Measuring the ecological impact of a web page
Browsing web pages requires energy and therefore has an ecological impact. However, the importance of this impact depends largely on the page in question and its design. So how to know which pages are the most energy consuming?
Features that have an impact
Visiting one web page or another does not emit the same amount of CO2, it can easily go from one to ten times (or more), for the same information, depending on how the page and the site in question were designed. With the naked eye, it is impossible for anyone to evaluate precisely the difference in impact between one page and another, even if for experts some elements can give clues.
Let's start by reminding ourselves that the ecological impact of a web page is mainly linked to the way it is designed and the way it is presented;is mainly linked to the number of requests it generates, and to its general weight (sum of the weight of all its elements: content, media, scripts, etc.): contents, media, scripts...).
To measure the impact of a page, we will measure the number of requests sent to the server, the weight of the page in Mb, and the time it takes to load the page. With these three indicators, we can deduce the CO2 emission of a page (and its carbon equivalent).
A site to measure the carbon footprint of web pages
The site Website footprint allows you to calculate the ecological impact of a web page with its URL: it analyzes the page and comes out with an overall score, and a score per parameter (weight, requests, loading time).
For each parameter, the site specifies whether the impact is low or high. The test can be done for all the most frequented pages of the studied site, to have a representative vision.
The site also allows the site developer to identify elements to improve in order to reduce its impact: a large number of requests can come from many images, a very long loading time can be caused by heavy animations, etc.
An extension to measure the ecological impact of pages in real time
The Chrome Website Footprint extension (available soon) allows you to see in real time the carbon emission of the page you are on, and that of your session. It is a tool that allows you to become aware of the impact of your web consumption, to identify the most energy-consuming behaviors and the most energy-intensive sites.
It can also be used by developers who want to eco-design their web solutions during development, so that they always have visibility on the impact of the solution they are building. See l'extension chrome website-footprint
The website and the Website Footprint extension are initiatives conceived, led and created by the Advency team, whose mission is to put meaning into our business and to take responsibility for the ecological impact of the solutions we create while limiting it as much as possible.