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Reducing Your Digital Carbon Footprint

In 2023, studies have found that more than 91% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone. Laptop sales are set to reach 171 million units this year alone, there are more than 1.13 billion active websites online today and over 1.28 billion people use iPads or tablets on a daily basis. The world has entered its digital age and with it comes a hefty digital carbon footprint to follow.

It can’t be denied that the internet and digital spaces provide many opportunities and advantages for an eco-focused future. Modern technology has allowed us to conduct extensive research into alternative sources of renewable energy, measure our daily carbon emissions and find new greener sources of our everyday products. Websites can plant trees, Alexas can share recycling tips, Google Maps can find you the most eco-friendly route to work - the world has become enlightened, in part, due to the impact of modern technology to date.

However, with every new digital product used, a new carbon footprint emerges - one that is tricky to measure and even harder to reduce. Currently, your digital carbon footprint is measured by the carbon emitted through each digital product you use, from the font choice of your company website to the way you dispose of your old mobile phone. Sites such as the Website Carbon Calculator and the WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator can help you to estimate your own personal carbon footprint and find out more about the daily digital habits that can contribute to it.

So how can you reduce your digital carbon footprint?

One of the first steps in reducing your digital carbon emissions is to understand precisely where they come from and identify the devices, websites and routines that contribute the most to your overall carbon output.

Sustainable Internet Usage

Being active online can come with many different forms of carbon emissions, from the search engine you use to the activities you do on the internet.

For mobile devices, video streaming is often the biggest producer of carbon content, due to the ‘large data sizes of videosonline. Frequently using streaming sites such as Youtube, Netflix and TikTok will have a much bigger impact on your carbon footprint than smaller, faster tasks such as checking your emails, sending a text or taking a photo. The best way to reduce this is to stream less and instead opt to download videos to watch at a later time.

Online gaming is another large source of carbon emissions, as a digital platform supporting multiple users, complex functionality and extensive game code are likely to use a significant amount of data. Alternatively, offline gaming can be a smarter and greener option, with many games now supporting offline play.

Finally, even the search engines we select can have an impact on our carbon outputs, with sustainable Google alternatives such as Ecosia actively working towards reforestation efforts with every single search.

Green Website Changes

Certain websites can also have a big carbon footprint, particularly those with online retail sections. A website’s carbon footprint is measured by the amount of data used to store each image, font file, colour, text, product and animation used, so popular online marketplaces with high volumes of products are likely to have a higher carbon emission rate. Alibaba, Wayfair and IKEA are listed as some of the most prolific sites with a high carbon footprint, alongside user-heavy social media sites like Reddit and Pinterest. (source: Green Queen)

As a website owner, there are some important changes you can make to your site to make it more sustainable and environmentally friendly, such as choosing data-light Google Fonts, deleting any old and unused items taking up storage, reducing the amount of un-optimised images and removing any graphics or animation that take a long time to load.

It can also be a good idea to invest in some greener hosting providers and evaluate which website host can offer the most environmentally friendly package for your business.

Quick & Simple Carbon-Cutting Hacks:

♻️ - Extend the life of your digital products by making sure any faults are repaired by expert technicians, you have the appropriate insurance coverage for all devices and keep your products out of range of household hazards.

♻️ - Unplug devices that are not in use, and turn off switches at the plug when you’re finished with them.

♻️ - Reduce your overflowing inbox. An inbox full of old emails, unread messages, spam mail and irrelevant newsletters is going to use more carbon than a streamlined, clean and organised inbox, so consider doing a clear-out before your next big project.

♻️ - Choose a sustainable cloud provider for all of your files and backups.

♻️ - Save bookmarks for easy access to your frequent sites, rather than hunting for them in your search bar on each visit. This shortcut saves unnecessary site usage, reducing your overall carbon output.

Reducing your digital carbon footprint is becoming increasingly important with each new digital innovation released into the world, and it’s our responsibility to learn the most effective way to do it.

At Clean Energy Capital, we work with providers and suppliers that align with our sustainable goals and we reinforce positive digital sustainability policies within our team. We know how important it is to start making these smart choices now, to protect our world for the future.


‘Our world now is governed by technology and so this year, reducing your digital carbon footprint should be just as important as reducing your average carbon emissions. Within our team and at CEC generally, we pride ourselves on delivering a sustainable service - whether we’re in the office or elsewhere.’

Jessica Edom, Office Manager at Clean Energy Capital.


Find out more about our renewable energy offerings through our site, or speak to one of our friendly team for more information today.


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