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Companies decrease carbon footprint of their websites

According to Cleanfox’s February 2021 report on email pollution, “If the internet were a country, it would be the sixth biggest polluter in the world.” The report also revealed that promotional emails are responsible for two million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually in the United Kingdom.
In response, companies and brands are overhauling their websites to lower the carbon footprint of their online activity, says ‘The Future 100’ report by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

Sustainable browsing

Amsterdam-based design studio Formafantasma redesigned its website in February 2021 to be more energy efficient, with small images, basic typefaces, and a logo created from standard Unicode symbols. The simple visuals decrease the energy needed to load the site, reducing carbon emissions. Volkswagen reconstructed its Canadian website for a more sustainable browsing experience in February 2021.

Carbon-Neutral Net

The Carbon-Neutral Net online redesign shrinks the brand’s digital carbon footprint by removing all color and replacing photographs with mosaics created from low-data text characters. The project has significantly lowered the amount of CO2 generated by browsing. The site produces an average of only 0.022 grams of CO2 per page view, compared to the average website, which produces 1.76 grams of CO2 per page view, according to an assessment by digital carbon emissions calculator Website Carbon.

Tech giants focusing on servers

Google has started using renewable energy (wind energy) to power its facilities and reuses water generated through reusability to cool off its servers. Google may reduce the frequency of crawling webpages as it grows more conscious of the sustainability of crawling and indexing. This topic was discussed by Google’s Search Relations team, which is made up of John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes on the Search Off the Record podcast.
Among the topics they addressed was crawling and indexing, which SEO professionals and website owners say they’ve seen less of over the past year. That’s going to be a key focus for Google this year as it aims to make crawling more sustainable by conserving computing resources.
Microsoft uses undersea water to cool its computers at the data centre. In 2021, the tech giant achieved a major milestone in liquid cooling R&D, making Microsoft the first cloud provider that is running two-phase liquid immersion cooling in a production environment, demonstrating viability for broader use in datacentres. Their latest research in liquid cooling addresses the concept of overclocking, which is to operate chip components beyond their pre-defined voltage, thermal and power design limits to further improve performance.
Because of the efficiencies in both power and cooling that liquid cooling affords, it unlocks new potential for datacentre rack design. In short, liquid cooling paves the way for more densely packed servers in smaller spaces, meaning increased capacity per square foot in a datacentre – or the ability to create smaller datacentres in more strategic locations in the future. This adds to the benefits of waterless cooling design.
Last year we noted how the acceleration of digital habits has driven a heightened awareness of data sustainability. Since then, brands have already begun rethinking their digital touchpoints to align with consumers’ values. Now, especially as the metaverse looms, sustainable practices in the virtual realm will be more important than ever.