Website development and sustainability are not two things you tend to think are related. However, with the web taking up such a huge part of the way we live in our day to day lives, it’s hard to imagine that they are not connected in some way.
At Spectre, our team is very aware of the environmental impact we make as individuals and now we ask the same questions about our business.
As it turns out, the internet accounts for 3.8% or global carbon emissions which is pretty huge. As our usage of the internet grows it is estimated that communication technologies will emit more carbon than any country except the US, China and India by 2025.
As an environmentally conscious company, it feels important to us that we do our best to reduce our impact on the environment while maintaining quality products for our customers.
How exactly can we do this?
There are a few great resources out there that can help a web business like ours measure and reduce their impact on the environment.
It is also important to make changes at an organisational level to ensure we are on the same page and working towards the same goal of helping the environment.
There are several ways we can and will do this.
Developing a sustainability mission statement
We often see sustainability statements on mega corporation websites but just because we do not have the same reach does not mean we should ignore this. Having a mission statement that is a part of your business is a key metric by which you measure future success in improving your carbon footprint.
Define where to apply sustainable practices
It is worth mentioning that sustainability across the board is not always possible in a client service business. Sometimes budget constraints or client requirements make it impossible to meet certain practices. However, defining where you will always apply sustainable practices in your work keeps you on track. If that is in design, development or hosting, sometimes a little goes a long way.
Develop it into day to day practices
As a web development based company we are always looking for ways to improve our code and systemise certain processes. Including green practices into development will make a huge impact. Reducing file sizes, optimising images and implementing reusable code keeps file sizes down and reduces the carbon impact of a website.
Choosing a hosting provider that uses renewable energy to power their servers or other methods of keeping their service green is a key way of supporting a more sustainable web.
If we, business owners, choose to work only with companies that make this a priority then we will make a big impact on the way these providers assess the value of renewable energy sources.
We use The Positive Internet Company who have a mission to be green and provide a better internet experience for both their clients and the environment.
Finally, how do you know how your website performs from an environmental perspective?
You can use a range of online checkers to see how your website is performing on a planetary impact perspective.
These three checkers will give you a breakdown of your website’s environmental performance and give insights on how to improve it.
Website Carbon will also provide you with a badge to share on your website.
In our research it is clear that the environmental impact of the web is not getting smaller and it is on companies like ours to play our part in making a difference.
We are working on practising what we have learned and implementing a sustainability mission statement and best practices going forward.
Follow along to find out more about the changes we are making and how we are building sustainability into our business.