Nowadays, websites have a plethora of bells and whistles, ranging from cheesy animations to autoplay clips. If you dislike those features, you are not alone: they are not only annoying and slow down a website; they are also harmful to the environment.
According to the online website 'carbon calculator,' the average webpage emits 1.76g of CO2 per page view, implying that a site with 100,000 page views per month emits 2,112kg of CO2 per year. The more complicated a website, the more energy it requires to load – and thus, the more significant its environmental impact. When you scale it up to the entire internet, you have a big issue.
A simple, stripped-down website, like ours, emits only 0.22g of CO2 per page view; in comparison, a site with video features, like Youtube (although this website is hosted on a green host), emits much more. Per page view, 2.0g of CO2 is released.
According to the HTTP Archive, websites have become less environmentally friendly over time: the average web page now weighs around 2MB, up from less than 500KB in 2010.
Fortunately, there is a growing awareness of internet emissions, thanks in part to a new generation of eco-conscious businesses creating websites that adhere to carbon-minimization principles.
One of the most effective ways to reduce a website's carbon footprint is to use a green web host, a hosting company with operations that are powered by renewable energy.
CO2 emissions could be reduced by limiting the number of images on each web page. The single most important contributor to page weight is images. The greater the number of images used and the larger the image files, the more data must be transmitted, and the more energy must be expended. Using SVG images instead of JPEG, PNG, and GIF graphics can help reduce image size, and you can further reduce it by using a compression feature. Swapping custom fonts for system fonts, which come preinstalled on most computers, can also help reduce emissions.
Good design should always be taken into account. A website designed with sustainability in mind is better for the environment and its carbon footprint; it can also provide a faster-loading, more open experience for the customer. Consider whether you require this many images or this much visual interaction.
Climate-friendly websites continue to be in the minority; after all, there are currently 1.83 billion websites on the internet, the vast majority of which do not adhere to carbon-light design standards. There is, however, a growing interest in digital sustainability. Since 2019, over 1,360 individuals and businesses, including Google, have signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto, pledging their dedication to creating a more sustainable internet.
One of the most significant changes you can make to reduce your website's carbon footprint is to select a green hosting provider carefully. Thankfully there is a number to choose from to suit all budgets. To help you choose one, we have compiled a list of providers.
An upto date list can be found at www.thegreenwebfoundation.org
While we have tried to create a website with a low carbon footprint hosted on a green data centre, we also realise that we could be doing more. That is why we went paper-free 2 years ago, and more recently, we have subscribed our business to a carbon offsetting scheme via Ecologi.com.
We are still continuing to look at ways on how to minimise our businesses impact on the planet.