Sustainability principles drive everything we do at Mightybytes. We run our agency with a triple bottom line philosophy that supports people, planet, and prosperity. Here’s how that plays out.
The internet’s environmental impact is larger than the airline industry and is growing rapidly. Estimates put the internet’s CO2e emissions at around 1B tons per year and annual electricity use at around 5-10% of the planet’s total. When we became a Certified B Corp in 2011 we took on internet sustainability as our champion cause, vowing to raise awareness of its environmental impact and create solutions that drive down emissions. We also started helping our community and our clients make more sustainable decisions about where they host and how they design websites and other digital products. In 2017 we were recognized for our work in this area with an Illinois Sustainability Award and inclusion in B Lab’s annual Best for the World list.
Designing for Sustainability
We are leaders in the growing field of Sustainable Web Design, working to raise awareness about the internet’s environmental impact and to educate designers and developers about the tools and tactics they can use to create digital products and strategies that are both people- and planet-friendly. We blog regularly about the intersection of sustainability, design, and technology and 100% of the sites we host are powered by renewable energy.
Tim’s book, Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services is a great resource for digital teams looking to integrate sustainability practices in their own work.
Ecograder is a free online tool to help you better understand how to improve your website’s efficiency and power it with renewable energy. Ecograder’s handy reports help you find quick and easy ways to reduce consumption, eliminate waste, and use less energy. Ecograder has been featured in Fast Company, The Green Market Oracle, Sustainable Brands, The Chicago Sun-Times, and several other publications.
In 2015, Mightybytes began co-hosting weekly discussions with other businesses on the topic of internet sustainability. One initiative that arose from these endeavors was serving.green. This lightweight website is meant to provide an immersive, New York Times-style interactive experience with video and animation while still being able to fit on an old school floppy disc (under 1.4 MB). This was both a design and content challenge meant to address skepticism that more sustainable web solutions must sacrifice design and experience in order to stay lean. Challenge accepted and met.
Our fellow B Corp Manoverboard from Winnipeg did the heavy lifting on design and UX while Mightybytes and NYC-based sustainability consultancy Third Partners worked on content and sustainability metrics.
In late 2016 the site was honored with an AWWWARDS award.
Green Office Practices
We promote sustainability principles in our work and in life. Here are some of our efforts related to engaging our team in more sustainable practices:
- We have a green travel policy, that encourages employees to only travel when necessary and to use virtual tools and more sustainable forms of transit when possible. All air travel emissions are offset through fellow B Corp 3 Degrees.
- We also purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for our annual energy use.
- Mightybytes has a green purchasing policy that requires the use of B Corporation vendors when possible. We purchase office supplies, for example, from fellow B Corp Give Something Back. We use Zealous Good to donate items that we no longer need, in addition to traditional recycling practices.
- Our office on Ravenswood has many green features, including: recycled building materials, an energy-efficient HVAC system and appliances, a NEST system that helps us track and refine our energy use, energy efficient LED lighting, and two living green walls.
- We have recycling bins throughout the office and use Waste Not Compost, a zero emissions composting service in our neighborhood.
We have offered consecutive pro bono service grants to Climate Ride. These grants help them improve their website and move their mission forward. Additionally, several Mightybytes employees have participated in past Climate Ride charity cycling events, pedaling over 300 miles and raising much needed funds for organizations supporting sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes. Teams comprised of Mightybytes employees and their friends have thus far raised over $100,000.00 through Climate Ride events. This money went to help great local and national nonprofits like Alliance for the Great Lakes, B Lab, Active Transportation Alliance, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, World Bicycle Relief, Climate Ride, and others.
B the Change
All of these efforts are grounded in being proud members of the global B Corp community of people using business as a force for good in the world. To find out more about what that means, check out our B Corporation page.
If partnering with an agency that excels at making the world a better place matters to you, consider Mightybytes for your next project.