Our history

Canvas Host is a sustainable Web host based in Portland, Oregon. Customers worldwide turn to us for professional Web hosting they can trust, paired with ethical service, caring customer support, and responsible, sustainable practices.

A recent EPA study showed data centers consume 3% of all energy produced in the United States. Projections are this figure could triple by 2020. It is not enough for IT providers to use renewable energy. Total energy consumption must be reduced. We developed an energy-minimization strategy and now design and build our own smaller, high-efficiency servers resulting in 60% energy savings per server for operating and cooling. We strive to be a model for other IT companies to operate sustainably and use technology to reduce their own carbon footprint.

In the community, Canvas Host sponsors non-profits and activities like the VOIS Business Alliance, Green Drinks, and Friends of Trees to educate and raise awareness about sustainable business practices. We are also building an interactive community between our customers and vendors to create a self-driving economy that gives back to and supports itself. Canvas Host is much more than a Web host; we’re closing the loop and tying it all together.

Canvas Host has seen substantial growth over the years. Our story includes many developments:

  • In 1998, Canvas Host began as a home-based brain child of entrepreneurs who sought to create a virtual business free of brick-and-mortar overhead. In the early days, we relied on digital communication through phone, email and instant messaging, as means to create a virtual workspace.
  • In the following years we saw first-hand how many hosting providers failed to meet the quality of service we expected. In 2002, we began providing hosting services directly to our customers by leasing servers from several national datacenters. This resulted in a considerable improvement of service and security. Yet we felt we could do better, if we could directly control the physical hardware and hosting environment that was so crucial to our customers’ growing businesses.
  • We therefore built out a secure, world-class hosting facility in 2005 located directly on the Internet backbone in Portland, Oregon. Our technology is rock-solid, fully redundant, and managed and supported by 24/7 staff that are committed to delivering excellent service and help.
  • In 2007, Canvas Host became the first Web hosting company in the Pacific Northwest to use 100% clean wind energy, generated locally by Portland General Electric
    in the Columbia River Gorge. Our commitment to sustainable practices has seen the formal development of a sustainability program, including a reduction in waste and renewable energy usage, responsible electronics and plastic recycling, mass transit and carpooling, and an emphasis on supporting the local economy by purchasing from vendors and hiring contractors who live in the area.
  • In 2008, we were recognized by PGE, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and Green America as an industry leader in sustainable practices.
  • In 2009, we expanded our service lines to include virtualization services (VPS servers).
  • In 2010, continued growth showed us using 20079 kWh of REC-offset electricity per month. Additionally, we became a Certified B Corporation and an EPA Green Energy Partner.
  • In June 2010 we published our unique approach to Sustainable Business, a concept we crafted known as “The Three C’s” (Conversation, Community, and Commerce), which centers on building a lasting relationship with our customers (and helping you learn to do the same with your customers) to create a supportive network of trust that grows your business and helps it withstand changing economic times.
  • In November 2010, we were awarded the Green Business Leadership award, which highlights our efforts to serve as a role model for sustainable businesses everywhere.
  • In December 2010, we acquired Taproot Hosting, a green web hosting provider in Portland. This added hundreds of new accounts to our growing portfolio, further enabling us to grow our staff and infrastructure.
  • In September 2011, we established a partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, a local non-profit organization that helps businesses purchase renewable energy from a much wider range of sources than Portland General Electric. Though we enjoyed working directly with a local utility, Bonneville Environmental Foundation enables us to purchase energy from wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable sources, invest in new renewable energy projects throughout the state of Oregon, and ensure our purchases support local efforts to benefit our community.
  • In 2013, Canvas Dreams worked with B Lab and other certified B Corporations to help push through legislation in Oregon, to formally recognize Benefit Companies as an official company status. On June 18, 2013, David Anderson attended the signing of the law at Governor Kitzhaber’s office in Salem.
  • In October 2013, we changed our renewal energy purchases from wind energy to geothermal, to support local projects in Oregon that are proving to be more sustainable, with less environmental impact and cost.
  • In November 2013, we officially re-branded our business to Canvas Host from our previous name Canvas Dreams, and continue our goals of responsible, caring, sustainable business matched with unbeatable customer support.
  • On January 2, 2014, Canvas Host registered as one of the first Oregon benefit companies.
  • On November 13, 2014, Canvas Host, in coordination with Angela Bixler, organized the first West Side Green Drinks networking event for the communities to the West of Portland. Green Drinks focuses on sustainability, education, and community building through monthly, volunteer-driven networking functions.
  • On July 23, 2015, we completed the buildout of our new training and conference room at our Portland office. With this space, we’re able to hold training seminars, as well as open it up for use by our customers who themselves have need for meeting space in Portland. It’s one more way we give back to our clients.
  • That same month, we increased our purchase of renewable wind energy to 200% of our average use, offsetting not only our business, but the equivalent of 15 Portland-area homes’ electrical use as well!

From our humble beginnings with Web design and marketing in 1998, Canvas Host has become an internationally recognized Web hosting provider and is championing the way forward with no-oversell hosting, environmentally responsible services, and a never-ending commitment to the very best personalized, 24/7 support and services.