GoDaddy’s (hidden) sustainability initiatives

Here’s an update on my correspondence with GoDaddy. (My apologies to them for tardiness; I’ve been involved in moving the household from Wisconsin to Illinois.)

Godaddy’s Office of the CEO replied in a timely manner to my questioning about their position on sustainability, and it appears that they have implemented a number of sustainability practices. Here, in its entirety, is their response to my inquiry about sustainability in their company:

Dear Anne,

Thank you for contacting GoDaddy.com.  Your correspondence has been directed to the Office of the CEO.

GoDaddy.com is committed to the promotion of a healthy environment and we are working to make a difference through a variety of initiatives within our company.  These involve our employees, our customers and our facilities planning.

1.What effort has Go Daddy made to ‘go green’?

Currently, GoDaddy utilizes power from the two main power suppliers in Arizona, APS and SRP. However we do not have separate renewable energy at our facilities.  You will be able to find specific details about the renewable energy sources exercised by our energy providers on the following websites:

SRP- https://www.srpnet.com/Default.aspx
APS- http://www.aps.com/aps_services/apsservices.html
APS Green Choice- http://www.aps.com/main/green/choice/default.html

Additionally, Go Daddy has made several efforts with our hosting and data centers to ‘go green.’  We focus on finding and using the most power-efficient computer equipment wherever possible.  Go Daddy monitors the market for new products with improved efficiencies and continue to review powering our data center with alternative energy.  Another effort includes Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) for large motors, chilled water air handler units or A/C units and for our water chillers which use a cooling tower (using less power than air cooled condensers).  A VFD is a device that slows the motor down to the required speed for equipment.  The new Customer Care Center and development areas have been done with low energy lights and offices with motion sensors to shut off lights automatically.  We will also be placing a lot of those devices in the current buildings as we remodel.  Additionally, we use the heat produced from our datacenters for the climate control of the office space in the same building.  We also recycle communications cabling, computer equipment and packaging.  Other ways Go Daddy contributes to environmental efforts include: air conditioning air filters made from recycled material, energy efficient fluorescent lamps, new purchases of diesel generators that fall under the new EPA guidelines including purchasing low sulfur grade diesel for the generators.  When possible, we purchase high efficiency electric motors.

2. How is Go Daddy encouraging an eco-friendly environment?

Go Daddy provides employees with many benefits to encourage eco-friendly actions.  We promote employees involvement in the Maricopa County Trip Reduction program (TRP).  Go Daddy provides information materials about getting involved in TRP and in participating we offer employees complimentary bus passes, quarterly contests and preferred parking for Alternate Mode Users.  We also provide recycling containers for plastic and aluminum cans.

Finally, as Mr. Parsons is a member of our board, your correspondence will be shared with him. While we have no ability to govern his behavior while on vacation, Mr. Parsons has shared his thoughts regarding his trip to Zimbabwe on his personal Vlog at BobParsons.me should you wish you review them.

Go Daddy’s new CEO, Warren Adelman, previously served as our President and COO and remains committed to ensuring that we offer the highest level of customer service and the most innovative products in the industry.

We hope this information will be of assistance to you in making any final determination about your relationship with GoDaddy.com.

Sincerest Regards,

The Office of the CEO

While I’m still not impressed by the elephant thing, I’m very glad to know that Godaddy is making some effort to be responsible. I especially like the way Godaddy is getting employees involved in greener transportation. This indicates that someone at the company is pushing for some degree of sustainability as part of the corporate culture.

I wonder, though, why Godaddy is so silent about their green accomplishments?

I’m not suggesting that they should go blabbing all over social media about how green they are. Clearly, it’s not part of their branding. Doing so would compromise their integrity and would most likely backfire.

However, I’m not just some lone kooky earth freak. Sustainability is a major issue for a lot of people, many of whom are Godaddy’s customers or potential customers. Wouldn’t it be to the company’s advantage to put out a little quiet communication about their activities for those of us who think it’s important?

What do you think?

Rethinking GoDaddy

Ever have one of those wake-up moments? When you suddenly realize that your actions aren’t in line with your values?  I did today.

Well, to be perfectly truthful, it wasn’t so sudden. I’ve suspected for quite some time that the hosting company I’ve been using, GoDaddy, isn’t exactly earth-friendly. But I’ve always had such great service from them that I’ve turned it into a personal blind spot.

Then a couple of days ago I joined The Hub by LOHAS. It’s an online sustainable business network that encourages socially and environmentally conscious businesses to connect and do business with each other. In order to join you have to take a pledge to support like minded business. I signed, and then got to thinking…

Am I really doing all I can do to shop my conscience?

So I went online and tried to find any evidence that GoDaddy was taking any steps towards sustainability. I found nothing on their website. (In fact, if you go to GoDaddy’s blog and type “sustainable” or “sustainability” into the search box, you’ll get a notice that says, “Sorry, but you’re looking for something that isn’t here.”)

Then I did a search and all I could find that seemed remotely related to environmental issues was Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy, killing a “rogue” elephant in Zimbabwe. (See the video, along with a few good suggestions for effective, alternative ways to deal with problem elephants other than blowing their brains out, here.)

So, it seems the time has come to start looking for other options.

But, like I said, GoDaddy has been very good to me and I don’t think it’s fair to just up and take my business elsewhere without communicating why or giving the company a chance to redeem itself. How much better if they actually do start to change due to consumer demand! So I composed a letter to GoDaddy through their support page. It went like this:

Dear GoDaddy,

I’m contacting you because like an increasing number of consumers, I am deeply committed to protecting the environment and prefer to do business with companies who share my concern.

I’ve been meaning for some time to check up on your sustainability record and finally took the time to do so today. I found….nada. Well, actually, if you count the elephant incident, worse than nada.

I provide professional services to green companies, and my website provides the first impression most of my clients have of me. While I LOVE your customer service and enjoy your pricing, I have grave reservations about continuing to host with you unless and until you start taking the issue of sustainability seriously.

Please wake up to the fact that this is the 21st century and we can’t ignore our impact on the planet anymore.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and no one expects you to suddenly be perfect. I’ve appreciated your wonderful service over the past few years and would prefer to keep doing business with you. However I will need to start seeing some kind of dialogue about and action towards sustainability on your part, or I will feel forced to take my business elsewhere, and encourage others to do the same.

Thank you,

Anne Michelsen

I’m told it can take up to two days before receiving a response. I really hope they’re open to dialogue, but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’m going to start researching other hosting and domain options. Any suggestions?