At the heart of the internet infrastructure lie expansive data centers. In 2012, the global count stood at 500,000; today, this number has surged to over 8 million, marking a remarkable 16-fold increase in just seven years. These data centers can host tens of thousands of servers operating around the clock, consuming substantial amounts of energy. To sustain their operations, servers demand a continuous supply of electricity, generating considerable heat and necessitating extensive cooling systems to maintain optimal temperatures. This demand often leads to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
40% of all the energy used to power the internet is used to keep servers from overheating.
Data centers account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, which is equivalent to the airline industry.
Data center pollution is expected to grow to 14% of the world’s carbon emissions, which equals that of the United States of America, by 2040.
Web Neutral Project founder Jack Amend calculates that powering the average website produces 4,500 pounds of CO2 a year, equivalent to driving the average new car for more than 10,000 miles.