European Commission - Belgium
Environment for Europeans is an online magazine published by the Directorate-General (DG) for the Environment of the European Commission. In 2015, European Service Network (ESN) and GreenIT.fr ecodesigned this website.
Based on www.ecoindex.fr analyse, the environmental footprint of the website has been lowered by a factor of 2 to 3 depending on the environmental KPI:
Greenhouse gas: from 3 to 1 gram (g.) of GHG per page.
Water: from 2.9 to 1.6 centiliters (cl.) per page.
As part of a collective effort led by UCM to sensitize web agencies to the potential of digital service ecodesign, ESN assessed the environmental impacts of the Environment For Europeans (EFE) website with the help of GreenIT.fr.
The initial audit revealed poor environmental performance (EcoIndex: E) due to heavy technical parameters: 7.6 MB weight, 134 HTTP requests, etc. This poor environmental performance resulted in a 22 seconds full page display time from an ADSL connection and higher environmental impacts than necessary: 3 grams CO2 equivalent (g CO2 eq.) and 2.9 centiliters (cl) of water.
GreenIT.fr and ESN identified many improvement points. But it's a very simple functional design action that has had the biggest impact. The key solution has been to reduce the number of articles posted on the home page from 75 to 10 while allowing users to access the 55 remaining stories clicking on a simple hypertext link.
Thanks to this Ecodesign process, we divided the weight of the homepage by 11, the number of requests by 2.3 and the number of DOM objects by 2. The user experience has been really improved with a full load time of the homepage divided by 4.
The full mission was based on open and free methodologies and tools – web Ecodesign best practices repository, online environmental footprint evaluation tool, etc. – provided by the Collectif Conception Numérique Responsable. This toolbox is used daily by hundreds of companies. The next step is to contribute to improve all the tools.