UK Green Building Council

A sustainable site build for the voice of our sustainable Built Environment

Image of the UKGBC website homepage. The brand colours are a dark-ish blue with white text, with a speech bubble to emphasise 'The voice of our sustainable built environment' in a bright teal, with a darker blue text.

Project overview

A charity with over 700 member organisations spanning the built environment sector, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is on a mission to unite the UK building industry using sustainability as a catalyst to positively transform the places people use every day.

We worked with UKGBC in early 2023, to build them a new, superlight website that better reflects this focus on sustainability. By embedding our Digital Sustainability services from before we even began this project, we worked in an evolutionary way that ensured sustainability was analysed and solutions adjusted at every step. The end result is a site that, if it receives the same traffic as the same period last year, will generate 94% less carbon footprint compared to the old site.


  • Digital Sustainability analysis
  • Content strategy
  • SEO consultancy
  • Technical solution for sustainable brand design
  • Post project sustainability analysis


CO2 per homepage view


Page load time


Homepage Lighthouse Performance score

Digital Sustainability First

As UKGBC is the voice of our sustainable built environment, it was super important to them to approach this project with a sustainability first approach.

Image from UKGBC Digital Sustanability presentation. Shows connected lights across a map, with the text 'The internet is built'

To ensure their digital build would be at least as sustainable as their vision for the built environment, we began with a presentation about our Digital Sustainability services before even approaching the discovery phase for this website.

Creating low-carbon content

As the original website was very carbon-heavy, at 1.36g C02 per homepage view, we continued our in-depth digital sustainability analysis alongside the discovery process. 

These processes informed each other, as we took an evolutionary approach to the project, checking in at each stage to ensure we were on track with our joint sustainability goals.

Starting with a Website Carbon analysis of the original site content, and with the support of SEO Consultant Ben from fellow B Corp Empower Agency, we reviewed the value of everything on the website and stripped anything that was unnecessary or low-value, in order to streamline the site and make it lighter.

An image of a page of the new website, demonstrating the darker bran palette. This page has a maroon background, with white text and orange line drawing.

An Evolutionary approach for a dynamic dev/design solution

Having removed much of the content from the website, we moved into the design phase, working closely with the UKGBC team to ensure that everyone was happy with the changes we made to ensure the new design would be more sustainable.

Dom, our designer, started by creating a darker brand pallette, which would save further energy than using the classic lighter background across the whole site. 

The original website was very image heavy, so for the new site we replaced many of the header images with lighter svg illustrations and engaging font types, using system fonts, which also use less energy.

Full screen image of one of the pixellated photos that led the design of this low carbon website.

The amount of images on the site remained a concern, but our developer Patrick saw an opportunity in the site build, to come up with a solution that then informed the development of the brand design.

By processing the image files in a specific way, this created a unique pixellated look and feel which fed into how we approached the design and development of the whole site, ensuring we convert almost all image files this way. This drastically reduced their weight, so that on the final site, images across the entire website are now approximately 95% smaller than on the old site.

A full screen image shown on a laptop, showcasing UKGBC's reflections and statistics from the building of this new sustainable website

Post project analysis

Our analysis of this project demonstrated the real difference that taking a Sustainability First approach can have to the outcome. 

With a focus on reviewing the impact of the site at every stage, we were able to find a creative low-carbon solution that gives the new site its unique look and feel, elevating the brand design by making it more impactful – while having less impact on the environment. You can read more detail on how we worked with UKGBC on this project over on our blog.

The carbon reduction we’ve been able to achieve with the Wholegrain team, thanks to their focus on the importance of sustainability, has been eye-opening! We’ve ended up with a UKGBC website that’s easy to use, has a contemporary look, and mirrors our charitable goals by being as low carbon as possible.

Image of Daisy Everingham from UKGBC

Daisy Everingham