Our journey to becoming a low carbon digital agency

By designbox
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

Today is Earth Day, and what better day to announce the changes we are implementing here at Design Box. Over the last year, we have been looking at how each service we provide impacts the environment and how we operate as a digital marketing agency from home or at the office.  

It’s been a bit of a minefield, but the more we learnt, the more we have realised how much of a difference we can all make.

“We all need to do our part for a better future no matter who we are.”

Why is becoming more eco friendly so important to us?

We may be considered a small web and digital marketing agency, but some of our clients wouldn’t be regarded as small. The services we provide to host and build websites use energy, and as these clients grow, they receive more traffic and use more resources, which will require more energy. We decided to start making more eco-friendly websites and offer a hosting solution that is as green as possible.

We may not look like groovy hippies, but we have a responsibility to do what we can to make the place we live in a better place. It’s surprising how much we can all do. 

Here are some interesting facts about how important this is for a web agency and why it shouldn’t be overlooked. 

How much energy does the Web use? (Data from 2020)

Even before the Covid-19 epidemic, the electricity consumption of the internet represented as much as that of Great Britain! Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) accounted for 6 to 10% of global electricity consumption, or 4% of our greenhouse gas emissions. And this figure increases by 5 to 7% each year! The usage is now more than the equivalent of all air traffic globally, prooving this is not something that we all should ignore. 

How much C02 does the average web page use, and what does this mean?

The average web page produces 1.76 grams of CO2 per page viewed. For a website with 10,000 monthly page views, that’s 211 kg CO2 per year. That’s the equivalent of boiling water for over 30,000 cups of tea per year or enough electricity to drive an electric car 3,200 km per year!

(Data sourced from https://www.websitecarbon.com/)

What are we doing at Design Box to help with our environmental impact?

We are offsetting Carbon by planting Trees and contributing to great projects around the world. 

Last year we teamed up with Ecology to offset the Carbon we use for each team member by planting trees every month and contributing monthly to funding and supporting projects around the world, from turning waste in Thailand to electricity to fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Honduras.

Over the last 10 months, we have helped plant over 1000 trees, create a positive climate workforce and culture reduced over 60 Tons of Carbon emissions. 

This is just the start. Our mission is to have planted a forest of over 10,000 trees in the next three years and do more to help worldwide on many other projects.

Checkout out our little forest over at Eco logi: https://ecologi.com/designboxmedia

‘We switched our website hosting provider to Google cloud?

In 2020 we began with a search to find not only to find a green website hosting provider but to search for a provider that would increase our client’s hosting service. We knew Google was one of the world’s largest providers for website hosting the speed and reliability would be second to none. After many thorough tests with different providers, continuous researching, and constant hosting environment tweaking, we managed to create an environment for all of our WordPress clients that improved website speed and reliability and morally provided an eco-friendly service.  

We switched all of our clients in August 2020. The transition went smoothly, and the constant niggles we had before were almost non-existent. The service was such an improvement we couldn’t ever consider looking back and looking forward to further future changes. They are one of the most eco-friendly website hosting providers in the world, making this a no-brainer to switch providers and upgrade our clients’ hosting service.

Some facts about Google Clouds website hosting services 

  • 100% renewable energy for all cloud regions
  • 50% less energy than average data centres
  • 90% waste diverted from landfills

Google’s mission and carbon commitments: https://sustainability.google/commitments/

Switching the energy, we use in the office and at home to a green provider

Thanks to the help of Wildfire Energy, we managed to source a green energy provider for our office using Total Green. Tom and Marc also recently switched all of their home energy providers to Bulb, a great green energy provider. Doing this means we are doing our part to run the electricity we use from a more ethical energy provider.

What are we working towards at Design Box?

Check out some of the things we are working on at Design Box over the coming years. 

More eco-friendly websites

We will continue to redevelop some of our company processes for how we create websites. It’s a big project to not only keep them more eco-friendly but profitable as a business too.

Rewarding new clients and incentivising client reviews by planting more trees

For every new client we bring on, we will be planting 50 trees in their name.

We will also be planting trees for any client that leaves a positive review on each platform, whether Google, Clutch and even bonus tress for video testimonials. 

Working towards a paperless business by 2022

There are many factors for using paper in our business: contracts, proposals, accounting, and day-to-day business use. We are working towards transitioning all of this to go digital, so our printer will soon live cupboard to Mr Fax machine. 

Just the start of great things to come. 

It’s an exciting new chapter for us at Designbox and we cant wait to see how this part of our company evolve.

You can read more about our Eco-journey here https://designbox.co.uk/eco-friendly-web-design-agency/

Happy Earth Day!

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