BBC Good Food

Helping a website reliant on imagery become more energy efficient

The BBC good food website homepage

Project overview

We collaborated with Immediate Media Company, a British multinational publishing house, to quantify the digital carbon footprint of one of their websites, BBC Good Food. 

The challenge with this project was that because of the nature of this website, the vast majority of its pages are heavily reliant on high quality imagery, we we needed to find a way to minimise the impact of this without impacting the quality or performance the site.

In order to achieve this, our key objective was to to better understand and measure the website’s annual carbon footprint, so that we could identify the most polluting pages and offer recommendations to reduce their impact on the environment.


  • In-depth Website Carbon audit
  • Digital Sustainability assessment and recommendations
  • Interactive Digital Sustainability workshop for the Immediate Media team


Annual MWh energy consumption


Tonnes annual CO2 emissions


Av. carbon footprint per page view (of the 30,000 pages audited)

Website carbon audit 

First, we conducted a comprehensive Website Carbon Audit. This helped us quantify the carbon footprint of the individual pages and identify the most polluting based on their popularity.

A dark blue slight with pale green and white writing showing an overview of the statistics for the BBC Good Food website. There is additional information about the figures, such as the annual energy consumption of 1,287 MWh being enough electricity to power 444 households in Britain for a year and that the 215 tonnes of C02 (website emissions) is approximately the same weight as the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Due to the size of this website with tens of thousands of URLs, the Immediate Media team decided to review ‘only’ the first 30,000 URLs on the BBC Good Food website.

This helped us understand the structure of the site while making recommendations for energy efficiency on the most visited pages.

Design & Development Review

Following the Website Carbon Audit, we focused on reviewing the design and code of the most carbon heavy and the most frequently visited pages. We were also looking for pages that were different in structure, on which we could offer recommendations that would achieve significant energy and carbon savings across the website. 

Our team of design and development experts performed a thorough assessment, which formed the basis we needed to create a backlog – a list of actionable recommendations for the Immediate Media team.

One of the key deliverables was a backlog - a list of all recommendations that could improve the site’s energy efficiency and carbon footprint. This image shows the backlog displayed on a laptop, with the details blurred out but the areas of improvement - such as 'Images and colour' and 'Data transfer' are visible, as is the priority coding (medium to high).

These recommendations could also be applied to other websites in their portfolio, thus making an even bigger positive impact. 

With this in mind, we also delivered a bespoke Sustainable Web Design Masterclass for the Immediate Media’s internal design and development teams, to give them the techniques they need to reduce the carbon footprint of all of their websites. 

The Wholegrain team helped us to calculate the carbon footprint of the website and provided us with detailed, actionable improvements to reduce our impact across all our sites. They have played a pivotal role in raising our awareness on the subject, and powered us to champion sustainability within our department.

Linzi Ricketts

Linzi Ricketts