Like many companies we’re really thinking about how we can reduce our impact on the environment, both through our actions and our work.
One key area that has a lot of focus on it at the moment is digital. The carbon footprint of our gadgets, the internet and the systems supporting them account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions which is similar to the amount produced by the airline industry globally. Websites may only be one part of that equation but they are an opportunity to make a difference.
So what can we do to reduce our digital carbon footprint?
When it comes to websites it’s all about optimisation, making your site lighter weight. As a starting point there are a few key opportunities that most sites could benefit from:
- Optimising code, imagery and video content making sure that they’re all as efficient as possible.
- Using less heavy content above the fold such as video, keeping it code based helps with speed.
- Using a modular approach to web builds helps avoid unnecessary code and functionality. We’ve developed a system using modular components over the past few years which keeps file sizes to a minimum and massively improves load speeds and saves energy.
- Following web standards improves performance and ensures that your digital products and services will accurately display across the widest range of devices and platforms. In turn, this supports a better user experience and expands access to your content.
- Write reusable code. The teams carbon footprint starts with writing reusable code, in the same project through components, buttons and stylesheets, this might not fit for every project, but it does result in lower carbon emissions.
- Staying up to date. This includes keeping software up-to-date, which helps identify potential vulnerabilities as a product or service evolves, and creating processes to maintain these practices over time.
- Carbon neutral hosting companies is another way to help your overall impact.
Ultimately when it comes to building the greenest websites it comes down to minimising heavier content such as video and animated gifs but as we all know these can often be crucial tools in communicating our brand stories and creating engaging brand touchpoints. In the right context this can also be an opportunity though, it forces us to look at other ways to create impact, bold messaging and striking visual identities can help your website really stand out from the competition and deliver a powerful brand experience.
If you’re interested in seeing how you can deliver a greener digital experience then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss the different opportunities available.