This is a guest post for Computer Weekly’s circular IT series written in full by Tal Lev-Ami, co-founder and CTO of Cloudinary.
Cloudinary is known for its cloud-based image and video management technology that allows users to upload, store, manage, manipulate and ‘deliver’ images and video for websites and applications.
Lev-Ami writes as follows…
Although COP26 may seem like it happened a lifetime ago right now, sustainability remains high on the global business agenda. Statista asked brands worldwide about their sustainable initiatives in 2021-2022 and found out that more than a third (35%) would measure or track their emissions.
This is easier said than done as emissions occur in many, often hidden areas. In the online world, it involves also taking a closer look at websites and apps, and the energy sources required to power them.
A website’s CO2 footprint
However, determining a website’s CO2 footprint can be quite complex.
the data transferred over the wire when a web page is loaded;
the energy that is used at the datacentre;
end user’s computer or mobile device;
the energy source used by a datacentre; and the carbon intensity of electricity and the website traffic.
According to Wholegrain Digital, which runs Website Carbon Calculator, the average web page tested produces 1.76 grams CO2 per page view. For a smaller website with 10,000 monthly page views, that’s already 211 kg CO2 per year. But many eCommerce sites will have far more visitors. Plus, any organisation that relies on online sales is naturally aiming to increase, not reduce, its web traffic.
Fortunately, there is a way to reduce the data transferred per web visitor – bandwidth reduction. Many companies are doing this already to reduce their costs and increase their web performance, but might have not analysed this from a CO2 perspective.