We’re digital content people. We don’t conduct energy audits or install solar panels. So how does our work help the environment?
It’s simple. As Gerry McGovern points out, everything we do on the web has an impact on the environment. This is true in small and large ways.
On the small scale, whenever someone loads a web page or downloads a document, they’re using energy. How much energy depends on the size of the page or document: high-res images, PDFs and tracking scripts consume much more than a text-based HTML web page (as well as being slower to load).
On the large scale, most organisations’ web practices are broken and unsustainable, leading them to throw out their old website and start from scratch every few years. This isn’t just bad for their bottom line, it’s bad for the planet – think of the energy consumed by all those meetings, for a start! And you don’t even want to know about the carbon footprint of a large-scale website migration.
We help our clients create more sustainable, less wasteful websites
We invite clients to focus on meeting real user needs, so they can deliver more value with less content. Meeting user needs also means defaulting to words rather than resource-hungry images and PDFs, because most of the time that’s what users want.
We also help clients build a sustainable content practice, so rather than throwing out their website and starting again every few years, they can focus precious resources on fixing and improving what they have.
We support sustainable work practices for our team
All our staff work from home. We do several things to help our team minimise waste and unnecessary energy use:
- We keep equipment for as long as possible, repairing rather than replacing whenever we can.
- When old equipment needs replacing, we try to find another use for it or donate it, recycling only as a last resort.
- We minimise unnecessary travel by using videoconferencing for internal meetings, and we encourage clients to do the same.
- When we need to meet in person, we use shared office space that’s easily accessible by public transport.
We’ve reassessed our need for air travel
While we were never very frequent flyers, COVID-19 has prompted us to review our air travel. We’ve realised that with some creativity, meetups and training can work at least as well online as face to face.
We plan to stick to a much reduced air travel schedule once the pandemic is over.