Are Meet.coop servers powered by renewable energy?

If so, we should highlight that.

If not, we should fix that.

Because, y’ know climate and ecological emergency and all that.

Thanks.

PS just to add imho renewable does not include biofuels (I only mention this because I’ve come across plenty of companies who claim they are renewable when they are actually powered by drax one of Europe’s biggest polluters).

Our current production server through Koumbit is powered by Hydro-Quebec. Our prospective provider for on-demand servers is OVH, which has multiple facilities but the Canadian one is OVH Beauharnois which sources energy from the same hydro-electric dam.

None of our servers go as far as buying carbon offsets (these will easily 2x the cost of our services), but renewable energy source is something we take into consideration.

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Good to hear, thanks. I would suggest we advertise this fact.

You mean to offset the embodied carbon of the servers themselves? or something else? Most carbon offsetting is a bit of a con, so I’m not too concerned about that.

May I suggest that rather than something we just take into consideration, we only ever buy servers that are powered by renewables as a matter of (published) policy. I’d certainly vote for that.

Carbon offset https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset

I don’t agree with that approach, because while being environmentally friendly is important, it needs to be balanced with other factors that are important to our mission and practical concerns. Data residency is important, and we should not say we can’t provision a server in your country because your country doesn’t have a renewable source of energy available. There are also practical concerns of how much overhead it is to procure from a lot of providers, which ultimately translates to either free labour to operational members or prohibitive cost of our service offerings.

I think it can be a goal, but we must take things one step at a time.

I know what carbon offsetting is!

It’s mostly a con akin to Catholics paying for their sins. In many ways it acts as a moral hazard that stops people actually changing their behaviour to stop emitting in the first place.

See eg

Especially the wonderful Cheat Neutral video.

There are some exceptions to this “it’s mostly a con” rule (ie companies/ people who are genuinely doing all they can to minimise their emissions across their whole supply chain and who then offset the remainder with one of the handful of fairly decent non profit offsetting operations who genuinely try to achieve additionallity) , but really not many. Lots of hosting companies who “offset” don’t even also source their energy from sustainable sources.

The question I was asking was about offsetting what exactly.

We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’d like our members to discuss and collectively decide on policy on this. I would strongly argue for only ever using green servers as nothing is more important than trying to maintain a habitable planet. To paraphrase a popular quote, there is no data privacy on a dead planet.

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re: carbon offset, it’s never something I looked into deeply but some hosts advertise it as something that they do. When I mentioned it, it’s the Wikipedia definition that I was referring to, in case it has multiple meanings. At Meet.coop it’s not something we discussed and is not something we are pursuing. So I guess we can’t pay for our sins :wink:

Regarding this, I agree it can be a topic of collective discussion. Perhaps someone can also help research these OVH facilities to see which subset qualifies for the renewable energy criteria so we can have a better evaluation of trade-offs?