Over the past several years we have noted an increase in interest from corporate domain name management clients around inclusivity and sustainability in our operations as they work towards increasing these efforts in their own operations. In this respect, domain name management and domain registration is no different than any other service. Consumers, be they B2B or B2C, now place a growing importance on sustainability and aligned values in their decision making around suppliers and products – including domain names and their providers.
Sustainability, domain names and the domain industry
For a growing number of consumers, it’s not only how a product is made that affects their buying decision, but also whether the company they’re purchasing from shares the same values. A recent joint study from McKinsey and NielsenIQ examining trends in business growth showed that companies across various industries that were able to make multiple substantiated environmental, social responsibility and governmental claims about their operations or products experienced higher growth and positive brand associations.
When it comes to domain names, both registrars and registries have considerable runway for growth in these areas. Webnames Corporate’s own certifications as a diverse supplier through WBE and CAMSC and as a Climate Smart business are initiatives that have resonated with our corporate domain management clients, and just as importantly, with our team.
While a number of registries are working to increase sustainability in their operations by using renewable energy sources, reducing emissions and increasing sustainable procurement, Big Room and the .eco top-level domain (TLD) are setting an example for the industry around sustainability.
A credible symbol of environmental action – .eco
Launched in 2017 with the guidance from a coalition of over 50 environmental non-profit and intergovernmental organizations on policy and other matters, .eco was created to be a dedicated domain name extension for businesses, organizations and individuals committed to positive change for the planet.
Since its release it has become a trusted symbol and way for companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and to differentiate themselves from competitors by showcasing their environmental credentials. The .eco domain’s eligibility and registration process requires registrants to demonstrate their environmental commitment by providing information about their sustainability practices and policies. Because .eco has a verification component, it provides a higher level of credibility to businesses and individuals who are committed to environmental sustainability.
Big Room’s (.eco’s registry operator) own environmental actions are consistent with the purpose and intention of the .eco domain. In January 2023 Big Room achieved carbon neutral status by meeting PAS 2060, a rigorous specification detailing how to demonstrate carbon neutrality produced and published by the British Standards Institution that requires independent verification by a certified auditor. The registry has a Sustainability Policy that reports on the registry’s energy use, its key suppliers and their policies, and its purchasing policy.
How .eco is being used by brands, businesses and orgs
Six years after its launch, the .eco domain has been widely adopted by brands, business, not-for-profits, municipalities, non-governmental and governmental organizations to indicate a commitment to environmental sustainability.
Some examples of how .eco is being used by our clients, include:
Environmental reporting, programs and initiatives – enterprises, non-profits and governmental organizations are using their .eco domains for ESG content and reports, as well as information about other sustainability initiatives, enabling stakeholders to easily access information about the company’s environmental performance.
Sustainable businesses and service providers – companies that produce or sell eco-friendly products, as well as a wide range of service providers from architects to tourism operators that prioritize sustainable practices, are using .eco to convey this commitment and to differentiate how they do business.
Not-for-profit organizations, advocacy groups, individuals – for those focused on raising awareness and changemaking around a range of environmental issues, a purpose-driven domain extension like .eco is not only values-aligned but clearly conveys through its name a focus on sustainability and environmental matters.
Brand protection – Proactively registering trademarks and brands as a protective best practice and to secure them for future use is another key motivation for corporate clients to register .eco. In these instances, we recommend using HTTPS domain forwarding to direct your .eco to your website or sustainability pages. With its requirement that registrants demonstrate their commitment to sustainability in order to be eligible to register in the first place, the .eco namespace is both incredibly secure and markedly infringement free compared to other more widely used, more generic TLDs.
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With the growing importance of sustainability in business, .eco is far and away the most credible way for businesses and organizations to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to sustainability through a domain extension. To date, no other TLD has as well defined eligibility policies or embodies the level of support from environmental organizations as the .eco domain does.
By registering a .eco domain, registrants have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors and indicate their alignment with environmentally conscious customers, investors, and stakeholders. With all the choices available in domain names today, few are as effective, relevant and trusted.