EFWA's Mission for a Cleaner Internet: Changes to Accreditation Programs

March 13, 2023

EFWA's Mission for a Cleaner Internet: Changes to Accreditation Programs

Eco-Friendly Web Alliance (EFWA), a social enterprise committed to promoting digital sustainability and working towards a cleaner, greener internet has announced a significant positive change to its accreditation programs.

Following a review by its advisory committee, EFWA has decided to phase out its Eco-Friendly Website Accreditation program in a year. This accreditation program was initiated as a first step to encourage website owners to reduce the carbon footprint of their web pages to a minimum recommended level of carbon per page and promote responsible consumption. After website owners had taken the first step of reducing their website's carbon footprint, the next objective was to encourage them to adopt responsible green-hosting and taking responsibility for their website's emissions based on the annual page views. This initiative is supported by EFWA's second accreditation program, the "Carbon-Conscious Website Accreditation".

We will extend support to current eco-friendly websites for the next 12 months. Additionally, they will have the option to upgrade to the Carbon-Conscious Website Accreditation program, at no extra cost, except for direct costs for taking the responsibility for their website’s emissions based on page views for the year, using nature-based solutions. Depending on their preferences, they can do this directly or through us, using high integrity, science-backed nature-based solutions.

Moving forward, our accreditation efforts will be centred on achieving climate positivity on websites.

Renewable energy, wind turbines

This change reflects the EFWA’s commitment to encouraging website owners to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable digital habits.

In order to encourage further carbon reduction, EFWA plans to introduce a new grading system aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of websites. The current recommended limit for this system is 1 gram of carbon per page view. In the future, EFWA may begin to recognise websites with even lower page per view carbon emissions. This could potentially encourage website owners to actively work towards reducing the carbon footprint of all their web pages. As a practical starting point for carbon reduction efforts, 1 gram of carbon is considered achievable for most existing websites. If the recommended limit is set too low, it might not drive enough change to have a meaningful impact on reducing the carbon footprint. EFWA plans to recognise websites that have a lower carbon per page view than the minimum recommended limit as we progress.

In addition to maintaining the web pages of the website within the recommended limit of carbon, the Carbon-Conscious Website Accreditation program requires website owners take further steps such as using green-hosting services and taking responsibility for their website’s emissions at the end of the year based on page views. By going beyond these efforts and reducing their website’s total carbon footprint by at least 10% more than the estimated emissions, these websites will achieve below-zero emissions.

EFWA is a mission-driven social enterprise, motivated by climate impact. EFWA is a member of The Association of Sustainability Practitioners (ASP), Organisation for Responsible Businesses (ORB) and a force for good, B Corporation Certified (Pending). From campaigning for climate change and responsible consumption of digital technologies, and knowledge-sharing to our social impact, EFWA is committed to a cleaner greener web and a sustainable world for everyone. We are committed to learning from each other, from the sustainability community, and our peers and constantly improving. Sustainable digital habits undoubtedly are essential for a cleaner, greener future. While websites are just one aspect of our digital consumption, they are a significant contributor to carbon emissions. Therefore, it is important to take a step in the right direction by reducing the carbon footprint of websites, and addressing the rest of the ecosystem as we move forward.

In order to achieve digital sustainability, we believe that it is important to support as many deserving organisations as possible. We offer fee concessions for our website accreditation. Registered charities, educational institutions, environmental associations, and the public sector are eligible for full-fee concessions. We have been issuing accreditations for more than a year to registered charities at no cost for their websites, upon meeting the standard. EFWA also provides concessions to freelancers, individuals, and small businesses. We continuously review our approach to extend our support to more deserving organisations.

There is still a long way to go in achieving sustainable digital habits. As a community, EFWA is committed to working together with its peers to progress towards a cleaner, greener internet.

Contact:

Eco-Friendly Web Alliance (EFWA)
Email: info@ecofriendlyweb.org

Updated 17.03.23

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