Sustainable websites – it’s time for action
November 8, 2021
Like a lot of people, I’ve been following COP26 sometimes with optimism and sometimes with dismay at how far we are from achieving real change towards a zero-carbon world. It’s obvious that we need radical action, bold legislation and the leaders of the whole world to work together to bring about the type of profound change that we need to make a difference.
Inspired by our recent work with The Royal Foundation on The Earthshot Prize, which supports ground-breaking environmental projects across the globe, we’ve asked ourselves how we, in an industry that has always been at the forefront of innovation, can make a difference and create engaging websites that don’t cost the earth. This is why all of us at Pixeled Eggs have agreed to double down on our sustainability efforts and take action now.
The internet is responsible for producing around 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is double what it was 10 years ago and around 2% of the overall emissions. To put it in context, it’s equivalent to the entire aviation industry or the net emissions of carbon dioxide from changes in forestry cover due to deforestation.
Depending on the source you look at, the numbers can vary but on average a single web page on a typical website with 10,000 views per month produces 816kg of CO2 per year. That’s the same as driving your car for over 2,000 miles or charging your phone 100,000 times. That’s a single page! Put your whole website together and suddenly the numbers are pretty significant.
At Pixeled Eggs, we design and build websites with 3 main considerations – Usable, Findable and Trackable. As of today (because action now is better than a pledge for 2030) we’re adding another ingredient into the mix. We’re considering sustainability as part of our standard process for everything we do.
We already minimise our code to ensure our pages are as lightweight as possible, use caching effectively and we switched to a green hosting solution a few years ago, but now we need to build sustainability into each phase of our design and build projects.
Our Creative team will be looking at how we simplify site designs with a clear structure that would increase engagement. Our Technical team will explore new ways to improve the efficiency of our code and to reduce server requests. Client Services and Operations will work with our clients to help navigate these changes and to ensure they result in high performance websites.
We want to help people understand the environmental impact of their digital presence, which is why we’ll share all that we can on our sustainability journey and I really hope you’ll join in the conversation too.