(Note: this article was previously published in French a few days before this translation –if you have any feedback on the translation made by Coralie Mercier, please let us know.)
OpenWeb echoed an article published on A List Apart, entitled "Sustainable Web Design", translated into French under the title "Web Design Durable" and published on the Web Développement Durable Website. In essence, it explains that the "heavier" a page is, the biggest its carbon footprint. The notion of heaviness refers of course to the total number of bytes embedded in the page (code, styles, images, media…). But should also be accounted for, the number of HTTP requests to the server (usually a hundred per page), as well as various requests from third-party servers, notably, to retrieve data on social networks or to display advertisements.
Why such a footprint? While conceptually immaterial, the Web relies on a very real and very energy intensive infrastructure: data servers, cache servers, domain name servers, interconnection routers, access providers, wired networks (copper or optical fiber), mobile networks, WiFi, ADSL