Our website green mode
Climate change is a major concern for the majority of individuals, and increasingly a priority for businesses too. It’s easy for us to think that going digital is a good thing for the environment, and it can be. However, according to Website Carbon the internet is estimated to consume about 416.2Twh of electricity a year. More than the entire UK.
And when you take into account the devices used and the infrastructure behind it all then the internet accounts for close to 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. That’s about the same as the aviation industry…so let’s not discount how important reducing the carbon footprint of a website could be.
We found out a little while back that our website wasn’t exactly green. More a dirty brown…so we decided to try and do something about it till we sorted it out. Read more about our 2022 pledge here.
What factors influence a website’s carbon footprint?
There are five main areas that impact the amount of power used to serve up a site (and therefore its carbon footprint):
- Data transfer – The amount of data transferred when a website is loaded roughly corresponds to the energy used. Makes sense doesn’t it – more images and videos means more data, means more power consumed.
- Energy intensity of web data – Every time you access the web energy is consumed in three places: your device, the data centre that serves up the websites, and the telecoms network in between.
- Energy source used by the data centre – What energy source the end user and the telecoms networks use isn’t something we can know, but we can choose a data centre that runs on clean energy. Not all of them do. Our hosting supplier, Google, is carbon neutral and runs on sustainable energy.
- Carbon intensity of electricity – Not all sources of electricity have the same carbon intensity – coal sources obviously produce much more than wind powered ones.
- Website traffic – The amount of traffic a site gets increases its carbon footprint. A high traffic site (especially one that isn’t all that green) will result in more carbon emissions.
What is green mode?
In short, our green mode disables some front end aspects of our website that make big demands on servers and networks. It also disables other elements of the site (like some of our tracking setup and so on) to reduce the intensity of power consumption needed to serve up our site, and it makes it a little quicker to load.
Of course this does come with some ‘disadvantages’ such as not having video and so on. But really… you might not miss all that gumph anyway.
We imagine you certainly won’t miss the tracking.
Of course, our marketing team will.
And this isn’t the end of the story. We’re going to be constantly assessing our website and finding new ways to make it leaner and greener. Businesses need websites these days, there’s no escaping that fact, and some may have to be more heavy than others – but we believe we can alway make improvements.
We urge you to engage in green mode when on our site and do your bit to help reduce carbon emissions.
Go on, flip the toggle now!