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Green Tech Matters – What makes a sustainable website?

Green Tech South West recently welcomed Nick Lewis, Founder of The Sustainable Dev to talk about the environmental impact of websites and how to make them sustainable.

Nick joined us on Tuesday, March 2nd at 12.30pm and we caught up with him ahead of his talk.

ADLIB: Can you tell us more about ‘The Sustainable Dev’

Nick: The sustainable.dev is a dedicated resource for those working in digital tech, to help them create more sustainable websites. The aim is for the site to become a central resource hub where developers can go to find answers to their questions about sustainable websites and how to build them, with in-depth articles, tips and code snippets to enable developers to understand the issues and how to solve them.

ADLIB: What sparked your interest in developing greener websites?

Nick: My passion for living life more sustainably has been growing steadily over the years. Working in tech day-in-day-out, I started to wonder about how what I do as a job affects the planet. After some research, I found that information for creating sustainable websites was sparse and very scattered around. This prompted me to want to create my own site on the subject.

ADLIB: What type of improvements are the most common to suggest?

Nick: The two most common topics I think are changing a website’s hosting to a data center that is powered solely by renewable energy and optimising images correctly. The reason for these to be most commonly suggested improvements is due to the fact they can often be the most impactful in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of a website.

ADLIB: What would you like to see change in the digital world and are there reasons to be positive?

Nick: I’d love to see the techniques of building websites to be more sustainable to become commonplace. It would be excellent for the topic to be more widely discussed in the sector. While this is starting to happen, I think the time is certainly right for it to be talked about openly and honestly.

There are many reasons to be happy! Businesses big and small are taking their digital carbon footprint more seriously. Pledging carbon neutrality or improvement and are actually sticking to their words. Another thing to be happy about; some of the largest digital media companies, such as Netflix, have just signed up to a new initiative – created by the University of Bristol – to monitor the carbon footprint of the industry.

ADLIB: What’s next for The Sustainable Dev?

Nick: An excellent question. As a side project, my time available to spend on the site can vary. My focus is predominantly on finding and creating exciting yet practical articles on how to create more sustainable websites. Adding them to the resources section of the site. The other main focus is the developer directory, which is growing by the day. I am going to be adding in some new features soon, including individual profile pages for each member. Other than that, I am open to suggestions!

Thank you Nick for the chat.

Nick 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.