How to make a website carbon neutral

Going carbon neutral is at the top of many companies' recent agendas. We believe that making reducing your digital carbon footprint and making your website carbon neutral is a great place to start.

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It can be daunting to know where to start. So, here's our step by step guide on how to make your website as carbon neutral as possible.

What does being carbon neutral even mean?

Being carbon neutral means that for the amount of CO₂ you put into the atmosphere is the same as the amount of CO₂ emissions you remove from the atmosphere. Your impact is neutral.

In this digital context, this means offsetting (hopfully removing) the carbon emissions that your website produces.

1. Calculate your current website carbon emissions per view.

To do this we need to add a our website to EcoPing and see the daily result. We can do this by:

  1. Sign in to EcoPing (it's free)
  2. Click "Add site +"
  3. Add a site name, a homepage URL, and number of daily page views
  4. Click "Submit"
  5. Wait a few moments and see the website carbon report

You'll be able to see lots of key metrics as per the photo below, but the main one for us is CO2 grams per page view.

2. Find out the monthly impact

View of last months website carbon emissions with total impact in tonnes

Graph of carbon emissions produced over any time period

Once we have our daily report we can go to the sites dashboard.

We use the daily page views value to calculate emissions per view and over a period of time.

How to do it manually

You can get all of this information on each daily report. But for this example let's go through how we calculate it in numbers.

On each daily report EcoPing calculates the per page view emissions as explained above.

We can take this number and multiply it by the amount of page views your site gets. e.g.

const co2Grams = 2.80
const monthlyViews = 10,000;
const monthlyEmissions = co2Grams * monthlyViews
// 28,000 grams of CO2e per month
const yearlyEmissions = monthlyEmissions * 12
// 336,000 grams of CO2e per year
// 336,000 / 1000 = 336 KG per year

Hopfully this is easy to read. With 2.80 grams of CO2e produced on each page view this would equate to 336 KG of CO2e per year. To give you an idea the average person in the UK produces 10,000 KG of CO2e per year (10 tonnes) so, this site alone would be ~3.4% of a persons yearly budget.

3. Improve your website

Example daily website actions to improve your website's emissions

Daily website actions to improve your website's emissions

Before we look to offset we can use EcoPing to find out how we can improve the website.

We give you tips and tricks on each report pages under "Actions".

The more you improve your website the less impact your site will make and the cheaper the offsets will be.

4. Offset the rest

Here we can calculate the carbon emissions produced each year by our website. Type in the amount of CO₂ produces on each page load (from EcoPing) and, how many monthly visitors you receive (from your analytics provider).

Over a year, with 10,000
monthly page views, your website produces 336.00kg of CO2 equivalent.

🌳 15 trees

This web page emits the amount of carbon that 15 mature trees absorb in a year. This would cost:

🌊🌿 0.34 km of seaweed

You would need to plant 0.34 square kilometers of seaweed.

Summary

To make a website carbon neutral we need to follow three simple steps:

  1. Measure your website's carbon emissions.

  2. Calculate the total monthly/yearly emissions.

  3. Reduce your impact as much as possible

  4. Offset or even better remove this amount of CO2 from the atmosphere

    Find out your website's emissions

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