We’ve always had a focus on data innovation and efficiency at Yard.  

Whether it’s delivering the most efficient analytics package – which was the core of our business in 2008 – or building a tag management platform to reduce wasted time from unnecessary tag loading in 2011, or even attributing revenue leads accurately to reduce wasted revenue spend in 2018.  

The mix of innovation and efficiency with data has proven to be a consistent part of our DNA at Yard. To us, the two work in perfect harmony. 

We are hurtling towards 2022 with arguably our most ambitious and important target yet. 

Burying the headline 

Through our B Corp assessment process, we noticed that the carbon emissions caused by the digital eco-system weren’t given anywhere near enough focus. They were mentioned and dismissed almost in the same breath. That didn’t make sense to us, as we know that ‘the internet’ is a major contributor to global carbon emissions.  

However, it was only once we undertook research into digital carbon emissions that we began to understand the sheer scale of the issue.  As a whole, the internet produces the same amount of carbon as the aviation industry. There are plenty of other examples by comparison, but just let that sit one with you for a minute.  

Think about how dirty the aviation industry is. It produces around 4% of overall carbon emissions each year and as we all know is rightly under massive pressure to reduce its carbon footprint.  

So why isn’t the same expectation placed on the internet? 

It might not be as immediately visible, but we’ve been using carbon in digital for well over a decade in the same way. Posting, sharing, streaming, commenting, from the most profound to the utterly inane. First in our hundreds, then thousands, then millions and now billions. Billions of tweets, and posts, likes and dislikes to claim our little stake in the global industry that is digital.  

Every single day.  

All of it is toxic to the climate. From the impactful to the inane, the digital eco-system is very carbon heavy. It’s a net contributor to the climate crisis that we are living through. 

Ok, so that’s the problem. The dirty (not so) little secret of digital. But what can we do about it? 

A genuine opportunity 

The good news is that we don’t have to just accept things as they are. We don’t have to keep spewing out millions of tons of carbon every day just to keep in with a particular virtual community. 

We all have the power to change the way things are. 

That’s not just an inspirational tagline, there’s been more than enough of those, often at the expense of tangible action. We’re talking about actual, practical steps that we can take. 

At Yard, we have put some real time and effort into it and have a solution to a problem that hasn’t been addressed well enough yet. It’s a relatively new concept. Innovative even. 

We can actively reduce the amount of carbon being produced in digital by following the same principles of efficiency and innovation with data that we’ve always done.  

This enables us to capture, understand and reduce the amount of carbon emissions that each tweet, each post, each server, each marketing campaign, each website and each email produces. 

Starting with our work at Aline, now part of Yard Group, we are beginning the journey of building a digitally sustainable future where carbon reduction is the focus, then looking at offsetting what cannot be reduced. A sustainable world will look at CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions in the same way that we currently look at quality of product or cost. 

The technology is (almost) here – we just need to change our mindset.  

Are you with us? 

Stephan Briggs