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Swedish research measures website carbon emissions

|Sourced From Businessgreen |

A Swedish researcher has developed an online application that measures the carbon emissions from the energy used by web sites.

The application, called Greenalytics, uses regionally-specific data to calculate the energy used by client devices when surfing a specific site on the web. It also calculates the energy used by the servers and internet infrastructure, such as routers and switches, that deliver data to clients.

When measuring client usage, Greenalytics calculates the exact number of users, their locations, and the duration of each visit to arrive at specific figures. It then compares these figures against known carbon emissions data for each country that users are located in. A country that relies heavily on coal for its energy production, for example, would emit more carbon per hour of client-side usage than one that relied on renewable energy.

Greenalytics was developed by Jorge Zapico, a researcher at Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

“In my research, I want to illustrate the options available when databases are opened up and provide data in a standardised format, which in turn can be linked to environmental data,” said Zapico, who works in KTH’s Centre for Sustainable Communications. “If you are aware of the climate impact a product has, you can also reduce it.”

The application uses an API published by Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), which is a database documenting the carbon emissions of over 50,000 power plants and 4,000 power companies worldwide.

Using Greenalytics, Zapico found that KTN’s own website causes the emissions of seven tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

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