The way we serve our video content impacts the environment

When we think of reducing our environmental impact, many of us might think of tangible changes, like recycling or changing our commutes. What’s less prominently discussed is that our digital, seemingly invisible worlds have an impact, too.

The Internet will soon be responsible for nearly 10% of global electricity usage, or one billion tons of CO2 annually.

We know — yikes! We’re taking small steps to keep both your audience (and the planet) happy

Minimizing server use

We only encode with H.264, which is five to twenty-five times faster than alternative methods for encoding. Faster encoding means we need fewer servers and use less energy to do the same work. We also use “spot fleets” extensively, which lets us leverage otherwise unused servers.

Powered by (mostly) renewable energy

We store our assets in Amazon Web Service (or AWS), which runs on 50% renewable energy, up to 96% once AWS is powered with 100% renewable energy — a target AWS is on path to meet by 2025.

Driven by less storage usage

Since Flash is no longer widely used, we recently stopped encoding Flash assets entirely, which cut our overall storage in half.

Images loaded from the cache

Instead of storing image derivatives in S3, they’re always generated on demand, and we rely on caching from our CDN.

Optimizing asset size

The size of our assets matters here. We use webp for images where possible, which is 30% smaller than jpg, on average.

We know there’s a whole lot more work to do, but we think that bringing these issues to light is a great first step in the right direction.

More resources


There are many things we can do to make sure that the apps we build, the data we share, and the sites we visit are good for people and planet. This site provides an overview of the problem, and some actions we can take.


How green is your website? Ecograder is a free tool that grades your website on sustainable design, green hosting, and sustainable development.

Stripe’s Carbon Neutral Journey

In 2017, Stripe decided to explore what it would take to become a carbon-neutral company. Increment published the process, motivation, and a worksheet for you, too.