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Earth9 Interview | Building a sustainable web infrastructure

Monogram CEO Colin Hayward discusses the intricacies of building sustainable websites that help to reduce your carbon footprint

In a recent interview for the Earth9 blog, Monogram CEO Colin Hayward outlined our vision for building a sustainable web infrastructure. Earth9 offer a carbon credits scheme, allowing businesses to offset their greenhouse gas emissions against tree planting and carbon reduction schemes operating in the developing world. By purchasing credits, the UK’s polluters can invest in reduction schemes that offset their emissions and provide important funding for local communities in developing parts of the world.

Given that the web accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, Monogram realises that every business has a role to play in improving sustainability.

Here are Colin’s top tips for greener corporate websites:

1. Choose a sustainable webhost

By consolidating so many workloads, cloud data centres consume a lot of energy. Choosing a webhost who relies on sustainable, carbon neutral energy sources for power will immediately shrink your carbon footprint (and encourage other webhosts to follow suit).

2. Re-engineer your code

Every CPU cycle or disk I/O operation requires power. The more load you place the webserver CPU, the more energy it uses, the more carbon is emitted. Re-engineering code for greater efficiency will help to reduce server load. And the fewer database calls you make, the less load is placed on webserver storage. Although the power draw is relatively tiny, any reduction in power demand through code efficiencies will also help to shrink your carbon footprint.

3. Think beyond the data centre

It’s easy to forget that that any device accessing your website also generates CO2 emissions. Every tablet or smartphone also draws power – and releases greenhouse gases. Re-engineering your website code to increase efficiency also reduces load on these connected devices, so that they need to be charged less frequently. Less charging, less emissions.

4. Go local

Webhosts often run data centres in multiple locations across the world, often wherever real estate is cheap and internet connectivity plentiful. However, this may also be half-way across the globe, increasing the distance that data must travel to reach your website visitors. Choosing a local webhost can help to reduce unnecessary pan-global network traffic – and the load it places on intermediate data centres. Which again helps to reduce the overall environmental impact of your site and improves the performance of your pages for your visitors.

Ready to learn more? Watch the full Earth9 interview with Colin, or contact us.

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