Carbon Net Zero

A climate conscious website 

Headshot of Sarah Cope

Sarah Cope, Business Development Manager

26 October 2021

In the last two years we’ve seen a many local councils in the South East signing up to carbon net zero commitments. Just like you, we believe in reducing our carbon footprint as an organisation and are looking to make the same commitment ourselves. We’ve already made huge changes to how we work including cutting our business travel massively but there is still so much more to do.

Recently we’ve been building a new section within our member hub called, Carbon net-zero resources. As the title suggests it is intended to be an area where we collate the best and most useful resources to help you (and us) meet targets. While browsing for resources I came across a very interesting tool to measure the carbon footprint of a website. It is a very simple but remarkably accurate tool and reminds us that it’s not only the obvious activities like business travel and printing we need to be aware of but also how much electricity we are consuming by actually having a website and expecting others to use it. 

When I ran the seemp.co.uk website through the tool it came up with some really interesting and slightly shocking results.  

Firstly, the good news

This is a big and important one – seemp.co.uk is running on sustainable energy; I already knew this, and it is one of the reasons we chose to stay with our current host. How does green web hosting work I hear you ask..? Well, according to SiteGround they are, committed to contribute towards the health of the environment and proactively takes eco-friendly actions that involve either carbon offsetting or renewable energy usage in order to reduce or mitigate the environmental impact of their servers’ energy consumption.’   

They run their infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform whose data centres match 100% of the energy consumed by their huge global operations with renewable energy, so a good, easy win for us. 

Now for the ‘must-improve’ section

As of today 130g of CO2 is produced every time someone visits our website. 

Over a year with 10,000 monthly page views seemp.co.uk produces… 

Icons of a sumo wrestler alongside a kettle and tea cup

155.52kg of CO2 equivalent

The same weight as 1.04 sumo wrestlers

and as much CO2 as boiling water for 21,087 cups of tea.

Icon of an orange car with a lug coming out of the back

362kWh of energy

That’s enough electricity to drive an electric car 2,314km. 

Eight green tree icons

Eight Trees

The website emits the amount of carbon that 8 trees absorb in a year.

Image of bubbles as an icon

166 billion bubbles 

That’s a lot of bubbles…

Meaning our website is 62% dirtier than the other sites tested – ouch.

Here at SEE we know this isn’t good enough and it is high on my personal priority list to do better. Brilliantly websitecarbon.com gives you three tips which you can take immediate action on to improve: 

Switch to a green host – done

Make your website more energy efficientThis is largely down to website design and content, there are many, many areas which a blog from Wholegraindigital.com explains in far more detail than I am able in this blog. But rest assured I will be working my way through the recommendations!

Plant trees to reduce carbon – This is an act of carbon offsetting to ensure you lock up your unavoidable carbon you emissions. Websites like Woodlandtrust.org.uk can tell you more about this.  

My conclusion…

This website carbon audit has been a bit of an eye opener for me, and to be honest something I hadn’t even considered. Alongside a change in the way we are working including using virtual meetings, reducing our business travel, printing less (and more) I will be working hard to reduce the current score of our website and keeping in mind our virtual footprint also has an impact.

Let us know what you are doing

We would love to know what your organisation is doing to cut your carbon footprint. If you would like to submit a blog for us to publish on our site please get in touch.

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