What is the web eco-design?

12 June 2023 | digital pollution

Nowadays the digital is not only responsible for 6% of carbon emissions in the world but also to 10 to 15% of the global electric consumption (223 million tons of CO2 emissions per year). Thus, if it was a country, digital would be the third global consumer of electricity behind China and the United States.

What is web eco-design?

The web eco-design allows to realize websites by allying performance and environment respect. The objective is to design websites less energy consuming while increasing their performances.

In this approach, the whole life cycle of the digital service needs to be taken into account: creation of site, life of site, and end of life of site.

Good practices of web eco-design

Many repositories could explain to you how to properly eco-design a website. But by going to the essentials, here’s the main good practices to adopt to eco-design his website and reduce its carbon emissions.

Optimize image files:

To respect the good practices of the eco-design, it’s important to integrate the optimization of images on your website, with the good dimensions. In addition to choosing the right format (jpeg, png, webp or svg), the resolution of the image must be the same as the one of the maximum displays of your webpage. For more details, discover how to optimize an image for the web on our blog’s article.

Rationalize and optimize video files

In an eco-design approach, it’s essential to reduce the use of the video. In order to not delete all the video of your website, you can favor two behaviors:

  • Compress your videos and choose the good resolution. This approach will reduce the weight of the file without neglecting the visible quality of it.
  • Reduce as much as possible the use of the automatic loading of videos, and favor a loading only when the user wants to watch it.

Simplify the user journey:

Simplify the user journey allows to reduce the number of pages and the data to be loaded on your web page. Your displays will be faster to be loaded and your website will emit a less important carbon footprint. This UX approach also makes it easier to access information and functionality.

Choose the right typography:

The choice of the typography is also part of the eco-design secrets. Indeed, the fonts have a certain weight. During the conception of the web-design, the ideal is to pay attention to load the less possible typo. It is thus possible to choose typography having variations then realized in CSS (fat and typo size).

By limiting loads on the site to a maximum of 3 to 4 typos, it will win in accessibility, and in loading weight. Then, concerning the typo extensions, choose the woff2. This format reduces sometimes to 90% the loaded resources, and contributes to the digital sobriety, without changing the content display.

The issue of functionality utility: limit widgets and useless plugins:

Widgets and plugins use important resources. It is then important to ask the question of the functionality utility.

Some concrete examples:

  • A chatbot on the website? Yes but, why and for who? A chatbot often represents 25% of the website carbon footprint… if it is less or not used, other solutions are possible (link to the contact or support form for examples).
  • Display the last posts Facebook or Twitter on the home page? Plugins or loaded scripts for this are often the most energy consuming resources of a home page.
  • Plugins of links to social networks? They are also often very energy consuming, so they can be replaced by simple links in the header or the footer of the site.

Many examples exist. But every time, it is about the issue of the utility. With Greenoco, you can identify the carbon impact of these different functionalities and take your decision in consequence.

The choice of his host:

A host requires to have servers working 24h/24. These data centers have an important impact on the environment and consume a lot of electricity. Indeed, if the web sector was a country, it would be the third global electricity consumer.

If you want to use a host located in the US for example, the electric energy used to power data centers will be on average 8 times more carbonated than in France. You just multiply by 8 these CO2 emissions. Moreover, information crosses the Atlantic the whole day, with important networks electric consumptions. Use a French host (if your audience is mostly in France), allows in addition to develop a digital ecosystem more important in France, and jobs in the territory.

Minify and compress your code:

To increase the performances of your website, you must keep in heap that each line and character of your code count. Without modifying your code, you can simply minify and compress it, in order to reduce the used bandwidth. By minifying and compressing CSS, HTML and JS files, you reduce their carbon footprint. Cache management back office plugin generally enables to make these tasks in an automatic way.

What are the advantages of web eco-design?

Thanks to the web eco-design, you will have a website more performing and more sustainable in the time. Which increases the user experience. Your website will enable you to display the necessary elements to your activity, by deleting all the unnecessary elements.

This last will use less bandwidth, storage space and electric energy. This can also allow you to reduce the host bills or IT infrastructure if you have your own datacenter. Moreover, you engage yourself into an ecologic and respectful approach to the environment. You considerably decrease your carbon footprint and can attract new clients, who also are looking to reduce their emissions.

How to reduce the carbon emissions of your website?

To go furthermore in the carbon emissions reduction of your website, you can use Greenoco. Our tool measures the carbon footprint of websites and identifies the optimizations allowing to reduce it. The tool is based on an algorithm taking into account the audience, the host and the website resources, to calculate the global carbon emissions over a given period.

This algorithm also allows to identify all the possible optimizations, to rank them by order of importance and CO2 economy. You will know then which one optimizes in priority to make your site lighter, faster to load, while increasing your SEO and the user experience.  


In Greenoco, we are working to reduce the carbon impact of websites and to support the eco-design to tend to a digital more sober and more virtuous. We are helping our clients to reduce the carbon footprint of their website. By proposing solutions or strategies to reduce these emissions, while increasing the user experience and the natural referencing, we are contributing to a greener web.

You want to know the carbon footprint of your website? Contact-us for more information! Or create your account on Greenoco, and let you guide to increase right now the sobriety of your digital approach. 

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