Greening the Internet: Sustainable Marketing Solutions

The Internet Accounts for 2% of Global Carbon Emissions

We tend to think of the internet as being clean and immaterial. However, the internet has a very real, unseen environmental impact. Energy consumption and emissions from the web are monumental. Electricity is the Internet’s fuel, powering data centres, telecommunications networks, and devices that you use on a daily basis. 2% of global carbon emissions come from the electricity used by the internet. That’s equal to the total carbon figure produced by aviation industry.

What’s worse? Carbon emissions due to internet use will rise exponentially in the years to come. If this pace continues, it’s estimated that internet will expel 3.5% of global carbon emissions within the following decade.

However, we know that it’s asking a lot for you to swear off the Internet completely. We are so heavily reliant on the web that if everyone swore off of it for a day the results would be astronomical:  businesses would come crashing down, flights would come to a standstill, and international communication would be impossible, to name a few. Fortunately, a greener Internet is more than a distant possibility; it’s happening now.

How You Can Make a Difference.

The Internet’s rapid expansion over the next few years does warrant one positive for environmental progress; the more online exposure, the higher rate environmental initiatives. It’s quite the double entendre.

Free and easy to use tools such as provide data on CO2 emission per page view, the annual energy expense, and it tells you whether the website is hosted on a data centre powered by renewable energy. Using such a source makes it possible to compare you website’s sustainability level to other websites, and set targets for mitigating carbon output.

Of course, while making sure you’re accessing sites from sustainable data centres is a good first step on reducing carbon output, the best initiatives take on an active opposition to combat carbon levels. The innovative search engine Ecosia, for example, uses the ad revenue from your searches to plant trees in areas where they’re needed the most. By searching via Ecosia, you can actually help reforest the our planet. How does it work? Ecosia uses 80% of the  revenue garnered from ads placed on sites accessed from the Ecosia search engine to plant trees. Every time you access a page via Ecosia, you help plant trees. Ecosia also offers a financial report where you can see exactly how your money is being distributed.  also empowering the communities around our planting projects to build a better future for themselves. Because deforestation is a preponderant issue in developing countries such as Ethiopia, you’re also mobilizing struggling communities into fulfilling work through planting projects.

At Growth Labs, we believe progress is driven by change. This mean re-adjusting our approach to business to reflect sustainable initiatives. Using Ecosia as our primary search engine is a small adjustment with a big, positive impact for the planet.