Paperless, cashless, remote-only – concepts we get on board with under the assumption we’re saving trees and clearing the air. The thing is, many forget to account for the massive carbon emissions and energy consumption a digital-only life entails. It’s also estimated that global communications technologies will contribute to more carbon emissions in 2025 than any country except the US, China and India.
The tech giants are constantly making rounds committing to curb their colossal carbon footprint, which will hopefully trickle down to smaller players looking to create sustainable digital products. So what can digital brands do when the Internet is essentially ruining the planet? That’s where sustainable web design comes in, the ability to create digital products and services that prioritise people and the earth.
Here are two ways to contribute to a more sustainable web footprint:
Understand your impact on the environment
There are countless tools helping brands understand and manage their impact on the planet, like the website carbon calculator. Ecogreener also provides insights on how green your platform is along with recommendations on alternative greener web hosts. Another tool is DIMPACT, created by researchers at the University of Bristol to help digital media companies like Netflix manage their carbon footprint. Cloud-based service Åland Index Solutions, by Swedish company Docomony, works with payment providers like Klarna and Mastercard to enable consumers to access their carbon impact calculations on all transactions.
Improve the speed and efficiency of your site
We are constantly highlighting the importance of web accessibility, which also saves the planet. In layman’s terms, a faster and more efficient user experience takes up less electricity. When users can get their tasks done faster, your platform has a smaller per-user Internet footprint. A mobile-first mindset is also more sustainable as it shifts the design focus from robust desktops to smaller, dynamic mobile devices.