associated with running our business.
Q: How can individuals join the movement to create a more sustainable future?

We recognise that reducing our impact on our planet is a journey, not a destination. There’s still lots of work to be done. If you are interested in joining our movement and the global .eco community, learn more at go.eco.

Share this post
Written by Dr. Naomi Marden
March 1, 2024
3 min read