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How much does a website pollute?

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We start again, after a long break from the blog, with a very interesting topic, which is very close to our hearts: the sustainability.

This summer the temperature has risen touching peaks of 48°, I would say it is more than evident what effects climate change is having on our planet. So I’ve been wondering how I can improve my work to make it more sustainable. Can you make a job done solely on a computer become eco-sustainable?

Searching online I came across the Sustainable Web Manifesto. Let’s see what it is and what its principles are.

The Sustainable Web Manifesto

How and why it was created

If the internet were a country, it would be the 4th largest polluter.

Emailing, chatting, video playback, in general. surfing online produces carbon dioxide. CO2 is emitted because of the energy needed to run devices and power wireless networks. In the case of a website, we also take into account the server, which stores the content we access.

It is estimated that the internet will emit more carbon by 2025 than any other country except China, India and the United States. This estimate has also grown due to the Covid epidemic, which has led to increased use of the net for smart working.

That’s why Wholegrain Digital created the Sustainable Web Manifesto. Other digital experts with an interest in sustainability were then invited to contribute to the drafting of the manifesto. A total of ten different organizations joined in.

What are its principles

Here are the six core principles that encourage signers to commit to start applying them in their work:

  1. Clean: The services we provide and the services we use will be powered by renewable energy.
  2. Efficient: The products and services we provide will use the least amount of energy and material resources possible.
  3. Open: The products and services we provide will be accessible, enable the open exchange of information, and allow users to control their own data.
  4. Honest: The products and services we provide will not deceive or exploit users in their design or content.
  5. Regenerative: The products and services we provide will support an economy that feeds people and the planet.
  6. Resilient: the products and services we provide will work in the times and places where people need them most.

How much does a website pollute?

To try to answer this question, the company AvantGrade has launched the project Karma Metrix, a set of metrics and tools for the measuring the energy efficiency of websites. With Karma Metrix you can measure the environmental impact of your website so you can see how much energy efficiency needs to be increased to reduce CO2 emissions.

We measured our site and it turns out it produces 68KG of CO2 per year, which is -64% of the CO2 emitted compared to the world average.

An energy efficient website emits less CO2, thus helping to reduce global warming.

Click here to see how much your site pollutes.

What we do for a more sustainable web

First, we signed the Manifesto. Whoever signs it commits to design web services, with a web design sustainable, i.e., with an approach that puts people and planet first.

Plus we know that making web pages more efficient, meaning usable and fast, makes them eco-friendly. This makes them use less energy and emit less CO2.

So starting with good design practices is key, we pay particular attention to:

  1. Performance: Our sites are fast to view;
  2. Contents: Our sites provide as quickly as possible the information requested by our visitor;
  3. Usability: Our sites work fast with any connection and on any device;
  4. Hosting: Our sites rely on hosting powered by renewable energy. The hosting Keliweb is powered by solar panels.

The steps we aim to take next are:

  1. Measure the emissions: Before the go live measure how efficient the website is;
  2. Optimizations: Optimizing it to improve its energy efficiency and thus reduce its emissions;
  3. Periodic inspection: Periodically re-measure site efficiency and emissions.

Within the digital industry we rarely talk about sustainability, but by following this set of principles we can help the planet and make our products sustainable and better.

Want to optimize your website and make it sustainable?

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