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Green Tech Matters – “Save the world, one ping at a time”

Green Tech South West recently welcomed Dryden Williams, Founder of EcoPing, to explain their mission to reduce the carbon emissions of the internet. Dryden joined us on Tuesday, March 2nd at 12.30pm and we caught up with him ahead of his talk.

ADLIB: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into environmentalism?

Dryden: I’ve been a software developer for around 10 years but in the last few years I’ve yearned to make something tangible, something that makes a real difference. I decided to volunteer my time at Precious Plastic in the Netherlands; helping the fight with plastic pollution and their new platform. Everyone there was so talented and had a real passion for environmentalism, they actually did something about it, it was incredibly inspiring.

During this time I learnt about the environmental impact of the internet; and how we can help as developers to reduce website carbon emissions. It brought my love for the ability of tech for good, and the environment together immediately and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

I find it’s the most useful and positive change I could make as a developer; reducing website carbon emissions. So it gives me great purpose.

ADLIB: What is EcoPing and why did you set it up?

Dryden: EcoPing is a website that allows companies to track their website carbon emissions over time. To give key insights and importantly, actions to reduce them.

Shaving off a single kilobyte in a file that is being loaded on 2 million websites reduces CO2 emissions by an estimated 2950 kg per month – That is the same amount of CO2 saved each month as 5 flights from Amsterdam to New York (679 kg CO2 per flight).

So I believe that by shaving off kilobytes here and there on all sites, we can make a quicker more positive impact on reducing digital carbon emissions.

ADLIB: How does it work and what successes have you had so far?

Dryden: Once you login to EcoPing you can add any website to your dashboard, it could be your personal website, your company’s or any organisations you like. From here we will check that website everyday and the resources and locations they come from. We provide detailed reports to visualise your website and see the impact it’s creating on the planet.

Recently with help from our reports, EcoPing helped How Many Elephants reduce their website carbon emissions by over 69%. With amazing work from their developers to implement our recommended actions, they managed to reduce the overall page size by over 15 MB. Doing this reduces per page view emissions by ~8.5 grams of CO2. Over a year, this is a saving of 98.4 KG of CO2 (estimating 10,000 per month). Not only is this great for the planet but it’s great for their organisation too. With this reduction and with the 2.6 seconds improvement in page load time, I would expect to see a vast decrease in bounce rate; which will hopefully boost conversions and donations to this great cause. Cool aye!?

ADLIB: What are the biggest mistakes people make when building a website?

Dryden: Great question.

Simply not knowing what for and why they are building a website in the first place.

It sounds silly, but so many times people lose sight of the goal of the website, what value is it going to provide the user? What’s the goal of the website for our business? How does this translate into visual components? Do we really need that auto-play background video, and those large images with 4 different fonts? Probably not.

ADLIB: What are your hopes for EcoPing?

Dryden: I hope EcoPing becomes the default way for all companies to track website carbon emissions. Help them to reduce their digital carbon footprint but also help to reduce the internet’s carbon footprint; one site at a time.

Thank you Dryden for the chat.

Dryden took the virtual stage at our Green Tech SW meetup on Tuesday 2nd of March at 12.30 pm.

Head over to the meetup page to find out more.

About GreenTech South West:
We’re here to provide you with expert insight and thought-provoking discussions on how technology can improve our physical environment and battle the massive, urgent issue of climate change. We are a community/people-focused group with an open and inclusive ethos. We run regular meet-ups, both physical and virtual, with a range of lightning presentations, round-room debates and panel discussions from those working or researching green technology. Sponsored by ADLIB and supported by Future Economy Network and Climate Action Tech.