A streamlined and guided process is followed for both eco-friendly website and climate-positive website accreditations. Following the process, the accreditation lasts for a 1-3 year period before renewal.

The Accreditation Process
The Accreditation Process

Pre-Accreditation Services

Stage 1 – Initial Audit

A free no-obligation website audit is offered to organisations. You will receive a report on your website’s carbon emissions and recommendations on improving the website’s environmental impact.

As this is not part of the formal accreditation process it is not a pass or fail audit, and gives you an idea as to how your website is from a carbon emissions perspective across key pages of the website and also the hosting of the website.

Accreditation

Stage 2 – Audit

This audit signals the start of the accreditation process. A full audit is carried out across the website or all main pages of the website.

This audit will assess and verify if all or the main pages of the website are within the estimated 1 gram of CO2 equivalent per page view. If the website is green-hosted or not is also established during this process.  

Stage 2 – Guidance

Guidance where required will be offered at this stage in the form of a document, if the website’s pages are over the recommended limit of 1 gram of CO2 per page view. Tips as to how to reduce carbon emissions of the web pages, reducing overall page size without losing key elements and tips that would lead to improving performance would be shared.

Stage 3 – Follow-up Audit

This follow-up audit is carried out across the website, of all main pages of the website to check if the website meets the standard.

This audit will assess and verify if all pages of the website are within the estimated 1 gram of CO2 per page view. Reducing web pages to be under 1 gram of CO2 is a meaningful step where each page of the website will be emitting on average 50% less carbon than the average standard website (the average website we have tested emits about 2 grams of CO2 per page view). This is a good way to practice responsible consumption in terms of your digital presence.

If the website is green-hosted or not is also checked during this audit.

Stage 4 – Verification Directory

At this stage, following a satisfactory follow-up audit above, the EFWA accreditation logo is issued. The website will be added to the EFWA Verification Directory available on the EFWA website, which allows any stakeholders to perform a verification if the website is currently in the EFWA directory, whether it is a live accreditation, registration ID, URL of the website that is being accredited and also the company/organisation that the website is attached to. A communications resource pack is also sent at this stage.

The accreditation year begins once your website is added to the verification directory.

Stage 5 – Quarterly Audits

The website will also receive quarterly audits from us to help you maintain this eco standard. These audits are performed over the internet in a low-carbon manner with no effort overheads to you. If website requires corrective actions, then you will be notified with a sufficient window to complete them. You will receive an audit report every quarter.

On-going Commitment 

Continue to maintain the website within the standard. This is a meaningful on-going commitment to operating your website within a low-carbon threshold and taking responsibility, inspiring others and setting a powerful example. 

Additional Requirements for Climate-Positive Website Accreditation

In addition to the requirements for Eco-Friendly Website Accreditation, the Climate-Positive Website Accreditation requires two additional steps to be completed.

Green-hosting

It is part of the requirement that the website is green-hosted, that it is hosted by a hosting provider that runs their services using a data centre that runs on green energy. If the website is not green-hosted then you can do so at the next renewal for hosting. This will be flagged up during quarterly audits.

Please think about selecting a hosting service whose servers are entirely powered by renewable energy. By making this switch, you could cut significantly your organisation’s digital emissions, as data centre consumption accounts for around 15% of the internet’s overall emissions.

The Green Web Foundation‘s database of nearly 500 hosting companies worldwide that have a proven commitment to using green energy in their data centres is a good place to look if you’re searching for a new hosting provider.

Take responsibility for your website’s emissions

The second part of the criteria is that you take responsibility for your website’s emissions. At the end of the year, based on the page views you have had, and by multiplying this by the average emissions per page of your website, the amount of carbon that you need to be responsible for can be worked out.

Just to give you an example, a website that is averaging 2g of CO2 per page view, with 5,000 monthly page views produces roughly 100 kg of carbon for a year. We recommend insetting over offsetting but sometimes insetting is not feasible due to the business model (for manufacturing of course you have more opportunities to do that within your activities, and processes). You can look at regenerative farming, rewilding or reforestation carried out in a credible way (please stay away from monoculture plantations) to now take responsibility for your website’s emissions.

You can do so at the end of the year or every quarter or every six months. In order to maintain the integrity of the process, we do not tell you which provider/company to do this through, it is your choice and you can do it directly. It won’t be fair for us to recommend one provider over another. The standard set by the scientific advisory board has set the standard and is responsible for its review and progression.

Simply share proof that you have taken responsibility for the website’s emissions at the end of the year (i.e. a receipt, dashboard). 

The carbon emissions calculation methodology

Making the most practical, realistic estimates possible is the approach behind our calculation. Although measuring a website’s carbon emissions is challenging, by concentrating on the data transfer that takes place when a page is loaded, energy intensity of internet data, data centre energy source, and carbon intensity of electricity, we can get a decent estimate. The carbon intensity of grid electricity is based on the international average as reported by the IEA.

Energy utilisation is closely correlated with the amount of data transferred during the loading of a webpage. When a web page loads, data is sent across the wire that is measured by the carbon calculator and multiplied by data on energy consumption. As these files might already be cached on their devices, there is a correction for subsequent visits by the same people to your website.

EFWA supports our industry peers’ work on researching and developing an up-to-date unified approach. 

How can we help you?

Get in touch to see how we can help you make a difference.

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