In the fashion world, although brands are often leaders in presenting sustainable projects and products, the environmental impact generated by surfing the internet is one aspect that is moving at a slow pace.
So it is, the web pollutes. If the internet were a state, it would be the fourth country for energy consumption after the US, China and India. All our online activities, sites, clouds, e-commerce, links and e-mails, have an environmental impact. For example, browsing a single web page with multimedia content produces 0.2 grams of Co2, each web search 7 grams …
On the occasion of the World Energy Saving Day, AvantGrade.com, an agency specialised in algorithms and artificial intelligence directed by Ale Agostini, has compiled the CO2 emissions ranking of the main fashion brands’ Italian home pages. The report card promoted 40% of the top 20 international fashion brands: The Italians Fendi (first in the rankings with -74% consumption compared to the world average) and Ferragamo, but also the French YSL, Luis Vuitton and Hermes, the German Hugo Boss and the British brands Burberry and Stella McCartney are among the most sustainable. The latter, although known for its commitment to sustainability, only scores a -6%, finishing in last place among the virtuous brands.
Chanel balances its CO2 emissions with respect to the average, while many steps forward can be made by the other brands which, in order of ranking are: Prada, Dior, Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Brunello Cucinelli, Trussardi, Kenzo, Givency, Zegna. Among the top 20 Moncler ranks worst, despite its great commitment to product and process sustainability, and seems to neglect the digital side: its website impacts 2029 kg of CO2 per year, + 959% compared to the world average!
The AvantGard.com measurement was carried out using a new tool: Karma, an AI-based algorithm that quantifies ecological performance through 23 website efficiency factors compared to the world average. You too can find out the impact of your website by trying the KarmaMetrix demo, just click on https://bit.ly/37kTnBN. Who knows what suprises can come out…
In any case, knowing is the first step to be able to intervene and improve the energy efficiency of the digital properties of websites: “We want that companies consider the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of their digital presence – underlines Ale Agostini expert of digital marketing and creator of Karma Metrix. – With the same marketing choices it is possible to build more eco-efficient websites and Karma Metrix – Energy Efficient Website is the first tool that measures the digital sustainability of a website. Our dream – concludes Agostini – is that by 2025 every eco-responsible company in the world regularly measures and improves the energy efficiency and sustainability of its web presence”.
How to create a website with a low environmental impact
Making the website more sustainable is possible: you can take aktion on design that optimises resources as to have less impact on the environment, on speedy consultation and being a member of a green web hosting provider. At last, by offsetting the emissions generated (Carbon offset).
The right design can prevent unnecessary energy consumption. The ideal is to minimise unwanted user deviations: fewer clicks, fewer data requests and therefore less energy used. It is therefore necessary to develop a website that requires fewer pages to load: it will be easier to navigate and therefore also more ecological. Images, animations and videos must be used in a more conscious and targeted way and only be used if they really add value to the website. Otherwise it can be done without. SEO (search engine optimisation) optimised texts make page searches more efficient, eliminating energy waste. Finally, given that most visitors access websites via smartphones, the pages must also be optimised for mobile phones.
A page that loads faster is a consequence of little data to load and requires less energy. To evaluate your performance and optimise it, many tools are available on the net, you can use the Chrome developer tools Google PageSpeed Insights or Google Lighthouse which give suggestions to improve page speed. For developers, Webpagetest is an excellent tool that can test the website by excluding various components or adding them via snippets (source code of online searches, this is the first thing users sell on our site when they make relevant searches).
Green Web Hosting
What is web hosting? It is a service that allows you to make the website available online, it consists of a storage space for the files that make up the pages and the related infrastructure to make the website available on a server. Choosing a green web hosting that is based on renewable energy sources is crucial if you really want to be sustainable: Thegreenwebfoundation.org provides a list of 500 hosting providers from around the world with a tangible commitment to using green energy in their data centres. The greenest are in Germany (where 40% of energy comes from renewable sources) or Canada (60%).
Once the website is active, it is possible to measure the environmental impact of the online activity: for true sustainability the next step is to implement actions to offset CO2 emissions. A concrete answer comes from an Italian project: Rete Clima’s CO2web which calculates CO2 emissions generated by access to the website according to the page views (number of pages visited annually) and compensates and neutralises them with the laying of trees in Italy. CO2web therefore provides a green certification that can be integrated into the website to prove its sustainability.