Create the best websites in the world, use our business as a force for good, and help to accelerate the shift to an Internet that’s good for people and planet
Wholegrain Digital was founded in 2007 by husband and wife, Tom and Vineeta Greenwood, with the aim of helping positive organisations to thrive online. We wanted to see whether we could create a truly sustainable business using design and tech for good.
Our customer-first approach led us to identify that WordPress was the perfect platform to meet our clients’ needs, so we specialised and became London’s first WordPress agency. For over a decade, we have been using WordPress at scale for positive businesses, the public sector and charities.
Our passion for sustainability has driven us to refine our process, become industry leaders in web sustainability and performance, helping to shift the industry towards a zero-carbon future.
Ambitiously Sustainable. Positively Brave.
We are ambitious in both our design and development practices and our desire to create a more sustainable world through our work. Already leaders in creating websites that offer the best user experience while following sustainable practice, we also aim to act as a catalyst for our industry, towards a shift to a greener internet, and a more sustainable future for us all.
We approach all of our work with a ‘can do’ attitude, with a focus on what is possible without compromising on our core values. This means that we need to be brave enough to stand up for what we believe in when necessary, even (especially!) when our resulting actions may be unpopular. We maintain our integrity, while always seeking solutions that make for a positive result for everyone involved.
To exceed carbon neutral by the end of FY2019-20 (completed) and exceed this on all 3 scopes by the end of FY2023-24 (completed)
To ensure that the average CO2/page view of all new websites is less than the industry average (currently 0.5 grams per page view)
To increase the proportion of our client’s websites using web hosting powered by renewable sources to 50% by 2020 (completed) and 100% by 2026
How we use business as a force for good
We have declared a Climate Emergency and act accordingly.
We are a certified living wage employer and have an industry leading maximum wage ratio of 3 (real ratio is even lower).
We minimise printing, use recycled, organic and/or FSC certified materials for all printed goods where possible and strive to use only vegetable based inks.
In 2020, we moved away from offsetting our carbon emissions, to ‘carbon synching’ – the idea that we need to not just remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but we need to do it at roughly the same speed (or faster) than we are emitting it. To the end of FY2019/20 we had already planted 2224 trees in ecosystem restoration projects, nearly double our target.
We provide staff with free access to London’s Santander Cycles to help them get around efficiently and keep fit.
We positively and negatively screen all clients to ensure that our work is making a positive impact.
We actively promote green web design, calculating the approximate energy consumption and carbon emissions of all websites that we work on.
We host all of our own websites (including dev sites) on energy efficient servers using 100% renewable energy.
We created the world’s first website carbon calculator and were lead authors of the Sustainable Web Manifesto.
We have a genuine open hiring policy that focuses on individuals not arbitrary criteria.
We provide staff with rewards for using renewable energy at home, and provide additional travel time to team members who choose sustainable travel options for their holidays.
All of our non-sensitive internal web projects are released as open source.
We use second hand equipment where available and donate used computers to Computers 4 Africa.
We prioritise efficient, low emission transport and never fly for business.
We are members of 1% for the planet, giving back 1% of our annual sales to support nonprofits focused on the environment.
We are a Certified B Corporation and support the B Corp movement and business community wherever we can.
We only serve low impact, healthy, plant based food when catering for company events and prioritise suppliers and brands committed to organic, fair trade and low food waste.
Our team voted for a vegetarian only expense policy, and in addition our team Christmas meal is always held at a vegetarian or vegan restaurant.