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You might well have heard this one by now: the internet isn’t quite so green as we’ve been led to believe, in fact, it’s actually rather polluting.

Of course, when you think on it, it makes sense.

 

All the browsing, playing, watching, and working you do online all require one thing: electricity. From charging your devices, to running the vast infrastructure of switches, routers, and data centres, electricity is the lifeblood of the internet. And for the time being at least, producing electricity remains a very polluting business.

When you add in the carbon footprint of the hardware the internet runs on, those rare-earth minerals needed for your phone, the millions of servers in a Google data centre… it stands to reason that the ICT sector is now more culpable than the aviation industry when it comes to its total CO2 emissions.

And your organisation is making it worse. 

Today, every organisation is most

likely aware of the carbon footprint

of their activities – whether its the

delivery vehicles being used to get

your product to your customers, the

heating to keep your staff warm, the

energy used in manufacturing… the

CO2 emissions related to these parts

of a business’ operations are relatively

simple to quantify and, as such, there are services available for helping organisations draw up action plans to reduce its carbon footprint (they are known as sectors 1, 2 and 3).

But what about its digital communications? Surely having a social media page and a website is better than printing thousands of leaflets that ultimately end up in landfill somewhere? 

Well, yes and no.

 

Identifying the energy of your digital media is rather tricky and troublesome. This is due to the complexity of the internet and the fact that costs and emissions are spread throughout the system. If a Chinese user accesses your website via a server in New Delhi, how can you be held responsible for the fact those countries consumer electricity that is mainly produced through the highly polluting action of burning fossil fuels? 

As such, there are no accounting practices, standards or quality assurances available to companies when it comes to the polluting nature of their digital operations. 

“Your actions matter. No action or voice is too small to make a difference.”

- VANESSA NAKATA, CLIMATE ACTIVIST

However, we see the fact as being this – if an organisation is actively encouraging users to view its content, visit its website, download and share product information etc. this organisation is duty-bound to ensure its website and media content have the smallest possible impact upon the environment as possible.

Even if the costs and emissions are distributed across the network, we all live on this planet and we all need to do what we can to limit its heating caused by CO2 being pumped into he atmosphere.

The good news is this: identifying the

level of CO2 your digital media files and

channels cause and doing something

to reduce it can be done quickly and

very cost effectively. 

The even better news is that in making

your media the most eco-friendly

possible, you’ll also benefit from a faster loading website, meaning a smaller bounce rate, better SEO rankings, and more customers. Imagine the extra customers you would win and kudos you’d gain if you’re able to communicate the fact that visiting your website has a smaller negative impact on the environment than your competitions’ platforms…

If your entire organisation is able to optimise the size of its digital files it uses on a day to day basis, from PDFs to images and video, smaller files are easily accessible via email; take less time to upload, download, and transmit; and enable employees to communicate rapidly.

 

This creates an efficient environment for businesses in any industry where decisions and processes depend on the information contained in their documents. How many times have you wanted to send an attachment by email but you’ve been hamstrung by the 25Mb size restriction? Well, by giving staff the chance to work with optimised media files, you’ll not be having those issues.

It really is a win-win. 

Please get in touch with us today to request your free ‘website carbon reduction report’ and start working on reducing your organisation’s digital carbon footprint today. 

"We have long since run down the Doomsday clock on climate change."

- Boris Johnson, COP26

Shrinker Digital to the rescue: helping every organisation reduce their carbon footprint.

The internet is an essential ingredient for how today’s organisations communicate with their audience.

 

Sadly, the internet is incredibly polluting. The entire infrastructure servicing the internet consumes vast quantities of electricity, most of which is still produced using fossil fuels.

 

Energy is needed to not only power the internet, but also to cool down and operate hardware, from data centres to servers.

 

Loading a webpage, social media page, streaming a TV show all require energy. We know that technology, such as fibre optics and 5G, mean that our digital capacity and efficiencies are for ever expanding.

 

We can also see the devastating impact that man-made climate change is having upon the planet

There are many ways in which an individual’s choices can help reduce the amount of energy required, from using LED lightbulbs, switching on ‘dark mode’, installing more efficient boilers etc.

 

Organisations are scrupulously looking at the carbon footprint directly associated with their business operations (Scope 1,2,3) and employing ways to reduce the environmental impact their manufacturing and logistics may have.

 

However, not one business has considered the environmental impact of their digital presence.

 

 

Because there is no exhaust pipe spewing fumes out of the back of their PCs, businesses have never associated their online footprint with the environment. 

 

However, when a company takes no action to ensure its website’s resources are fully optimised, yet it knows that same site receives millions of visitors every month from around the world, shouldn’t the organisation be considered guilty of unnecessarily harming the environment?

 

 

How do you feel when a company tell us it is doing everything it can to reduce its carbon emissions yet encourages you to visit its bloated and polluting website?

 

We are saddened but surprised by the hypocrisy. 

 

What about the irony of those organisations pledging to fight climate change whilst communicating from an online platform that emits more Co2 than 90% of all other websites?

 

Did you know that the internet is responsible for creating more Co2 than the aviation industry? These are not insignificant amounts of Co2 we are talking about.

 

We are demanding that every organisation, especially those with very popular websites, take urgent action to ensure the digital carbon footprint of its website is as small as possible.

 

The less energy required to load sites  Less electricity  Less Co2

 

A resource-optimised website doesn’t just help the planet, it also makes commercial sense, too. More efficient websites will load faster giving firms reduced bounce rates and improved SEO rankings. Smaller images will also mean a firm could have a greater number of images on a given webpage, improving sales. Optimised media files will also necessitate the need for smaller diskspace here is the reductions in DB storage size and costs.

 

Finally, what company would not want to tell its customers that by visiting its website as opposed to a competitor’s they would be helping reduce CO2 emissions? 

 

Our services:

 

  • Digital Carbon Reduction Consultancy – optimisation solutions for all digital media, both online and offline.

  • Digital Consultancy and strategy – creation of bespoke digital marketing strategy. 

  • Project management – supplemental expertise to bolster existing internal skillsets.

  • Sustainable web design and webserver hosting solutions.

  • Digital content creation across incorporating a range of industry-leading features such as dual language… 

  • Truly sustainable business: from an idea’s inception, storyboarding, client management, through to the final production of the assets, we guarantee the lowest possible carbon footprint.

  • Social media management – traditional undertaking of copy-writing, scheduled posting, blogging etc.