For the second year in a row, Razorfish France (Publicis Groupe) and the Green IT collective unveil the results of their Digital Ecodesign Barometer, which evaluates the environmental impacts of 108 websites most representative of the economy and consumption in France (those of the CAC40, e-commerce and unicorns). Results: a timid improvement between 2022 and 2023.
While the weight of a web page has been multiplied by 155 for 25 years (between 1995 and 2021), Razorfish France (Publicis Groupe) and the Green IT association have decided to take stock, for the second consecutive year, of the adoption of an ecodesign approach – the improvement of digital experience while reducing resources (image size, loading, etc.) – by companies on their websites. In 2022, Razorfish France and Green IT studied 90 of the most representative websites on the French Web, namely the 40 sites of CAC40 companies and the 50 sites most visited by the French – information sites, e- commerce and administration.
In 2023, the Digital Ecodesign Barometer goes a step further by examining, in addition to the 40 corporate sites of the CAC 40 and the 40 most visited e-commerce sites (twenty more e-commerce sites analyzed), the websites of 28 unicorns (showcases, services or e-commerce). Either 108 websites. EcoIndex, the reference algorithm for measuring the environmental performance of websites (designed by Green IT and Nxtweb), scored the 10 most visited pages of these 108 sites: i.e. 1,080 pages analyzed and 2.9 billion web pages viewed.
In practice, the EcoIndex measures and weights three parameters. The first: the number of elements making up the page of a site (weighted by three), which reflects the power required by the device to display the page of the site and the impact on its lifespan. The limit recommended by Green IT is 600 items. The second: the number of HTTP requests, i.e. the number of calls to the server to display the elements of the page (weighting x 2). The recommended limit is 30 requests. The third parameter: the total weight of the elements making up the page (x 1). The recommended limit is 1000 KB.
If the 2022 results were bad for French sites, garnering a rating of 29 out of 100 In terms of eco-design, have brands addressed the subject of the environmental impact of their website over the past year?
Read also: 86% of French people expect brands to provide solutions to environmental and societal issues
32/100: an overall average below average
In total, all of these sites received a better rating than in 2022: 32 out of 100, or 3 points more. But this score, well below the average, is still largely insufficient to compensate for the exponential footprint of digital technology on the planet and the climate, the study recalls.
As for the CAC 40 corporate sites, they obtain a grade of D (on a scale from A to G), with a score of 40 out of 100. The latter therefore remain, overall, below the average, but progress by 6 points compared to 2022. 75% of CAC 40 corporate sites improved their rating, with some players increasing by more than 20 points. On the first step of the podium, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield obtained a score of 65/100 (C), in progress. The commercial real estate specialist is followed by ArcelorMittal (60/100, rating C) and Engie (60/100, rating C).
An awareness of their digital responsibility? On the side of‘Orange, it’s the case. Ranked 8th, with a score of 53 out of 100, the company moved up 9 place (17th in 2002). “Ecodesign should no longer be a differentiating factor but the standardtestifies Anne Imbert, VP Brand, Content & Media of the Orange group, during the presentation of this barometer on September 28. We began this process of reducing impact in 2020, by trial and error at the beginning. The Orange group is making strong commitments, such as being net zero by 2040 and reducing its environmental impact by 45% in scopes 1, 2 and 3. The impact of Orange.com is very small compared to to the group, but we must, as brand and communications management, act collectively and make our contribution to reducing environmental impact.”
To achieve this 9th place, the brand reduced the number of requests on its home page by 8, but also cleaned a certain number of unconsulted pages to remove unnecessary modules. “The challenge is to reduce the content made available without impacting the image of the brandspecifies Anne Imbert. There was also a lot of internal debate about the benefit of putting images on certain pages.“. A saving approach for the environment, but also for the wallet: “Ecodesign allowed us to save money”says the VP Brand, Content & Media of the Orange group.
23/100: e-commerce lagging behind
While e-commerce has exploded by +20% in one year (according to Fevad figures), the French’s favorite e-commerce sites have not yet taken the measure of their environmental impact. The average rating of all the 40 e-commerce sites most visited by the French is F, with a score of 23/100. Even if the progression is 5 points (from 18 to 23 out of 100), it should be noted that at ISO perimeter (the barometer analyzed 20 sites in 2022 vs 40 sites in 2023), the score remains the same.
Read also: “The objective of Project X Paris is to reach 100 million turnover in 2024”
This score comes from the analysis of 400 web pages (the 10 most viewed pages of each of the 40 e-commerce sites most visited by French people), which corresponds to 2.7 billion pages viewed per year, i.e. at 1.3% of the total e-commerce pages viewed per year in France (1). This sample alone already represents the colossal sum of 7 million kilos of CO2 equivalent. In 2023, 35 e-commerce sites have a rating of E, F or G. Among e-commerce players, the least bad sectors in terms of digital eco-design are those of travel/transport (36/100) and of food distribution (31/100).
The podium is as follows: Trainline (54/100, grade D); Leclerc Drive (47/100, rating D) and Uber Eats and eBay (42/100, rating D). Note that the most efficient companies in terms of digital eco-design manage to divide their environmental impacts by 2, or even by 5, compared to comparable players within the same sector of activity.
36/100: Unicorns, not so committed to the environment?
Analyzed for the first time in this Ecodesign Barometer, unicorns disappoint. The 28 unicorns scrutinized achieved an average ecodesign score of 36/100i.e. a note of E. Born with digital technology and awareness of environmental issues, However, unicorns do not seem to benefit from their youth and do no better than their elders, notes the barometer which also perceives a correlation between their rating and their financial valuation: the more the valuation of a unicorn increases, the higher the level of ecodesign declines (from D to F).
At the top of the ranking, NW Groupe with a score of 65/100, followed by Meero (61/100, C) and Deezer (59 out of 100, D).
See you in 2024, with the calculation of the impact of the integration of generative artificial intelligence into French websites?
(1) According to estimates of 201 billion page views in one year on e-commerce sites in France, estimates based on the number of page views of buying sessions – 22 on average according to Content Square – crossed with the number of transactions in 2022 in France – 2.3 billion according to Francenum.gouv.fr, to which are added the estimates of page views of non-purchasing sessions deducted from the average conversion rate of 2.96% according to Content Square and an arbitrary hypothesis of 2 pages viewed in average per non-buying session.