The first website that fully complies with the principles of sustainable web design has appeared in Russia.

by Katia Chelpanova

The website has been created by the cause marketing agency RedMe (RCG group of companies). It contains information about the agency and its services. In the future, RedMe plans to create “green” websites for commercial and non-profit brands. 

Approximately 188 million emails are sent and 3.8 million requests are processed by the Google search engine per minute around the world. Digital environment has long ceased to be environmentally friendly but in order to calculate how much energy the Internet consumes, it is necessary to take into account everything that has to do with it, for instance, millions of servers and computers, their cooling elements and maintenance components, and engines required to view web pages. All this takes about 2 % of total global consumption, that is, from 84 to 143 billion watts per year.

Sustainable web design is a type of online project design that minimizes environmental and information pollution. A socially oriented marketing agency could not have any other type of website since the RedMe approach is based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the UN as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aimed at the well-being improvement and better protection of our planet. That is why the RedMe agency finds it important to meet the SDGs throughout their own positioning. “When we opened the agency back in 2018, we decided that from the environmental point of view the best business cards for our team would be those that are absent in print,” recalls RedMe Creative Director Svyatoslav Lavrov. It was not only an environmentally friendly solution but also a financially profitable one.

When developing the website, the Agency set itself a task of making an environmentally friendly but at the same time a pretty webpage. “We wanted to design our website in such a way that it uses as few energy-consuming elements as possible,” says Ilya Rozovsky, Digital Consultant of the project. Users that download content-heavy websites spend a lot of energy on their device. This can be easily tracked by yourself if you look at the load of your device. If the load on the processor and video card increases sharply while opening a content-heavy website, this means that the computer consumes a lot of extra energy.
The development team decided to do everything differently and make a small website that doesn’t need much server space. At the same time, the server on which the website is located is “green”. It uses only energy derived from renewable resources. All the elements of the website have practical value. The energy a website consumes is comparable to the energy a single bulb of 20 watts does, whereas other websites consume two to three times more energy.
Our web developers have managed to achieve this thanks to the “commandments” that the project team developed based on the basic principles of sustainable web design:
Easy access to content. Web design should not create problems in the perception of the information that we convey to the user. Too many pictures on the website often leads away from the point.
Design optimization. All graphics should be optimized to reduce the overall weight of the website. Thanks to this, the webpage works more efficiently. The fact that the website loads faster results in the reduced bounce rate. Besides this, it takes less time to get customers engaged.
Adaptable design. It is important to maintain visual appeal and usability in the most frequently used browsers and on any type of device.
“At the same time, the user may not notice how much work on optimization and resource care has been done by developers and designers and will just see a nice website. Beauty lies in this external simplicity and convenience,” summarizes Maxim Skovorodnikov, RedMe Website Developer.
In the future, RedMe plans to develop “green” websites for its customers, both commercial and non-profit companies and projects. “The development of such websites will become a trend when companies and individual users begin to think about the digital footprint that they leave behind themselves,” said Olga Sharatuta, Head of RedMe. Today, the digital space is overloaded with information that no one uses. Maxim Skovorodnikov points out that nowadays people rarely think about this because of the rapid technological development. “The Internet speed that we have today allows us to easily operate large amounts of data. It is easy to get used to it quickly. And this leads to the misuse of technologies. Heavy JavaScripts frameworks as well as extra video content, fonts and graphics is what we see today on many websites”.
“The RedMe team sets an example that is aimed at encouraging others to show their social responsibility in the digital space,” said Olga Sharatuta, the head of the RedMe agency. Many beautiful solutions can be implemented without excess capacity. “Global processes always start with someone deciding there is a need for change,” says Ilya Rozovsky. “Will anything change globally if one “green” website appears? Probably not. But what if a hundred, a thousand, a million of such websites appear? If they do, it will turn into a trend for the benefit of the whole planet, no matter how pathetic it may sound.” 

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