Additional server demand
One of the most universal drags on sustainable business practices across all industries is the operation of servers. This is especially true of physical servers, which come with a constant energy demand. The greater the demands placed on servers, the more their excessive consumption will add to your carbon footprint.
Slow-loading websites extend this interaction, thereby lengthening periods of high energy demands. As the server works harder to complete the request and enable users to see and interact with the site, it requires higher levels of power. So, when the loading process becomes excessive, the associated energy requirements will grow accordingly.
Now, the primary concern related to loading times is nearly always the quality of the customer experience. Slow websites struggle to keep users around as frustration mounts. Inevitably, poor performance will drive potential customers elsewhere, resulting in another attempt to load a website and expanding their energy consumption.
For the time being, let’s assume that your business has done everything it can to operate its website sustainably. For the sake of argument, we can even say that the extended delays on your site will have a minimal impact, if any at all. However, your intended audience doesn’t know your sustainable practices. And even if they do, this will only go so far to balance out frustration related to excessive waiting times.
So, when those customers inevitably head over to other websites, how likely is it that those other organizations have achieved an identical level of sustainability? If a user navigates elsewhere, they will duplicate the energy requirements related to loading. And they might end up clicking on another slow website that has a larger carbon footprint. In this way, one lagging online journey leads to additional energy consumption that goes beyond its own footprint.