The Organic Green For Good Pledge 2022

We know that in digital marketing nothing exists in a vacuum: your SEO performance can be impacted by your brand, and your brand can be impacted by your website experience…and on and on it goes. 

And we know it’s the same in every other aspect of life. As the climate change crisis shows us, we can no longer divorce how we live from how we impact the environment, and how that in turn impacts us and other species on our planet.

But how many of us stop to think about the carbon emissions produced by websites, our online activity, watching videos, sending GIFs on Facebook? 

Very few of us.

And in fact the Internet and the related areas that are necessary to make it a reality (data centres, devices, and so on) produce about the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as the aviation industry. 

But we don’t hear anybody talking about reducing how much they watch Netflix.

We’re part of the problem. And we know it.

Now, lest we seem preachy here we know that we’re part of the problem. Not only do we help brands develop websites and deliver better marketing to attract more customers to click on their ads and visit their websites…our own website is diabolically filthy! Worse than 81% of sites out there. See here if you’re part of the problem too.

So we’re making a pledge, that for 2022 (and beyond, because improvement never stops) we will clean up our act. And we encourage all brands to do the same. 

This doesn’t mean switching your website off, or making it plain text. There’s no going back from the Internet. Like electricity, the car, and many other incredible advancements that have brought about huge changes to society, the Internet is now part of life, and in many ways it is highly beneficial. But we can always do better: make things less dirty, less exploitative, less impactful. 

Will you join us on our journey?

As businesses we have to take the lead, because it is our products and services that people buy. We are driving the problem. 

We can no longer believe that businesses exist in a profit making vacuum, and are only supposed to make money. Businesses rely on people to create and deliver their products and services, and they rely on people to buy whatever it is that is being sold. So, we have to accept that what we do has a very real impact on people and the planet. To carry on denying it is to keep repeating the insanity that has got us to this point. 

The eight pillars of our pledge

So, here are the things we pledge to do in the coming months to do what we can to reduce the carbon impact of our website: 

  1. Ensure our infrastructure is as clean as possible – Hosting and serving up a site, as well as its tech stack, are major contributors to its carbon footprint. We’ll be ensuring that what sits behind our site is as green as can be.
  2. Clean up our code -Clean and efficient coding ensures sites are as efficient as possible, which means less data transfer and time spent serving it up.
  3. Making our site lean – The more pages a site has the more bloat and therefore more intensive it is. We’ll be looking to condense, compress, and eradicate pages wherever possible. This will also make it simpler for users to navigate. Win-win. 
  4. Reduce video and images – Data transfer is a massive contributor to a website’s carbon impact. So we’ll be looking to reduce and eliminate unnecessary video and images. We’ll also investigate cleaner ways to manage and present such content, including modern image formats and more. 
  5. Consider design elements – Colours, fonts, and other brand assets all take energy to maintain and serve. So, we’ll be looking into ways to make our brand greener, which may include changes to how the site looks (dark mode by default for example), and seeing if we can use alternatives to energy intensive brand assets
  6. Make our experience more user centred – Time spent on a site clicking around randomly trying to find what you need all adds to data transfer, which adds to carbon impact. We’ll be reviewing our site experience and making it tightly aligned to what our users really want, to speed up their journey and make their time on the site more efficient and effective. 
  7. Go big on accessibility – This might seem odd at first, but the fact is that the standards demanded to make a website meet certain accessibility standards also has a material impact on its carbon footprint. We’ll be pushing accessibility even further. We preach it to our clients, so it’s high time we practised it ourselves.
  8. Raising awareness for carbon emissions on websites – We will share what we have learnt, and work to raise awareness of the issues surrounding carbon emissions and the Internet. As part of this we’re going to build a carbon emissions tool for people to use to get an idea as to how dirty their website is.

The first seven are all about our website, and the steps we would encourage any brand to take to clean up their own site. But the final pledge is about taking what we’ve learnt and raising awareness of the issue surrounding carbon emissions and encouraging others to start their journey to being Digital For Good.