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10 sustainable website designs that will inspire you

The environmental impact of websites is becoming a hot topic worldwide. We look at some inspiring examples of sustainable website designs that use resources effectively and conserve energy, while delivering a top-notch user experience.

Recently we discussed how sustainable web design is taking over, and what it means to build a sustainable website. Websites have a significant environmental footprint, which is why efficient web design is being prioritized by businesses around the world.

To recap, sustainable web design refers to limit a site’s environmental impact, ensuring it uses resources efficiently, and conserves energy. Essentially, it’s all about building websites that are considerate of people and the planet.

Now, you might still be wondering what a sustainable website looks like in action. We’ve shared 10 examples of live websites that incorporate elements of sustainable design below.

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How do sustainable websites look, feel, and perform?

Before we share some examples of sustainable websites, let’s briefly recap sustainable web design.

When it comes to your ultimate guide for eco-friendly web design, the Sustainable Web Manifesto is the best place to go. Their six fundamental principles will help you measure how sustainable your website is, and where you can improve:

  1. Clean: The services provided and services used by the business must be powered by renewable energy.

  2. Efficient: The services and products the business provides should use the least amount of material resources and energy possible.

  3. Open: The products and services the business provides must be accessible, enabling users to control their data and exchange information openly,

  4. Honest: The services and products provided must not exploit or mislead users in their content or design.

  5. Regenerative: Products and services offered by the business should support an economy that nourishes the planet and people.

  6. Resilient: The services and products the business offers should function in places and times when people require them the most.

So far, more than two thousand people have signed the manifesto, pledging their commitment to applying these principles to their work to build sustainable websites. Due to this, there are many incredible sustainable websites on the internet. Why not join them?

10 examples of sustainable websites

It can be challenging to create an appealing sustainable website, and having examples can serve as great inspiration. Below are some examples of sustainable websites we’ve found from our own research, and we also look at exactly what makes them sustainable.

Some of these websites are contributors to the manifesto, while others simply want to be part of the solution and are doing it for themselves:

1. Manoverboard


Manoverboard is a brilliant example of a website with a sustainable design.

Firstly, the website itself is incredibly accessible, with the user understanding instantly what to do. In addition, the loading speed is very efficient, which shows they are using the least amount of resources and energy possible.

They are also authentic and honest about what they want to achieve through their work. Manoverboard is a Certified B Corp specializing in eco-friendly web design, so it only makes sense for them to showcase what they do best and stay true to their values.

2. Mightybytes


Mightybytes is another contributor to the Sustainable Web Manifesto which “practises what it preaches”.

A digital agency and certified B Corp, their website is accessible and honest. Customers know instantly what services the business offers. What’s more, they apply sustainability principles to their services and products.

Mightybytes is also entirely honest and authentic, and does not engage in any exploitative practices, or mislead consumers. Mightybytes contributes 1 percent of its profits to the planet with 1% For The Planet.

It also uses Ecograder, a free online tool, to improve their website. This tool reduces power consumption, limiting energy use and eliminating waste.

3. Wholegrain Digital


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wholegrain Digital makes the list of examples of sustainable websites. After all, their Managing Director, Tom Greenwood, literally wrote the book on ‘Sustainable Web Design’, and leads the Sustainable Web Manifesto.

The Wholegrain Digital website meets all the criteria of sustainable web design. The messaging is incredibly clear and does not mislead consumers. The website is efficient when it comes to speed and resource usage.

Moreover, both the Wholegrain Digital website and the websites they build are 67% less polluting than the industry average.

4. Fairtrade


Another website that has welcomed sustainable design principles with open arms is Fairtrade.

One of the significant criteria they meet is ensuring they have a clean website powered by renewable energy. The Green Web Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, certified that the Fairtrade website is hosted using green energy.

In addition, their website is accessible to the everyday person, with many different sections holding valuable information. The website’s speed is also efficient, which signals they limit their use of resources.

Additionally, their work is explained very clearly, and no misleading information or greenwashing tactics are present.

5. Pearce Marketing


Like Fairtrade, Pearce Marketing also received The Green Web Foundation badge of honor. Their website is entirely powered by renewable energy!

The Pearce Marketing website explains precisely what the business does, clearly and effectively. The company has also implemented all the other values and principles within the Sustainable Web Manifesto.

6. Juiced Media


Another excellent example of a sustainable website outside of the Sustainable Web Manifesto contributors is Juiced Media.

Their website is powered on 100% renewable energy, and they manage to provide the same site speed as they did before the switch.

Not only that, but they’re also making their services more environmentally-friendly too. Juiced Media’s website meets all the criteria listed in the Sustainable Web Manifesto.

7. C40 Cities


Our next example of a low-emission, engaging, super-fast website is from C40 Cities.

Their new design means they brought their CO2 down from 6.7g to 0.34g per homepage view (this is down more than 90% prior to the relaunch).

Additionally, the website scores 98% in the Google Lighthouse Accessibility score and the page load time is 1.2 seconds.

They have also included interactive features to ensure customers can easily access their services. For instance, their city map allows people to easily find out more about a specific city.

8. Impact Management Platform


The Impact Management Platform is an incredibly low-carbon website with only 0.19g CO2 per homepage view. Additionally, it has lots of features to ensure accessibility, efficiency, and a high-quality user experience.

Some of these include a powerful search system and custom favorite functionality. Additionally, there’s a dynamic menu with intuitive contents sidebar and an interactive wheel. The website has high performance and pages take only 1.3 seconds to load.

9. Good Energy


The Good Energy website is a low-carbon site design with storytelling components and interactive maps. This makes the website incredibly engaging and accessible for users.

This website is powered by 100% renewable energy and uses only 0.58g of CO2 per homepage view. It scores 100% on the Google Lighthouse Accessibility Score and the page load time is just 1.2 seconds.

10. Aliter Networks


The Aliter Networks website has a low-carbon design and was built using a high-performance custom WordPress framework. It features custom transitions and is capable of multi-language. The amount of carbon generated per page view is 0.32g.

The website scores 100% in the Google Lighthouse Accessibility score. Not to mention, the page load time is 1.4 seconds. Overall, it’s a low carbon website with a clean and efficient design with high performance.

Closing thoughts, sustainable websites

Do you plan to create a sustainable website or make your current website more planet-friendly? If so then the first thing you’ll want to do is a website audit.

Next, take a look at the Sustainable Web Manifesto principles, to see if any are missing from your site.

Start work on creating a roadmap to implement the principles you have not incorporated. Whether that means switching to green hosting or improving your website speed, changing the copy, or swapping out images.

Switching to a sustainable website will not only see you reduce your digital footprint, but you’ll also enhance your customer’s experience.

Improve your website sustainability with the help of Ryte's cutting-edge features

Published on Oct 11, 2022 by Matt Tutt