Climate responsibility is a large part of life at Springload. From our meticulous focus on our waste, what we buy and who we buy it from, to one of our core strategic pilars shown below:
Climate Action and Sustainable Planet
We aim to reduce carbon emissions in the world and contribute to a sustainable planet through our internal carbon reduction and sustainability programmes, and through the creation of projects and initiatives focused on climate change.
Since 2008 we’ve offset our business emissions, working with Carbon South to estimate emissions from our power usage, taxis, stationary, flights etc. However, with digital emissions having such an impact on the climate we set out to measure and offset the climate impact of the digital projects we create.
The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s electricity by 2025.
Calculating digital carbon emissions as an agency
Whilst a simple goal, measuring digital emissions is notoriously tough. And as a digital agency working with a wide variety of projects and clients, there are some tricky challenges to navigate, for example:
- How do we determine responsibility between ourselves, our clients and our users?
- What do we do if we can’t get emissions data from some of our hosting providers?
- What do we do if we don’t have usage and analytics data for a project?
- How do we measure the emissions of not just websites, but mobile applications, museum installations and design systems used across many products?
- Is it just a case of measuring server emissions, or are emissions from data transfer and user devices significant too?
Offsetting our project emissions
Over recent months we’ve created an approach for estimating, tracking and offsetting our project emissions. Stay tuned to find out our process and learnings from this in our next blog post (spoiler alert: it’s based on Wholegrain Digital’s fantastic work on websitecarbon.com).
The outcome was that our projects have created an estimated 319 tonnes of CO2 in the 2020/21 financial year – about the same as flying our team of 75 Springloaders from Wellington to Dubai and back!
We have offset this by:
- planting native trees in New Zealand with the awesome Trees That Count. You can see the projects we’ve funded over the years on our Trees That Count page.
- purchasing carbon credits from the Fiji Nadarivatu Hydropower Project. The only UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) backed project in Oceania.
Moving towards sustainable digital products, together
We strongly believe in taking responsibility for our impact on the climate and have spent the past year developing an approach to offsetting emissions from our projects. There’s a lot of work we’re still planning to do in this space, and we’ll be sharing more to help both inspire and learn from others.
Contact us to chat about reducing the carbon footprint of your digital products.
More on climate action and sustainable planet
Reducing the carbon of your website from a FEDs perspective
Websites are becoming more sophisticated. Bigger infrastructures, more storage ability, and faster delivery methods often equal more electricity consumption, and a bigger carbon footprint.