Digital. The hidden carbon emitter

Why Your Business Should Embrace Sustainable Web Design in 2023

Marc C. Seefelder
4 min readFeb 15, 2023

Two years ago, when I broached the topic of Digital Sustainability and Low Carbon Web Design with clients, I encountered a range of reactions. Some were intrigued and saw the potential in the idea, but lacked the budget to pursue it. Others dismissed it as esoteric or a form of greenwashing.

The landscape has shifted since then, with companies of all sizes now embracing ambitious climate goals. The push for sustainable practices has been driven by the increasing significance of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions and consumer preferences. Companies across all industries are now recognizing that a failure to prioritize ESG not only undermines reputation and customer trust but also poses a threat to their investability and bankability.

Did you know that by 2040, the internet is projected to account for 14% of the world’s carbon emissions?

In this context, it is important to highlight that the digital transformation of businesses is often an overlooked contributor to their overall carbon footprint.

What can we do to make a difference?

The solution to reducing our digital carbon emissions is to incorporate carbon-conscious considerations into the work of designers and developers. This involves setting carbon-conscious constraints, utilizing green hosting, optimizing code and images, and promoting sustainable best practices. These constraints will lead to a decrease in carbon footprint, as well as better and more accessible experiences.

The beauty of this approach from a corporate perspective is that it can be easily measured and reported on, giving businesses the opportunity to track their progress toward a greener future and contribute to their climate goals. Let’s take charge of our digital impact and contribute to a greener future.

Do you know how much carbon your touchpoints are causing? Find out.

Unleashing the Benefits of Sustainable Web Development for Businesses

If you’re looking to advocate for sustainable web design within your organization, it’s crucial to be armed with the reasons why it matters. Here is a rundown of the top 5 reasons why businesses should embrace this approach and take a proactive stance in reducing their digital carbon footprint.

1) Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Sustainable web design helps businesses save energy and reduce their carbon footprint by optimizing images, compressing files, using efficient hosting solutions, and incorporating sustainable design principles and technologies such as renewable energy sources and sustainable materials. This leads to reduced power consumption and a smaller environmental impact.

Source: Digital. The Hidden Carbon Emitter

2) Improve User Experience

Sustainable web design can also improve the user experience of your website. By designing a website that’s fast, easy to navigate, and accessible to all users, you’ll ensure that your customers have a positive experience when visiting your website. This can help increase engagement and conversion rates, leading to higher sales and revenue.

3) Enhance Brand Reputation

Embracing sustainable web design can enhance your brand reputation. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they’re looking for companies that are making a positive impact on the planet. By committing to sustainable web design, you’ll show that you’re dedicated to protecting the environment, which can help attract and retain customers.

4) Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

As sustainable practices become increasingly important for many consumers, businesses that adopt sustainable web design will be able to stay competitive and attract clients, partners, and a talented workforce. The trend toward sustainable web design is rapidly gaining momentum, and by staying ahead of the curve, you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition.

5) Contribute to Sustainability Reporting

Show Your Commitment! Sustainable web design not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also gives you the chance to report on your progress toward a greener online presence. Measure your carbon impact and adopt sustainable best practices and technologies. Set your business apart and show your customers you care by demonstrating your commitment to your goals. Publish it in your sustainability report to keep everyone in the loop on your journey toward becoming a more relevant business.

Example: Green UX Evaluation Report (Scoring)

Conclusion

The increasing carbon footprint of the internet is a significant concern that businesses must address. It’s crucial for us to take control of our digital impact and make a positive contribution to a greener future. Let’s not wait for rules and mandates, but instead take the initiative in advancing a sustainable digital world.

I’m Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at MING Labs. I love the internet.

You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

All illustrations are crafted by @stasleontyev

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Marc C. Seefelder

Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer at www.minglabs.com | Digital Transformation, Design, UX