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from Jessica

Is your website already climate neutral?

We have been supporting customers on their path to climate neutrality for a long time and are on hand to advise them. In recent months, one aspect in particular has gained in relevance: the emissions of the company’s own website. This also leaves aCO2 footprint, which must be taken into account as part of a climate neutrality strategy. But how big is it? How can this be measured? We have the answer.

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Power-hungry Internet

The Internet consumes energy – and not just a little. In a study from 2014, scientists estimate 4.6%1 of global electricity demand. In an international comparison of countries, this would put the Internet in sixth place behind China, the USA, the EU, India and Japan. In Germany, the energy requirements of servers and data centers alone were estimated at 13.2 billion kWh2 in 2017. As much as the city of Berlin needs in electricity throughout the year. Added to this is the consumption of private end devices such as PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc. In short: the internet is a power guzzler!

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CO2 emissions of a website

This means that every single company website has a negative impact on the environment, as it consumes electricity and thus leaves aCO2 footprint. But how muchCO2 does a website produce? What factors play a role here? We have addressed this issue and created a basis for calculation. The following factors play a role in determining theCO2 emissions of a website:


1. how much data is loaded/transferred when the website is accessed?

We assume that the energy consumed is proportional to the data volume. We therefore measure the amount of data that is loaded when the start page is called up and multiply this by the average number of pages visited per session in order to determine a representative data transfer per website visit. The transferred data volume is adjusted for returning visitors. Only approx. 2% of the data is reloaded here.


2. how much energy is consumed per GB data transfer?

To do this, it is important to understand at which points energy is actually consumed:

This varies for each website and each visitor.
We therefore use an average value of 1.8 kWh/GB.


3. how muchCO2 is produced per GB of data transfer?

We assume a standardized mains current for all websites.
In 2017, an average of 485gCO23 per kilowatt hour of electricity was recorded as a direct emission in Germany.


4. how high is the website traffic?

The calculated emissions are extrapolated to the annual number of visitors to the website.

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DesignCO2-reduced websites

There are numerous ways to make websites lean and optimized so that they also contribute to reducingCO2 emissions, e.g. by using fewer images or using dark mode. Operating data centers with green electricity is another way to reduceCO2 emissions.

Use our freeCO2 calculator for websites and calculate the emissions of your website:

In cooperation with our partner Soil & More, we offer to offset the remaining, unavoidable emissions by supporting a composting project in Cape Town.

Find out more at:

1 Quarks: This is how much energy the Internet consumes

2 Borderstep Institute: Boom leads to significant increase in energy demand for data centers in Germany in 2017

3 German Environment Agency: 2019 balance sheet: CO2 emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity continue to fall

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