SoBold: why collective intelligence is vital for sustainability

Published on January 28, 2022 by Alex Eade

Digital sustainability is a huge passion of ours, and we love learning more from other innovative agencies about how they are becoming more sustainable. One such agency is a partner of ours – SoBold – who specialise in WordPress Development and UX and UI design. We sat down with Account Manager, Harriet, and Frontend WordPress Developer, Jen, to ask them a few questions…  


Q – Please introduce yourself and your business

A – (Harriet) Hi, I’m Harriet from SoBold. I’m one of the account managers here and we are a design and development agency specializing in WordPress. We’re a team of 15 and that’s made up of UX and UI design and front end and back end developers. We’ve been partners with Footprint for about two years now and we’ve worked on many projects alongside them.

Q – Why is sustainability important to you personally?

A – (Jen) Positive impact is the keyword here. I think we all aim to do work that has a positive impact on the environment around us and I feel like especially here at SoBold with the kind of work we do, we have the chance to make a difference. 

Q – What are some of the ways you have incorporated sustainability into your business?

A – (Jen) Talking about the dev[elopment] process, especially, we’re keeping sustainability at the forefront of what we do. We aim to deliver websites that are SEO friendly and accessible and an SEO friendly website is an accessible website, is a sustainable website and that incorporates using several technologies as well.

We’re using SEMrush, EcoGrader, and Lighthouse to ensure we’re really covering all of our bases in terms of SEO, accessibility, and sustainability.

We’re also part of the cycle to work scheme. We’re aiming to reduce takeaway drinks by offering coffee and teas and hot drinks in the office.

We don’t want to be disingenuous, it’s an ongoing journey and we’re always learning ourselves. There are still mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned, but I think we’re getting there.

Q – How can businesses get their employees more involved in sustainability efforts?

A – (Jen) Get people more involved by highlighting the creative challenges it offers. Involve people in the problem-solving process, give people the feeling that the work they do can really make a difference, and highlight the impact.

Champion successes and have an achievable goal to work towards as well.

There are other things like offering workshops and training. For me as a developer, especially, it demands a higher knowledge of the work I do, and that really for me is a big driver to be the best developer I can be, really, to solve these creative problems and yeah, lead by example and create a sustainable environment.

Q – What is your one tip for anybody to become more digitally sustainable? 

A – (Jen) Basically, treat the online the same as you would with the offline world. When browsing, be more mindful of the information you put out, pose yourself to higher standards and realize the impact you can have negative and positive, and maybe every now and then close the laptop and put your phone down.

Q – How important is innovation for sustainability? (do you have any examples of innovation in your field that has made sustainability more achievable?) 

​​A – (Harriet) One of the main things we’ve done on this point is to move our hosting, our website hosting over to a greener environment based out in Cambridgeshire. This is run on renewable energy and we don’t share our hosting space with any other agencies or website providers. So that means that our websites are the sole once hosted there and they will be running faster if the shift towards being more sustainable.

There’s been a huge shift in culture and business culture in the last few years. There’s way more collaboration. There are companies like Wholegrain who share their themes and their tools for everyone to use encouraging corporations and using this collective intelligence to make a difference and to come up with new innovations.

So I think one of the main things we can take away from this conversation today is to have a collaborative approach. It’s definitely a long road ahead for us at so bold. It’s a never-ending journey and we are learning as we go along, but we’re we hope to continue to become more sustainable as we grow as a business.

Find out more about Harriet and Jen here 

Discover our Digital Carbon Footprint Audit here