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Do you know your website’s carbon footprint?

Sustainability has become such an integral part of our daily lives and buying decisions, but in fact, our online behavior isn’t as “green” as we think.

From working remotely to online shopping while binging Netflix from our couch at home - all three examples are usual habits nowadays. But have you ever thought about who is footing the bill? 

Did you know that the carbon footprint of our gadgets, internet, and supporting systems makes up around 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions? A similar amount is produced by the airline industry (BBC). 

You might wonder now how the internet and co generate so many greenhouse emissions. Think of all the energy consumed by the devices that users view your website’s content on or the energy consumed by the servers your website is hosted on. 

This is a big WOW at first. The good news is: All website stakeholders have the power to make a difference. And Ryte is here to support you with our new Sustainability pillar.

As part of our holistic website approach, the Sustainability pillar is our latest enrichment in your toolkit to successfully tackle the various and inherently different challenges a website can hold. Head to our Sustainability Pillar to dive into your Sustainability Insights.

What can you do with Sustainability Insights?

First and foremost, it’s important to calculate and thus become aware of your website’s carbon footprint. As a result, by understanding your website’s carbon emissions you can make data-driven decisions to strategize future reductions and offsettings. 

Discover and keep track of the most important KPIs in your dashboard using high-quality data sources and historical data.

See your sustainability progress and performance at a glance with the well-visualized and transparent overview charts. Make your reporting easier than ever. 

Sustainability Insights Ryte Platform

Which KPIs are tracked and how are they calculated? 

In our Sustainability Insights, we focus on the most important and significant KPIs, presented in an easily digestible and highly visual format.

Let’s take a closer look at our KPIs and their calculation.

CO2 per pageview: 

The amount of carbon dioxide generated for each unique pageview on your website in g CO₂ e. Pageviews indicate how many visitors have clicked on a particular page. This also includes multiple pageviews by the same user.  CO₂ e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent) is a measurement unit to standardize the climate impact of different greenhouse gasses.The CO2 per pageview KPI is divided into three calculation elements - Network CO₂, User CO₂, and Datacenter CO₂. 

Carbon footprint:

The total carbon footprint of your website for the whole month in kg CO₂ e.

Overall carbon emission changes:
Reduction of CO₂ per pageview since your first analysis. The respective color (green/red) indicates whether you have reduced or increased your carbon footprint since your first analysis.

Sustainability development:
The development of CO₂ per pageview shows the comparison to the last month and is visualized as a bar chart. Your carbon footprint is also a comparison to last month and is shown in a line chart. The X-axes show the data of the last crawls.

By clicking on the bar or line chart on the top right of the chart box, the respective chart can also be hidden. In the chart, your historical data is shown. With the date picker on top of the page, historic time ranges can be selected. 

The calculation:

For the emission calculation, we combine different data sources such as Google Analytics.

The Carbon footprint is calculated on a URL basis. The calculation also takes factors into account that have an impact on a page, e.g. increase in size, or increase in traffic.

Sustainability KPIs in the Ryte Platform

How to reduce your Carbon footprint?

The first and most important step is becoming aware of your website’s carbon footprint and your power to make an impact. Already after your first analysis, you can draw significant conclusions for a more lightweight, better available, and faster loading website. 

The second step is transforming these conclusions into committed actions, such as implementing infrastructure, design, and marketing measures and strategies that reduce your digital carbon footprint.

Here are three examples of how these actions could look like:

  1. Minimize the power consumption on your user’s devices, e.g. heavier pages require more energy to be downloaded by browsers and end devices.

  2. Only provide code and content that is really necessary. Remove all code and content that is irrelevant or even confusing for your users, e.g. duplicate content or orphaned pages. 

  3. Keep all assets and file sizes to a minimum to ensure speedy pages that make your users and the environment happy. Check your images and make sure they use efficient compression. 

Want to learn more? Find 7 ways to reduce your website’s carbon footprint in our checklist here

Ever heard of the Ryte Carbon Neutral Program? 

Sustainability is not a new topic for Ryte: In 2021 we launched our Ryte Carbon Neutral Program. A program designed for website owners to get started on their journey to website carbon neutrality. 

With our new Sustainability Pillar, we offer a holistic approach to a website’s carbon neutrality. This approach consists of 3 key elements:

1.  Start website analysis to calculate website carbon emissions.

2. Implement measures to reduce the carbon footprint in the long-term.

3. Offset the remaining (not further optimizable) carbon emissions with a climate protection project

All customers that participated in the Ryte Carbon Neutral Program get a carbon-neutral badge that they can use on their website. With the Sustainability Insights you can keep track of your carbon footprint and the progress of your optimization efforts monthly throughout the year. 

However, the badge is only valid for one year, so after the expiration date, this year's sustainable optimizations are concluded and a new cycle starts. 

Why should you care?

Well, first of all, if we remember the 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions mentioned at the beginning of this article, we talk about a significant contribution from our gadgets, the internet, and supporting systems. To take this a step further, these emissions are predicted to double by 2025 (BBC). And we all have the power to make a difference.

Secondly, sustainability already has a huge impact on your business. Customers are more sophisticated and sustainability is at the top of their minds when it comes to decision-making. 1 in 3 consumers stops using a brand if they have sustainability doubts about them (Deloitte). 

Moreover, implementing measures that decrease your website’s carbon footprint results in an improved on-page experience and faster loading pages. This leads to more satisfied customers, longer sessions, and ultimately, increased conversions. So win win for your customers, your business, and the environment. 

We want to make each website visit more sustainable and thus our daily internet habits greener. Do you want to be part of that new movement? 

Let’s take action together! 

Ryte users gain +93% clicks after 1 year. Learn how!

Published on Apr 19, 2023 by Stefanie Kirschner