How to reduce your website’s Carbon Footprint

The Internet consumes a lot of electricity; from the data centre, to the cabinet at the end of your street, to the device you’re viewing this post on. It all requires electricity. 416.2twh per year to be precise – nearly double what the UK used in 2020.

The average web page produces 0.935 grams of CO2 per view. It doesn’t sound like much, but if 10,000 people visited that page every month, in a year it would produce 112.2kg of CO2. That’s equivalent to approximately 44,880 cups of coffee throughout the year! And that’s just for one page on one website… there are currently approximately 1.9 billion websites on the Internet.

It all adds up. Just today, the Internet produced 2.8 million tons of CO2, and with the communications industry predicted to use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025, this number is only going to increase.

Who’s responsible?

In short, everyone.

It is impossible to reverse the worldwide trend, and with emerging VR technologies such as the Metaverse, the Internet is on the cusp of its next evolutionary cycle. We all have a responsibility to ensure the Internet grows and evolves in a sustainable way.

The big players have already started on their carbon emission commitments. Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, but aims to be carbon-free in all of their data centres by 2030. Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) is continuing its path toward powering its operation on 100% renewable energy by 2025.

We all need to hold accountability, so this is what we’re doing:

  • We’re working towards achieving platinum EcoVadis accreditation, to align with our sister company Altavia UK and really push our Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • We’re using a carbon calculator for all production and web work to ensure it’s as eco-friendly as possible.
  • The Altavia Group has been part of the UN Global Compact since 2009, and we’re now also working towards being carbon neutral.

How can Altavia HRG help you reduce your carbon footprint?

We’ve shown just how much a website can impact your business’ carbon footprint, so what can you do about it?

1. Host your site on a server which is part of the Green Web Foundation.

For example, all websites we create are hosted by our partners at Nimbus Hosting, who proudly use datacentres in the UK which are powered 100% by renewable sources.

2. Be smart with your images.

Only use images where you must – you may be able to replace the image with some clever code. If you must use an image, ensure it’s in a modern format such as SVG, or WebP, and most importantly make sure it’s at the right size; there’s no reason to have a 2000px wide image if it’s going into a 500px area.

3. Use video intelligently.

Don’t just use video for the sake of it. Instead, ask yourself does it serve a purpose, or add value? If not, consider sticking with an image. If you decide you do need a video, consider converting it to WebM format; a 1 minute MP4 video sits at approximately 28MB, however a 1 minute WebM video is only 8MB. That’s a 72% reduction. And the less you require someone to download, the lower your website’s CO2.

We followed all these steps and more when we created our new website! It’s not just about hosting with a Green Web Foundation supplier, it’s about how you code your site as well. You need to do everything, to make a significant impact.

How we’re holding ourselves accountable

We benchmark all our websites against the 0.935g average calculated by the Website Carbon Calculator, to ensure we are minimising your carbon impact. If we’re above this target, then we relook at the code to bring it down.

Each page on our own website is producing on average only 0.53g of CO2 per page visit (at time of writing). But we’re constantly working to improve this. We’ve a goal to become the greenest website in the Altavia Group!

Our updated competition microsite framework now only produces 0.09g of CO2 per page visit (down 66% from 0.39g of CO2).

Get in touch if you want to discuss how we can help reduce your digital CO2 footprint.

Post Tags: csr, sustainability

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