Digital Waste Audit


Less data, costs reduced, less CO2

  • Is your organization suffering from information overload?
  • Are you producing far too much data and content?
  • Are you publishing too much?
  • Do you have webpages that are heavy and slow, full of unnecessary and
    poorly optimized code and content?
  • Does your organization struggle to professionally maintain your digital assets?

If the answer is yes to most of the previous questions then you have a digital waste
problem. The Digital Waste Audit will give you a clear, actionable plan to deliver:

1) Less data, lighter pages, thus less CO2.
2) Faster and better digital experiences for customers / users.
3) Time saved for staff and customers because of smaller intranets and
4) Time, stress and productivity saved for staff because they have to produce
and publish less useless data and content.
5) Lower energy costs and reduced CO2 when it comes to storage, transfer and
processing of data.

Fewer devices, costs reduced, less CO2

E-waste is an enormous global crisis. Already, we produce more than 50 million tons
a year, less than 20% of which is recycled. Planned obsolescence, which means we
only hold on to digital devices for a couple of years, is destroying the planet. We
must hold on to our devices longer.

1) With less data, fewer devices will be required.
2) With less data, the existing devices will get used less and thus last longer.
3) Optimizing energy use for devices ensures they will last longer and consume
less energy.
4) Repairing devices will extend their lives and reduce the costs of buying new
5) Recycling devices will reduce the need for raw materials to be mined.

The Digital Waste Audit will help you calculate how much CO2 your digital devices
are causing and give you practical ways to reduce that pollution.

At the end of the Audit you will get a rating from A to E, and a set of clear
recommendations on what you need to do to improve. The average cost is in the
region of €10,000 to €15,000 for a medium-sized organization.

What is measured

The audit will focus on the following areas:

1) Culture
2) Devices
3) Websites
4) Communication


A multi-disciplinary, cross-functional culture reduces digital waste by helping target unnecessary creation and duplication. A sustainable digital culture questions needless creation, collection and tracking. It focuses on durability. Key to waste reduction is establishing clear lines of responsibility for data and ensuring everything is properly maintained. Reuse and sharing should be prioritized and the overall metricsshould focus on use and usefulness, not production, launch and leave.

1. Multi-disciplinary, cross-functional culture
2. Responsibility
3. Durability
4. Creation, collection, tracking
5. Reuse
6. Sharing
7. Maintenance, archiving, deletion
8. Measurement, analytics


Durability. 80% of digital waste is created during device manufacture. Holding onto devices for as long as possible is the single most important way to reduce digital waste.

1. Minimum specs
2. Highest energy ratings
3. Long life:durable, repairable
4. Recycling
5. Screens
6. Energy conservation
7. Charging
8. Transferring data


We have a website obesity crisis. Websites have exploded in weight and become hugely wasteful and polluting.Images and videos require particular focus as they are the prime drivers in the huge weight and waste increases on the Web. It’s also essential to remove all the waste that has built up in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, fonts, etc.

1. Webpages

a) Average page weight
b) Average page load time
d) JavaScript
e) CSS
f) Fonts
g) Third-party plugins
h) Caching
i) Tracking, logging
j) Bots
k) Content Delivery Network (CDN) architecture

2. Images, video

a) Use, function
b) Compression
c) File formats
d) Image sizing / resizing
e) Lazy load
f) Load on demand

3. File formats

a) Optimal use

4. Analytics

a) Page errors
b) System errors

5. Old content

a) Archiving
b) Deletion

6. Hosting

a) Renewable energy


Unnecessary communication drives digital waste. Email and meeting overload is not simply bad for the environment, it’s bad for people and productivity. A proliferation of email attachments often reflects a lack of confidence in the search and information architecture.

1. Email

a) Quantity
b) Format (text, HTML)
c) Signatures
d) Thread management
e) CCs
f) Attachments

2. Online meetings

a) Use of video
b) Screen sizes
c) Transmission, processing
d) Storage

3. Templates

a) PowerPoint
b) Word

How audit will be carried out

Three core activities will be involved in the Digital Waste Audit:

1. Management interviews
2. Employee survey
3. Website review

Management interviews

Structured interviews with appropriate managers mainly covering culture, communication, and digital device management. The questions are weighted based on overall importance, and each question can get from zero to 5 based on how well the answer complies with the optimal answer.

Employee survey

Finding out what employees think about the organizational culture and how able they feel they are to work in a sustainable manner.

Website review

There will be a detailed technical review of the website to identify areas of waste. Some of this will be automated, some will require review, and some will involve interviewing a technical expert within your organization.


1. An overall rating from A (excellent) to E (very poor).
2. Individual ratings for:

a. Culture
b. Devices
c. Website
d. Communication

3. Key findings: What were the most striking things that were discovered.
4. Key recommendations: Clear and precise recommendations in relation to how to reduce digital waste.


For a small environment, the cost can be in the region of €6,000, but typical costs are in the region of €10,000 to €15,000, with very large environments costing €20,000 and upwards.


Phone: +353 87 238 6136