I’ve been speaking to a lot of people recently about reducing the environmental impact in their organisation, and one of the things that always brings more questions is when I mention digital green tech.
It’s a rabbithole - at a very generous estimate, I’m probably aware of 10% of it.
Last year, some research was done on the The Carbon Footprint Of The Internet which found the internet generates 3.7% of carbon emissions (similar to the airline industry), and the drive behind digital green tech has been gaining momentum.
The areas I mention are around digital assets like websites and applications, and generally in two areas. I’ll keep this as non-techy as possible.
Hosting servers (where your website lives) are usually in warehouses with thousands of computers powered by coal-based electricity. And sadly, even if your hosting provider is an Australian company, the actual servers they use are likely based somewhere else (many are in the US and Europe).
The alternative: Switching to local host centres powered by renewable energy. The Green Web Foundation lists several by location - there is a small list of Australian options but I believe there may be more. Rebrands can be perfect opportunities to investigate alternative options like this while change is happening.
This might be a new concept - it’s effectively reducing the “weight” of a page or website by applying thoughtful constraints.
For example, reducing or removing the use of videos and large photos, using only critical chunks of code, limiting the use of fonts and even minimising the colour palette. European brand Organic Basics demonstrate this on their low impact website (they give users the option to switch between the full and low impact versions).
Only scratching the surface here - but it highlights how there are opportunities of all sizes all around to make progress towards your sustainability goals.
If you’re interested, you can measure the impact your website is having right now using the Website Carbon Calculator., and perhaps be slightly staggered at how that little thing can make such a dent.
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