Best practices to adopt

Nicholas Moret, CEO and Co-founder of Greenmetrics

Nicholas Moreh is an investor in Time for the Planet, and CEO and co-founder of Greenmetrics, an environmentally-designed SaaS software specializing in the measurement, analysis and strategic management of digital emissions in companies. Launched in 2021, the company is a member of Tech for Good, called French Tech, and was awarded among the most innovative startups at the ChangeNow trade fair. This year, it won the iNOV Award, organized by BPI France and the Ministry of Environmental Transformation, in the category “Decarbonization Industry”.

Today, what are our most polluting uses on the web?

Even if our online activities have less impact than equipment (especially the manufacturing stage), it should not be forgotten because it is involved in the development of data centers and network.

Today, on the web, broadcasting is the most polluting. It alone accounts for 60% of the data flow on the Internet, due to the weight of the video files.

Consuming a video stream would emit approximately 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Concretely, 300 million tons of carbon dioxide is generated by the global consumption of video streams, which is the digital pollution of a country like Spain.

In terms of emails: We have 4 billion mailboxes in service worldwide and 281 billion emails are sent daily. In France, the French received an average of 4,635 newsletters in 2020, while none of the newsletters were opened at all…

On the business side, the use of the website has become a must. E-commerce websites are especially popular. Hence, there are more and more websites to host and information to be transferred. Each year, 47 zettabytes of data are generated worldwide. It is expected to double at 46 by 2035 (Source: Digital Hell, Guillaume Pitron). So we must move towards a logical and responsible numerical; Digital sobriety.

Everyone can reduce their digital carbon footprint individually. What are the best practices to adopt daily on the web?

1. Internet access

First, the way to access the Internet! Choose Wi-Fi instead of 4G or 5G. Watching a video using a Wi-Fi signal consumes 23 times less energy than using 4G.

2. Emails

Get rid of all the emails you no longer need: emails that are many years old, advertising emails, spam, trash…, and unsubscribe from useless newsletters. Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter and click “Unsubscribe”.

In addition, remember to open your emails: lighten your email signature by removing everything unnecessary, think about the right contacts: put only really helpful people in the loop, think about your content: it’s better to send a mail One email with each information from several emails,
Prefer download link for your heavy attachments; Use a file transfer tool to do this.

3. Running

To stream content, you prefer to download it rather than watch it on viewing platforms. Above all, reduce the quality if possible. If 70 million Internet users lower the streaming quality of the videos they watch, 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide will not be released into the atmosphere every month, which is equivalent to 6% of coal production from the United States! Take for example Netflix, it is possible to lower the quality: go to your settings and choose the quality. You can take advantage of this to prevent the next loop from autoplaying. You will get hours of sleep.

4. Websites

Eco-friendly design combines digital and responsible performance!

You advocate environmental design for websites. What is it ? What are the advantages?

Website environmental design is an approach to reducing the environmental impact of a website throughout its life cycle, from its manufacture to its use.

Remember that a website’s environmental impact comes from its host, design, and content (the weight of the elements).

Keep in mind that the keywords for eco-friendly design are: simplicity and sobriety, which go hand in hand with reference to location, speed, and user experience. So in addition to the effect of reducing benefits, we also improve website performance. In fact, for a site to be effective, it must be fast loading (less than 2.5 seconds), enhance interaction (must not exceed 100 milliseconds) and offer visual stability (CLS less than 0.1).

In other words, the more information, the more cumbersome and polluted the website becomes. And the longer a visitor’s visitor journeys on your site, the more digital pollution it creates.

In conclusion, your eco-designed site will allow you to have:

  • better ranking on search engines,
  • Better experience for your visitors,
  • reduce your bounce rates,
  • improve your sales and conversions,
  • Reduce your website’s carbon footprint.

How was the Greenmetrics project born? What are your green technology goals?

In 2009 I set up Privacia Recyclage, a company specializing in waste collection and recycling, which I sold to the Paprec Group in 2020. After collecting several WEEE, WEEE, we realized that there is a lack of information and management tools about this the topic. With that in mind, we started working on this project with Baptiste Thomas, former CEO of Kiddies Technology and Daniel Lahyani, former data analytics consultant for Datawords Group.

With Greenmetrics, we allow companies to recognize and reduce their pollution. To help them, we have developed two tools: Greenmetrics Enterprise dedicated to internal environmental impact (computer equipment and employee uses) and Greenmetrics Analytics dedicated to the carbon footprint of websites and marketing campaigns.

Faced with the difficulties of evaluating these effects, we established a specialized and independent scientific committee made up of Romain Rufuy, an INRIA researcher and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Lille, and Olivier Corradi, an entrepreneur, data scientist and former Google. . It emphasizes the impartiality of the approach and ensures continuous improvement of the tools.

You have a tool called Greenmetrics Analytics to help companies reduce the digital pollution of their web interfaces. How it works?

Greenmetrics Analytics aims to reduce the environmental impact of websites. Specifically, the tool allows you to:

  • Simply and automatically measure the performance and environmental and social impacts of a website.
  • Manage a sustainable strategy through recommendations built into the dashboard.
  • Reducing the environmental impact of the site and enhancing its performance on the web (improving search engines, improving user experience, improving conversions, reducing bounce rate, etc.).

Measurement and analysis lead to a conclusion. This degree is a grade between A and E and is assigned according to environmental impact. Thanks to the intuitive dashboard, you will find this result as well as all pointers and recommendations for improving poorly designed or poorly designed elements of your website. The score will evolve as your actions progress.

In addition, we allow each site to display a metric to raise awareness and inform visitors of their environmental impact throughout their visit. Our SaaS platform is incubated at Atomics Lab, Contentsquare’s incubator, a leader in user experience.

Concretely, what actions can companies take to reduce the carbon footprint of their website?

Companies must first understand in order to act on the most polluting website sources. To do this, they must measure the environmental impact of each of the pages that make up the website and decide what actions need to be taken to reduce carbon emissions and manage a business plan.

These are some examples:

  • Choose a host that is responsible for the environment. Let’s avoid sending information to the other side of the world and relying on a host that uses renewable energy.
  • Reduce the number of HTTP requests to control the connection to the server and to provide better load time.
  • Resize your content in the correct format to ensure optimal rendering on desktop and mobile, so that the browser does not resize itself.
  • Not forgetting to enhance their commitment and results by connecting them to their teams, clients and partners.

In your opinion, are companies really becoming aware of the issues with digital pollution or is there still a lack of maturity about it?

Businesses are becoming more aware of the issues around digital pollution, but there is still a lot of awareness work to be done.

For now, this is not one of their priorities, but remember that digital technology generates 4% of the world’s greenhouse gases (more important than civil aviation), and that this number should double by 2025.

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