Carbon Positive Websites FAQs

Why do websites contribute to CO2 emissions?

Every time someone visits a website it uses electricity.

Electricity is consumed by the device they visit with, on routers and Wi-Fi networks, on servers and data centres.

Generating that electricity produces CO2.

Websites can be more or less energy efficient, but even efficient sites use some power. The internet is thought to generate carbon emissions equivalent to a large country when the power consumption of all websites is added together.

“If the Internet was a country, it would be the 4th largest polluter”

How can websites be offset to net positivity?

There are lots of ways we can reduce the environmental impact of websites.

The website that sent you here has had its CO2 output measured by us. We then offset the annually expected carbon output — plus a bit extra to ensure it’s making a positive impact.

The offsetting is a mixture of responsible tree planting and funding climate solutions that help produce more sustainable energy.

How do we calculate a website's carbon footprint?

  1. First, our calculator works out the average amount of data transferred to load the pages on your website. (As part of this it checks your web hosting company against a database of providers using green energy. It also makes some adjustments to take into account return visitors to your website as these visits tend to use less data).
  2. Next, we take that average amount of data transferred per page and use an accepted benchmark to work out the amount of electricity used per page view.
  3. We multiply the amount of energy per page by the number of page views your website gets. This gives us the total amount of electricity consumed by your website.
  4. Finally, we take your site’s power consumption and refer to the latest UK carbon intensity figures for electricity generation to give the most accurate and up-to-date figure for your website’s carbon emissions.

Isn't there a better option than offsetting?

Carbon offsetting on its own is unlikely to be the long-term solution in any industry. The web is no different, but here's why we advocate responsible offsetting:

  • It raises awareness of digital sustainability.
  • Carbon offsetting with responsible offsetting projects is a positive action that can be taken by every website right now.
  • "What gets measured …". Measuring the carbon intensity of websites leads organisations to ask how they can build lower carbon sites next time.
  • It's a great bridge to reduce the environmental impact of internet use until the world shifts to renewable power.

Why do you charge for testing our website carbon footprint?

Because we want you to base your carbon offset and any future carbon reduction plans on the best information possible. Other website carbon calculators give you an immediate result but they make a lot of assumptions that make it hard for you to get an accurate idea of how your website performs as a whole.

We test several webpages pages (normally 5) to deliver a usable average rather than base a calculation on your homepage.

You can also share your traffic (but you don’t have to) and we’ll use that to make your calculation as accurate to your website as possible.

We give you a set of figures which use the actual carbon intensity of electricity generation in the UK. So you’ll see how carbon intensive your website is throughout the year.

What about this website, is it carbon positive?

You bet!  This website has been built with a number of energy saving methods in place.

You'll notice the dark background, which uses less energy than brighter colours.

We're only using fonts called system fonts which don't use additional data to download from the internet.

We've kept the code lean and reused where possible and the site is hosted at Digital Ocean's LON1 datacenter. It's a UK-based data centre registered on The Green Web Foundation Directory.

You'll notice we've not used photos or video on the website and all the graphics we do have use next-gen or scalable vector graphic formats for maximum efficiency.

What's more, we're part of Consider Digital — an agency that's been offsetting its carbon footprint since it was founded and we continue that with this project.

Book your website CO2 report now