The environmental impact of the digital industry

an LCAW 2020 event


Watch on demand

Manifesto-shapes grey-experience

About this event


The digital industry has a global emissions footprint on par with the aviation industry. The exponential increase in websites, apps, devices and data means this footprint is in danger of increasing significantly.


This event brings together a group of people who have been working on this issue within a diverse range of organisations, for a number of years, and from multiple angles.


From carbon budgets, and digital sustainability roadmaps, to website design choices, development/architecture principles, and Google alternatives, you'll hear from our speakers about the importance of tech companies' environmental strategies.

Watch on demand




Is Your Online Habit Killing the Planet?

In this Channel 4 Dispatches episode Sophie Morgan investigates the carbon footprint of the tech industry, as she discovers some shocking truths about the hidden cost of our online habits.




The Impact of the Digital Industry

A blog series by Neil Clark, educating our network through the sharing of research and our collective journey towards a digital industry that lessens the impact on our environment.

Impact of digital industry blog


Sign up

The Green Web Newsletter

For those who are curious about the many aspects of greening the web. Published monthly, featuring news and opinion on various aspects of the green web, mixing the practical with the philosophical.

Green newslettter



Roadmap to 2030 presentation

Featured in Mohan Ghandi's presentation.




How is your website impacting the environment? Use this free resource to estimate your web page carbon footprint.

Website carbon




Ecosia is like any other search engine, with one major difference: they use their profits to plant trees.


Your questions answered

Thank you for all of your questions throughout the event - here are the ones we didn't quite have time to cover:

Is there a possibility to get your own website 'certified' and show the value from on the website to give a clear sign to the visitors?

There is already a badge Certification is an obvious next step (and one that Tom, Marketa and Neil are really keen on) but finding a suitable level at which we deem a website to be certified is easier than it sounds, especially when you consider that traffic to a website is a huge part of the calculation of how polluting a site is. You could have a really well built site but needlessly be increasing traffic and therefore creating unnecessary emissions. There's a couple of other things that also need to happen before certification is as powerful we we want it to be. The first is a critical mass of websites participating. The second is more of our industry accepting a conversion figure from bytes to kWh of electricity. Hopefully this will come as part of the SDIA roadmap.




From a web development perspective, education in this area recommends Chrome dev tools. How does Ecosia compare in this area, or is there still a reliance on Chrome?

Ecosia (from a PC/Mac perspective) is not a browser, it's a search engine. So we all still use Chrome (and our dev team use Chrome dev tools) but when we search in the Chrome bar it uses Ecosia. Ecosia does also have a mobile app which is a browser! But you don't have to use that if (for example) all of your passwords etc are saved in Chrome, so instead you can just change your default search engine on your Chrome app to Ecosia.

Meet the speakers


Neil Clark

Environmental Lead, Manifesto

As the one who suggested this motley crew come together and do this event, Neil has the task of giving a brief introduction to what we're going to talk about! He'll also cover why a project should have a carbon budget to sit alongside a financial budget, why we need to change the way we measure the success of digital products and how every byte counts when it comes to building a website/app.

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Tom Greenwood

Co-founder and MD, Wholegrain Digital

Wholegrain Digital were founded on the basis of making the internet better for people and the planet. A self confessed hypocritical environmentalist, Tom is obsessed with natural health and sustainable living.

He'll be showing how the design of a website can help reduce the emissions it eventually causes.

Watch this segment at: 42:59

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Marketa Benisek

Marketa Benisek

Partnership Manager, Footprint Digital

Marketa is a certified Climate Reality Leader as part of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project, and Partnership Manager at Footprint Digital. She's also the author of

Marketa will be showing what digital marketing managers should do to reduce environmental footprint of their digital products.

Watch this segment at: 1:06:06

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Asim Hussain

Green Cloud Advocacy Lead, Microsoft

Asim is a developer, author and speaker with over 19 years experience working for organisations such as the European Space Agency, Google and now Microsoft, where he is the Green Developer Relations Lead. He’s also co-organiser of and host of podcast.

He'll be covering the importance of sustainable development principles, from start to finish in a technology project.

Watch this segment at: 29:06

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Mohan Gandhi

Head of Research & Policy, SDIA

The SDIA (Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance) bring together companies from the energy, technology, manufacturing, agency and digital industries to collaborate, educate and research the next generation of digital infrastructure. 

The SDIA and it's members have recently launched a roadmap that shows how the future of the digital industry can become sustainable. Mo will take us through it, highlighting how important it is that we all sign up and contribute to it.

Watch this segment at: 1:44:27

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Sophie Dembinski

Head of Public Policy & UK Country Manager, Ecosia

Sophie is Ecosia's UK Country Manager and Head of Public Policy. Prior to Ecosia she was a senior advisor at the global law firm DLA Piper, where she advised on global strategic, political and regulatory issues. Ecosia is a Google search alternative which uses its profits to plant trees. As a company built on the principle of saving the climate, Ecosia also challenges the status quo of what companies can do for the planet, in particular tech companies.

Sophie will show us how impactful using Ecosia is for our environment.

Watch this segment at: 1:15:13

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Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston

CTO, Director, and Researcher

Paul has many roles, as a CTO, consulting with organisations who need strategic IT direction. As a thorn in AWS's side having worked for Amazon and seen first hand how they're tackling the environmental impact of their digital footprint. As the Director of community energy cooperative. And as a researcher into the role of businesses in the climate emergency.

The latter being the chosen topic; how the detail and ambitions of corporate strategies are a key part of the climate fight.

Watch this segment at: 1:27:15

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