Helping sustainable and purpose-driven companies achieve their online business goals
Ben Schulkin’s commitment to an environmentally conscious lifestyle began in college with Gaia, a campus environmental advocacy group he participated in as he studied to become a web developer. Through Gaia, he’d learned how and why to offset his carbon footprint, which translated in adulthood to prioritizing clean energy to power his home, as well as growing a portion of his family’s food through micro gardening. It also motivated him to start his own green web-design agency after graduation.
“Originally, I was looking for a way to leverage my technical knowledge and web development background while providing benefit to the environment as well. This desire is what led me to create Red Sequoia,” says Schulkin, who founded the company in 2008.
Red Sequoia provides green web design and helps clients reach their target audiences through online marketing initiatives.
Most people do not think of the web-design industry as one with a particularly high environmental burden. However, Schulkin explains, large-scale server farms, or the data centers that host websites, are often powered by burning significant amounts of coal, and they require extensive cooling systems that also use copious amounts of energy.
With traditional web-hosting methods amassing large carbon footprints, Schulkin and his colleagues searched for greener options for their clients. At present, all of Red Sequoia’s websites utilize DreamHost, a web-hosting company that is entirely carbon neutral as a result of investing in US-based renewable energy projects through carbon offsets.
Also, Red Sequoia is a virtual company with no central offices, so there are a number of inherent efficiencies. It does not have employees commuting to work and does not have to power, heat, and cool an office space. The two major home offices, Schulkin’s and web project manager Nathan Coffey’s, are powered by Ethical Electric m ,a company that provides wind and solar electricity to consumers across the country via their existing utility.
Red Sequoia’s commitment to creating positive environmental change draws clients of similar ethics. Recently, for example, Red Sequoia took on an account for the Great Swamp Watershed Association, a nonprofit committed to protecting its local watershed.
“We could design websites for anybody,” says Schulkin. However, “more than 70 percent of our clients are focused on making positive social and environmental change.By working with them, we are helping them to achieve their goals. And by doing that, we’re helping the community and the environment.”