Reducing Carbon Footprint Through Web Design

November 18, 2021 8 minute read

Aliter Networks is your trusted partner in IT infrastructure, implementing sustainable business practices both for our clients and ourselves. We are a global brand based out of Amsterdam with a strong regional presence in Singapore.

Aliter is all about giving businesses alternative options that are more productive for them in the long run, helping them improve their bottom line, and getting their hardware fit for purpose.

Aliter’s Mission

Aliter Networks is a certified B Corp, which brings into focus how serious we are about using our business as a force for good and adopting more sustainable business practices, both internally and for our clients. Our mission is to make a difference with IT – for people, planet, and profit. While this might seem hard to combine, we are proof that it can be done consistently and effectively.

Circular IT – Looking to the future

The world is moving ahead at a rapid pace from a technological standpoint. The unfortunate side effect of this growth is the scarcity of raw materials and components, and the excess electronic waste generated by the IT industry. Companies produce a lot of e-waste because their replacement and procurement policies are not attuned to the current environmental situation. To put it simply, most companies are forced to buy new because of their OEM hardware refresh cycle. This prevents them from opting for equivalent or better-performing alternatives.

Aliter networks follows the circular IT strategy, ensuring that the focus is on the usability of existing infrastructure rather than buying new hardware. For our clients, this results in reduced costs and increased longevity for their IT network hardware which directly translates into better profits. Furthermore, we have a proven globally relevant logistical network that caters to the demanding IT network domain and reduces downtime for our clients. 

The Wholegrain Digital collaboration

We were looking for a complete makeover of our website, not just superficially but with a view to improve long-term sustainability and reduce greenhouse emissions.

Compared to our older website, the new website had to be quicker, better designed, and have less negative impact on the environment, most notably the carbon footprint each time users access our website. It also needed to include several improvements to the user experience with new functionalities that would enable visitors to find what they’re looking for quicker and with less effort.

As a B Corp, we are always looking for partners who share our vision of sustainability, purpose-driven metrics, and performance. The B Corp certified community has several inherent advantages over other non-certified companies. This is especially apparent when talking about an engagement that needs to be aligned with several environmental parameters, which was our end goal. While the search was arduous, we felt it paid off when we found the team at Wholegrain Digital.

I spoke to half a dozen agencies before settling with Wholegrain. While I understand that they were a B Corp, a partnership is about the people who are involved. They were an enthusiastic bunch of like-minded individuals, very much like our  A-Team.

Tamil Karikalan, Global marketing manager

Wholegrain Digital provides digital solutions for businesses worldwide that are creative and result-oriented. We had specific goals in mind before the engagement. Since both organizations have a lot in common, they were able to understand where our priorities lie.

Let’s take a look in more detail at what Wholegrain was able to do for our website.

Websites have carbon emissions too

From the outset, one of our primary goals was to reduce our digital carbon footprint.

The people central to bringing this collaboration to fruition are Tamil Karikalan, Head of Marketing at Aliter Networks, and Vineeta Greenwood, Account Director for WholeGrain Digital.

They had various discussions before the project was initiated, inspired by Aliter’s results on the carbon calculator. They highlighted that, although the old site was hosted on a server powered with renewable energy, the carbon emissions per page view were still very high. With Aliter’s mission to reduce carbon emissions, no convincing was needed!

Wholegrain facilitated a series of workshops to understand the target and existing audience groups. In collaboration with the team at Aliter, the Wholegrain team created user journeys to communicate Aliter’s mission and impact of what Aliter does best – reduce carbon footprint and improve organization’s’ bottom line through doubling the lifetime of  IT infrastructure hardware.

The new website shows a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions per page view. Wholegrain were able to achieve this using granola – a WordPress framework they built to be clean and efficient. Granola has low-carbon goodness baked in by design. Furthermore, the design utilizes a darker colour, which has power saving benefits. Research shows that OLED screens, which will soon become the dominant screen choice, consume less energy to produce darker colors. They use the most energy to produce the colour white.

New and improved functionalities

In addition to the power-saving benefits, helping us in our mission to reduce carbon emissions, Wholegrain also built a number of new functionalities into the site. The main feature is a new catalogue of all of our products. The site connects to our internal database, via API, to retrieve all of the refurbished products we sell. This improved user interface allows the visitor to browse these products more easily too.

We also maintain the ability to translate our content, so that our customers  from all over the world can learn about Sustainable Technology. And as we grow our business – and therefore our content – the website and its layout is completely flexible, adapting to suit our needs.

To push our site even further, Tommy from Wholegrain has crafted beautiful animations and transitions. All of this has been achieved at a low carbon cost, which is quite unusual in website design.

The Aliter and Wholegrain experience

Aliter believes that people (or companies) are stronger together! We have a culture of inclusiveness that permeates throughout the organization. We are always looking for collaborative opportunities that help us further our message of sustainability and a greener planet. Our team was thrilled to be working with Wholegrain! 

The Wholegrain team, including Vineeta, Nick, Chânelle, and Tommy, personify this spirit of getting things done together. They are also passionate about not just doing things but getting them done right. We’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn from each other and know that both companies are better for having gone through this collaboration.

When two B Corps come together

What makes working with other certified B Corps special? To be honest, it’s every part of the engagement. From start to finish, we were on the same page on all aspects, and most importantly, both companies shared the end goal of creating a website experience that was sustainable in every aspect of the real world. 

And what made this more fulfilling was the fact that the entire engagement was planned and executed remotely. Given the scale of changes required, physical distances, the fallout from the existing pandemic, and not being able to align with our sustainable goals, coordinating something on this scale would have been an uphill task if we had engaged a non-B Corp certified business.

The B Corporation revolution is all about making the world a better place for everyone. But it isn’t something that we do only when it suits us but rather; it’s everything we are about. And working with another brand that is as enthusiastic about it as we are is a rewarding experience.

Working with another B Corp like Wholegrain is a great opportunity to learn how other organizations contribute to the goal of long-term sustainability. We asked the people involved with this engagement about their thoughts on the collaboration. This is what they shared –

Wholegrain team members are thrilled to be working with such a wonderful team at Aliter Networks. Working with Tamil has been an absolute pleasure. Nick, Tommy and Chânelle have been excited since day one of collaboration! The low carbon website is a result of the willingness of the Aliter team to adapt to change in design language and the determination of the Wholegrain team to push boundaries.

Vineeta Greenwood, Account Director

We practice what we preach

Aliter is always looking to make what’s good, better. Our new website embodies this spirit of continual improvement and performance while still being good for the planet. While a website launch is indeed a cause for celebration, both our teams are ecstatic about how well it turned out.

We have been able to curb our carbon footprint considerably – 0.32g of CO2 per page view, which is a reduction of 95.22% over our previous website. Also, a 1.4s fully loaded time versus 6.4s earlier translates to about 80% quicker load times. We have a 100 accessibility score on Lighthouse.

There are changes made to the UI and UX that make browsing our website a much more fulfilling experience for our visitors.

Every company talks about sustainability, but to really make it count, we need to act on the cap on carbon. Global carbon emissions are steadily increasing year on year. Aliter’s push for more sustainability includes lowering its carbon footprint. Our new website ensures significantly lower carbon generation and improves user experience, so they won’t need to spend a lot of time on it to find what they’re looking for. I am absolutely thrilled that we could create a website with Wholegrain that does make a difference: for people, planet, and profit.

Odette van Zijdveld, CEO

We encourage you to take a look at our new website and tell us what you think of it. We’re sure that you’ll find the new website intuitive and compelling to work with!