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The Hidden Energy Consumer

The current climate crisis leaves us wondering what we can do to reduce our energy consumption as an individual or as a business. When first thinking of what consumes a large amount of energy; lighting, heating, cooling and domestic appliances spring to mind. What isn’t often thought about is the hidden CO2 producer, websites. Whether you are running or viewing a website a large amount of energy is consumed.

Why do websites produce so much CO2? The first reason is that during the loading period the energy used is roughly proportional to the amount of data transferred. Meaning the more data held on the website, the higher the consumption to load it. Secondly, when your website is being browsed energy is used at the data centre, telecoms networks and by the end user’s computer or mobile device. Additionally, data centres that host websites are often powered by non-renewable resources, such as oil and gas.

GDP Digital’s awareness of the growing environmental impact of digit technology inspired them to prioritise eco-friendly best practices when designing and building websites for their clients. To demonstrate this process they rebuilt their website with energy efficiency at the forefront. Firstly, they undertook a web eco-design process, applying all the good practices in terms of the sustainable design of digital services. For example, they applied the guidelines of the Responsible Digital Design Collective, a collective that brings together experts and organisations in favour of responsible design of digital services.

They chose an IT infrastructure based in Normandy that has been certified with High Environmental Quality. This certification ensures that the data centre is compliant with best practices in terms of power and water savings, waste and water management and landscape integration. Finally, GDP Digital joined Planet Tech’Care, an initiative that commits and supports its members in measuring and reducing the environmental impacts of their digital products and services.

The result of these simple steps was astounding. GDP Digital now have a webpage that is cleaner than 79% of webpages tested by websitecarbon, with only 0.31g of CO2 produced every time someone visits the webpage. Additionally, the webpage now solely runs on sustainable energy.

As we are heading into 2022 why don’t you make it a new year’s resolution to make your company’s website greener? Below are 5 top tips to make your website more energy efficient:

Choose a green web host – Choosing a web host that is proactive about combatting the environmental problems associated with the industry is vital to reducing the CO2 production of your website. A good green host will use renewable energy sources, energy-efficient hardware and software and support climate change initiatives. To find your new host head to The Green Web Foundation’s directory and browse for a host that meets your requirements.

Optimise the content in your website – Taking the time to use effective SEO will reduce the time people spend browsing the web and help them find the information they require on your site quickly and easily. Additionally streamlining the copywriting of your site and the user experience reduces the time people take navigating to pages that don’t deliver the information or product they were looking for. Less time searching = more energy saved.

Reducing media – Ask yourself which images and videos are truly essential for your website. Do they add value to your user? Are they communicating valuable information? And if they are necessary and valuable, look at ways to reduce the size of the image or video files, e.g. by removing autoplay, or using vector graphics instead of photos.

Clean up your code – Simple and streamlined code allows your website to load quicker and more efficiently, reducing the amount of energy needed to deliver your webpage to your user.

Fix your fonts – If possible, use system fonts, such as Times New Roman, these fonts can be used without using font files as they are already on all users’ devices. And try to reduce the number of font variations across your webpage. With a single font using as much as 250kb, using a system font ar whole website is a great way to significantly reduce your website’s CO2 production.

Taking these simple steps can make a huge difference to the energy your webpage consumes. If you would like more specialist advice, please contact Jonathan Laloum from GDP Digital, at or call him on +33647526499.

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