Mightybytes Greens the Web

Mightybytes

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Mightybytes is a digital agency based in Chicago with a 20-year track record of helping conscientious companies, sustainable brands, and large nonprofits solve problems and meet digital marketing goals. Mightybytes’ most significant innovation is leadership in sustainable web design, which contributes to SDGs 7, 12, and 13.

Authors

Paul Campion

Paul Campion

Kathleen Meis

Kathleen Meis

School

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

Professor

Nancy Landrum

Nancy Landrum

Innovation

The internet is responsible for an enormous amount of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the growing climate crisis. The IT sector alone consumes about 7% of global electricity. Furthermore, the internet’s energy footprint is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. This projected increase is driven by individual consumption of data and by the spread of the digital age to more people across the world.

In the United States, over 100 million websites and web applications consume 9% of the United States’ total electricity consumption, which is more than the airline industry or even a small country like Sweden. Carbon-intensive fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and gas, are burned to produce the electricity that powers the internet’s data centers, networks, and end users’ devices.

Mightybytes does web design differently. Mightybytes intentionally designs client websites to be as green as possible, both maximally efficient and powered by carbon-free renewable energy. The four key green parameters that the company strives for are findability, usability, performance optimization, and green hosting.

By designing and building websites to be easily findable, usable, and efficient, a user spends less time accomplishing the tasks they are seeking to accomplish. Mightybytes spent multiple years looking for a green hosting provider that runs their data centers entirely with renewable energy and is reliable with excellent customer service. Ultimately, Mightybytes decided to go with Google Cloud Platform, which has been carbon neutral since 2007.

In addition to practicing sustainable web design for their clients, Mightybytes developed a tool for people to assess the sustainability of their website. Any person can enter a website in Ecograder.com, a tool developed by Mightybytes, and can quickly see how sustainable the website is on a 100-point scale.

Tim Frick, Mightybytes’ founder and CEO, has written numerous books and delivered talks encouraging others to use these tools and to move the entire internet industry towards a lower climate impact.

This innovation directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goals 7, 12, and 13. By powering all of the websites that they build entirely with renewable energy, Mightybytes contributes to Affordable and Clean Energy. By changing how we think about the production, consumption, and usage of digital services, Mightybytes contributes to Responsible Consumption and Production. The clean energy and energy efficiency that Mightybytes builds into its services reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted, ultimately contributing to Climate Action.

Mightybytes Greens the Web

Tim Frick, Mightybytes Founder and CEO. Photo: Kendall Karmanian (Crain's Chicago Business)

Inspiration

Mightybytes began in 1998 as the internet was just starting to expand and change the way people interacted and did business. After taking on a few projects that were not aligned with his personal values, Tim decided to push the company toward more purpose-driven work.

They realized they wanted to create a better future and make a positive impact through their digital agency, so they began reaching out to B Corps clients to determine whether Mightybytes could provide the services those companies needed. B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. Their mission soon was driven by purposeful change-making efforts.

When they discovered B Corps in 2011, Mightybytes committed to being an entire business with sustainable priorities. B Corp certification cemented these values into the company’s DNA and operating structure, providing a way for them to “walk the walk” and standardize many of their existing purpose-driven business practices while also starting new ones. With that came their innovation of Ecograder, a website sustainability tool where companies can see how they are doing regarding efficiency and the overall environmental impact of their company’s website.

Overall impact

The importance of Mightybytes is how unique their company is. Their business model is built on the fact that they prioritize environmental concerns when conducting their business. There are hundreds of thousands of digital agencies, but they have maintained a gold standard in the type of work they provide for their clients. Their commitment to providing ethical and environmentally conscious results to companies and nonprofits differentiates them from other digital agencies in the city. They also put an emphasis on the mission and vision for their clients. They dig into the relationship with the clients, discuss the client’s organizational goals, and then map the website to the users’ goals. Although that process can be time-consuming, they are able to see a better solution.

Business benefit

Mightybytes has been able to attract high-profile B Corps businesses, non-profits, and mission-driven companies due to the quality of work they offer. Mightbytes' clients include the Shedd Aquarium, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Feeding America.

Social and environmental benefit

Mightybytes' innovation in sustainable web design benefits the environment by reducing the climate impact of the internet. Mightybytes benefits society by only working with clients who contribute positively to society. By amplifying these organizations' impact, Mightybytes creates value for society.

Interviews

Tim Frick, CEO

Tim Frick, CEO

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Mightybytes

Mightybytes

Chicago, Illinois, US

Business Website: https://www.mightybytes.com/

Year Founded: 1998

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Mightybytes is a digital agency and Certified B Corp located in Chicago. For 20+ years, Mightybytes has helped conscious companies, sustainable brands, and large nonprofits solve problems and get measurable results. They blend strategy, design, and development with sustainability practices to help these organizations achieve digital marketing goals and find sustainable, long-term growth.