March 1, 2023


ImageEngine and Sustainability

What ImageEngine Does

ImageEngine is an image CDN that provides lightning-fast user experiences by significantly reducing the size of images so that customers can enjoy smooth loading times with high-quality visuals. The core feature of ImageEngine’s image CDN is to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored on the internet so that images can appear on users’ screens as quickly as possible while still looking great. 

In addition to a lean website and a better experience for the end users, ImageEngine will reduce the carbon footprint caused by images on websites and in apps. Transmitting overweight images requires more electricity across the internet and takes more energy for computers and devices to display on the screen. While this might not seem very important, considering how many millions of websites are loaded daily – it all adds up!

With ImageEngine, customers can experience an average saving of 70-80% in their data payload. Not only that – lower transmission also translates to less electricity consumption and a corresponding drop in carbon emissions! By using ImageEngine, customers can decrease data transmission and simplify infrastructure, decrease electricity consumption, and ultimately the number of CO2 emissions produced from energy production – making for a more efficient process.

Last year, ImageEngine prevented more than 3000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents from being emitted on behalf of our customers.

Reducing Our Customers’ Carbon Footprint

Our customers are doing their part to reduce carbon footprints and be more sustainable. ImageEngine is essential to that ambition, helping them become either carbon neutral or even go beyond with a negative footprint by addressing “Scope 3” emissions. Utilizing ImageEngine reduces the carbon footprint of our customers’ websites and apps. 

Our Goals for ImageEngine

By 2030, we aim to power 100% of ImageEngine’s image CDN with electricity generated from renewable sources.

Green energy

ImageEngine is deeply committed to sustainability: an impressive 90% of our infrastructure currently runs on renewable energy sources.

Reducing Energy Consumption

We ensure ImageEngine is fast, reliable, and energy efficient. For example, we rewrote the entire codebase to C and Go, among our use case’s most energy-efficient programming languages.

ImageEngine’s Carbon Emissions

ImageEngine plays a vital role in reducing emissions caused by images online and is largely powered by renewable energy sources. However, some emissions still need to be addressed – and we are committed to our continued efforts toward a greener future!

Because ImageEngine is a global content delivery network, many servers are required to deliver your content worldwide. These servers perform tasks such as storing files and processing data. Running servers and transmitting data to operate ImageEngine involves a lot of electricity.

A significant portion of ImageEngine is utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS itself has a sustainability policy. We actively select the regions where AWS can provide energy from renewable sources. 

In addition to AWS, ImageEngine may use other data centers to ensure our customers’ best possible service level. For many supporting services and to serve parts of the American market, for example, ImageEngine runs in data centers from NTT, which are LEED certified.

Our Strategy Towards Carbon Neutrality

We aim to power ImageEngine 100% with renewable, sustainable energy by 2030.

Our AWS operations are expected to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2025.

An essential part of our strategy is to select vendors based on their documented efforts to reduce their operations’ carbon footprint and electricity sources. 

For example, when ImageEngine expands to new data centers or PoPs (Points or Presence), we evaluate vendors who can prove that the electricity powering the data center originates from renewable sources and that the company is generally operated sustainably.

ImageEngine software and architecture are designed to be modular and independent of specific vendors or geographical locations. This makes it easy to move processing and storage to more sustainable areas and helps our customers make choices that will go the extra mile to reduce their carbon footprint.

Our team thinks of energy as a scarce resource. Efficient code and lean infrastructure are as important to us as any other product feature. This strategy comes at a small investment but pays off quickly, not only in resource efficiency but also economically and for general product performance.

Our team recognizes energy conservation as a critical aspect of our work. We prioritize developing and implementing efficient code, lean infrastructure, and other features that ultimately maximize our resources – from an economic standpoint and in terms of product performance optimization. This comes with modest upfront investments but delivers value over time.

Offsetting ImageEngine’s Carbon Footprint

For ImageEngine to be able to offer a global, low-latency service for all our customers and their users, we’re occasionally forced to choose vendors who do not comply with our policy for renewable energy. Through strategic partnerships in these regions, we can achieve an overall positive environmental impact due to the reduced payload transported over the network.

Put simply: measuring and accounting for those types of emissions is essential.

To calculate the amount of CO2e we need to compensate for, we’ve used the Sustainable Web Design (SWD) model. It is designed to work with well-known standards like the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and allows us to use known numbers where we can and default values elsewhere to ensure transparency. 

The model estimates the total electricity consumption of ImageEnigne. Then, based on the actual usage around the globe, a relevant carbon intensity per kWh is applied in different data centers, and we arrive at an amount of CO2e to compensate for.

The complete documentation is available here.

Regardless, until ImageEngine is powered 100% by renewable energy, we compensate for the emissions by purchasing carbon offsets for the total of currently unavoidable emissions.

By purchasing carbon offsets, we financially support projects around the world equal to the emission amount produced by ImageEngine.

We exclusively support projects verified by Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard, Climate Action Reserve, or similar verifiers.

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