Can two Google searches really produce as much carbon dioxide as boiling enough water in an electric kettle for a cup of tea? According to researchers at Harvard University, it seems so.
The information communication technology (ICT) sector represents products that enable the function of information processing and communication by electronic means, including transmission and display. We’re talking about Zoom calls, Netflix streaming, search engine inquiries, browsing web shops, watching Instagram videos, uploading files, downloading ebooks, or making online payments (to name just a few).
Today, the ICT sector generates the same amount of carbon as the airline industry, around 2-3% of total global emissions. In context, this is about double the total annual greenhouse gas output in Canada. The biggest chunk of these emissions? They come from our internet networks. And because New Normal is, at its heart, a Software group often working in the online, digital, and IoT world, this is something that weighs heavily on us.
Depending on the direction we as a society chose to develop the ICT sector, projections estimate its total global electricity demand to hit either 8% (best case), or a staggering 21% (worst case) by 2030. No matter the number, both represent an enormous amount of energy required to power our digital devices and services, process online information, and store our data.
On the one end, we can power massive data centers with renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels, as they require electricity to run and stay cool. But if we want to focus on the biggest source of CO2 emissions, we should go directly to the source: the speed and efficiency of our websites and internet networks.
This is where ‘fast websites’ come in, because fast websites consist of fewer bytes. Fewer bytes means that the delivery network needs to do less work to deliver requested data, therefore consuming less power. It also means that the receiving end (the device putting in the request like a cell phone) has to do less work to pull down and acquire that requested data. Calculations also run faster, so computing systems would generate less heat. And while computers may draw less electricity, the batteries on things like tablets, phones and laptops would draw less energy, leading to fewer hours of needed recharge time.
Crystallize is a New Normal Group company who delivers a super fast headless e-commerce service. The super fast APIs of Crystallize, allow their clients to build highly efficient e-commerce solutions consuming less computing power. It is a simple equation for more eco-friendly digital interactions.
More than being eco-friendly, saving the planet is also wallet-friendly. There is less data transferred, less computing power on both the server-side and on the client-side, and less energy consumed by the server, transfer, and client. To top it all off, it gives online users fantastic first impressions. Today customers expect personalized, convenient, and seamless experiences when buying online, and much of this is owed to how fast your website loads.
While a slower website typically produces 1.75 grams of CO2 per visited page, a website that uses a platform like Crystallize produces 0.3 grams of CO2 per visited page - an 83% reduction.
So here’s to investing in the building of fast and efficient websites - good for businesses, people, and the planet.
Happy Earth Day!