Don’t look back, look forward, and if that means carrying on with what you’re doing, great, but if it means throwing it all in the bin well, so be it.
Tom Greenwood founded Wholegrain Digital, London’s original WordPress agency, in 2007 with his wife, Vineeta Greenwood. Tom also serves as Managing Director of Wholegrain Digital, whose mission is to leverage web design and technology as a force for good. Wholegrain Digital creates dynamic websites for purpose-driven businesses and charities.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Greenwood shares his thoughts on renewable internet sources, WordPress and environmentally friendly web design.
It’s Electric (1:31)
According to a study conducted in 2018, data centers consume about 2% of electricity worldwide which could increase to 8% by 2030. How to use data more efficiently is at the forefront of a sustainable internet.
The internet is the biggest machine that man has ever created and it runs on electricity. So if you add up all of the data centers, telecommunication networks and end-user devices that are consuming the data, if you add up all the electricity that’s used in actually running the internet, it’s equivalent to all of the electricity used by the United Kingdom.
All Systems Go (3:05)
An increasing number of businesses come to agencies with a particular Content Management System (CMS) in mind. As a WordPress agency, Wholegrain Digital has helped transform the CMS landscape.
We want to be an agency that puts our clients first so we’ll use the system that actually makes them feel empowered.
Values Proposition (5:35)
Wholegrain Digital stays true to its values by partnering with charities and like-minded businesses, from branding for UNICEF to a new website for Ecover, the market leader in sustainable cleaning products.
Part of it is about having clear boundaries about things that you just think no matter what, these are things that we don’t want to work on.
Stay on Track (8:36)
Wholegrain Digital’s dedication to the environment was recently profiled in the BBC. The agency was one of the first businesses to sign up for Climate Perks, which offers incentives to employees who opt for low-carbon transport, like trains, instead of air travel.
Most of us fly for various things at some point and that’s got a huge carbon impact. It sort of makes almost everything else you might do irrelevant so we’ve been looking at ways that we could try and encourage people to fly less.
Spin Cycle (10:52)
Greenwashing (a play on the term “whitewashing”) is when a company makes false claims about the safety of their products and supposedly “green” initiatives in order to mislead consumers. For example, car dealerships that tout supposed “clean diesel” autos.
One of the big issues that’s interesting to me is green wash, which is basically where companies are sort of talking about environmentally positive things as a way of selling more stuff without really doing anything to justify it.
Design for Good (12:10)
So-called digital pollution can be broken down into three sources: manufacturing, practices and e-waste/recycling. Eco-conscious web design can positively impact the environment through improved efficiency, design and development.
All those micro decisions that you’re making, if you make them through the lens of efficiency you end up with a website that’s a fraction of the size in terms of kilobytes.