Which websites have the biggest carbon footprints?

·1-min read
Making 69 visits to Reddit is apparently equivalent to a similar carbon footprint as traveling 5km by car.

Reddit, Pinterest and Nintendo are some of the world's most polluting websites in terms of carbon emissions, whereas Wikipedia, LinkedIn and H&M are among the cleanest, according to a ranking drawn up by Uswitch.

From watching videos to sharing photos and shopping, everything we do online has a carbon footprint. But which websites have the highest carbon footprints and which are the most eco-friendly? To answer this question, the UK-based price comparison service Uswitch has drawn up two rankings : the first is a list of the 25 websites with the highest carbon footprint, whereas the second is a list of the "cleanest" websites.

The American social network Reddit leads the list of websites with the highest carbon footprints. According to the study, a single visit to this platform leads to 13.05g of CO2 emissions. In comparison, 69 visits to Reddit would be equivalent to a similar carbon footprint as traveling 5km by car. Pinterest and Nintendo come next, with CO2 emissions per visit of 12.43g and 11.43g respectively.

At the opposite end of the scale, the websites identified as the "cleanest" are Wikipedia (0.04 g of CO2 per visit), LinkedIn (0.23g of CO2 per visit) and Swedish clothing retailer H&M (0.29g of CO2 per visit).

These estimations are based on specific criteria, such as the size of the website and how it is hosted. The Uswitch sustainability tool also calculates the amount of energy used when a person loads a page on a website, notably taking into account the energy required by the cloud, the telecommunications network and the device used by the visitor (smartphone, computer, tablet).

Léa Drouelle