‘Be Dedicated to Difference, Put One Foot in Front of the Other, and Your Agency is on its Way’: Célibataire Founder Amy Ramage Shares Her Sustainability Journey

6 months ago

By Amy Ramage, Founder, MD and Creative Director of Célibataire 

every step can become a leap

Every agency should have sustainability at the top of its agenda. It’s no longer a long-term goal. It is a necessity.

So far, it’s fair to say that there has been a surprising lack of action and honest discussion about digital platforms and the impact they have on the environment. 

In reality, significant amounts of energy are required to store digital content, transfer that content from a data warehouse, use the broadband and WiFi in your homes, and the computer and screen you’re using to access digital tools and products. These have all become an integral and critical element of our everyday lives and have a carbon footprint.

In fact, according to Tom Greenwood in ‘Sustainable Web Design’, if the internet were a country, it would be the sixth biggest polluter in the world.

At Célibataire, we realised that we could make a real difference in this regard. As designers, we can change the course of a brand’s sustainable trajectory by being conscious of how we design, build and maintain digital experiences with the planet in mind. Progress comes with every project. 

This was the beginning of our ‘conscious design’ philosophy. Our experts transcend the junction between high-end luxury ecommerce and traditional sustainable experience design – without compromise. 

Our process starts with supporting e-commerce businesses in measuring, managing and reducing the impact of their platforms and digital marketing while optimising and monitoring their performance. Célibataire’s analytics tools then assess and analyse the environmental impact of a website and campaigns. This is to identify the sources of digital pollution that need to be optimised. We then provide a framework to help transition from high-carbon to low-carbon alternatives, accelerating the shift towards a sustainable future. 

Often, sustainability is more closely related to business benefits than people may assume. Focusing on solving client problems first is a powerful way to create a win-win situation. SEO? Conversion rates? Accessibility? Each can find its way to the top of a business’ to-do list and pave the way for pursuing more sustainable solutions. 

A well-thought-out user experience (UX) is crucial to high conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and positive brand perception for digital platform owners. By streamlining user journeys, optimising load times, and enabling offline functionality, we can provide better commercial outcomes for the business. We can also reduce digital platform’s carbon emissions. This results in a beautiful, conscious and high-performing digital experience. 

Where to start is always the question, and for agency leaders, one of the answers will always be bringing an agency on board that understands conscious design principles and how to make them happen. 

If the internet were a country, it would be the sixth biggest polluter in the world.

For teams, we understand stakeholder buy-in is necessary. If this is the case, be brave enough to ask, “Are we doing enough about our carbon footprint?” “Do we have a sustainability plan for this project?”.

Linking it to business goals is useful. Take SEO as an objective. Suppose this is on your agency’s to-do list. In that case, a good technical SEO strategy means energy consumption is naturally lowered as it aims to improve page speed by reducing the number and size of assets that need to be loaded. 

In any case, it’s essential to remember that no brand or business has perfected this yet. We know we’re not perfect either. It’s an always-evolving learning curve about how to do better. Committing to green practices isn’t a ‘once and done’ process but an effective starting point.

No one should judge an organisation for not having it ‘made’ yet; this is a collaborative effort. We can do this together. 

In this vein, there are some great companies businesses can partner with to support them on their journey. For example, we know that if we wish to design digital experiences that are positive for people and the planet, we must take responsibility for the environmental impact of our work.

We use ecosia.org whenever we search online and as a browser extension. The profits are used to plant trees around the world. We also work with Ecologi.com, which helps businesses calculate climate action. Our conscious actions have resulted in ten fewer tonnes of carbon entering our atmosphere.

Every brand and business’ journey will be different. All that matters is starting and caring about the difference you can make. Yes, every first step takes courage. But every step can become a leap. 

Do you want to share your agency journey? Email [email protected]

Join 3,000+ agencies

Get the Agency Hackers Newsletter, and read candid stories from other agency leaders.