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For example

When I give my presentations about the carbon emissions of digital content, I explain that you can use them to calculate the emissions impact of any digital product: websites, emails, videos, podcasts, social media, and more. You only need a few bits of information:

I then proceed to walk them through the metrics using an example web page. I explain that I use web pages because they are the most ubiquitous form of digital content. It doesn’t matter where you work, it’s likely that your organization has a website.

A few years ago, I started by choosing an example from the industry that I was presenting to. Something from a tech company, nonprofit, bank, or university, for example.

At one of those conferences, the website was from an attendee’s organization. They went ballistic. How dare I single them out as an example?

Fair enough. I don’t want to lose anyone in the audience because they feel like they’re being chastised. So I’ve since opted to use a consumer-facing website from an industry unrelated to the attendees.

The principles remain the same: file size, multiplied by hits, multiplied by kWh/GB can give you a number to plug into the EPA calculator.

In feedback from a recent talk, one of the attendees gave me a one-star review. “She’s clueless. She used a consumer-facing website, but I work for a B2B organization. It’s like she doesn’t even know who she’s talking to.”

It looks like I have to find a new way to explain my examples so I don’t lose the audience.

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