There has been significant recent focus on the need to aim for net zero in our industries in order to protect our planet for future generations. Each of us has a responsibility to do what we can to reduce our own impacts, and here at Yard one of the key goals for us is to become a Certified B Corporation.  

However, when we were looking at our own emissions, we quickly found that we struggled to measure – and therefore reduce – some vital areas within the business, especially those relating to our digital footprint. For a business like ours, this makes up a large part of our likely environmental impact.

renewed commitment

We were, and remain, committed to helping our clients understand data within their businesses in order to make changes and discernible impacts. This manifests through our Cubed platform, within which we capture site activity, marketing performance data, impression volumes and so on.  

With our acquisition of Aline, and especially the Beacon product, we acquired key insights into the oft-forgotten carbon produced by web presences. We have aligned these approaches to the global Cubed datasets, which allows us to provide powerful insight into the environmental impact of our clients’ digital presences. This is now being achieved at a scale previously not possible.  

For example, we know that our Cubed site generated circa 35kg of carbon during November. Compared to wider industries, not a massive issue; but then we don’t have the largest number of visitors.  

At the other end of the scale, one of our client’s login pages alone surpasses our numbers – coming in at ~750kg CO2e in November – and their wider website alone was responsible for ~4tonnes! Numbers of a similar scale exist for impression volumes, emails sent, etc., building up to what is a noteworthy amount of CO2e.

time for change

There are a range of changes which can be made; not least to login pages which could be very simple and in reality, need only to be functional for visitors. For a long time, we have wanted to allow clients to understand their marketing performance and optimise it. But we now know the impact that increased efficiency can have on more than just business performance.  

The great news is that the same efficiencies which reduce environmental impacts will also have a profound impact on business performance. It’s a win-win situation. 

More efficient marketing produces less carbon-based waste – but also results in improved business performance and, crucially, less cost. Better converting websites produce less carbon-based waste, but also result in additional sales and revenue opportunities within the visitor base who arrive on site. More generally, pages that are smaller and faster loading result in less carbon-cost – but are also treated well within the Google ranking algorithms, and hence provide better search engine performance.  

What is true right now is that businesses need to be aware of the environmental impact of their digital presences. We are delighted to be able to help them monitor, understand and improve it.  

Not only is it important for the environment, it’s also in your best interests as a business.

Paul Newbury