The Process

Making real progress on climate initiatives requires a commitment to standards and process rigor. This is why organisations seeking climate-positive website accreditation follow a streamlined and guided process to demonstrate their commitment. The accreditation process helps ensure that the standards are consistent and transparent, and by requiring renewal, it encourages continuous improvement.

1

Free Initial Audit

Free no-obligation audit. Report will be sent typically within 3 days.

2

Audit & Guidance

Depending on how quickly you can reach the standard.

3

Follow-up Audit

Verify and measure progress. Skipped if the website is already within the standard in step 1.

4

Verification Directory

Following a final check, the accreditation logo is issued. The website added to verification directory.

5

Quarterly Audits

Quarterly low-carbon audits are conducted online, with follow-ups as needed to maintain the eco standard.

The Accreditation Process

Eco-Friendly Web Alliance (EFWA) has set the world's first eco standard for websites.
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Consistency

Having a streamlined and guided process helps ensure that all organisations seeking website accreditation are held to the same standards. This consistency helps to ensure that the accreditation is credible and trustworthy.
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Verification

Following a rigorous process helps to verify that an organisation is truly following through on its commitments to reducing its digital carbon footprint on its websites and maintaining the standard.
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Transparency

A well-defined process offers transparency into the management of accreditations and governance, which can help to build trust with stakeholders, including customers, employees, and the supply chain.
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Continuous Improvement

Renewal of accreditation helps to keep organisations accountable and encourages them to do better and continuously improve their responsible practices over time.

Pre-Accreditation Services

A streamlined and guided process ensures consistent website accreditation standards.
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1. Initial Audit

The initial audit assesses a representative cross-section of the website against the recommended carbon limit per page. Additionally, the audit determines if the website is hosted using green energy.
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2. Follow-up Audits

To evaluate the progress made based on the initial audit recommendations, free additional follow-up audits will be offered if needed.
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3. Guidance

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce carbon, the audit scope will be expanded in quarterly audits to identify more opportunities for carbon reduction.

Accreditation

The accreditation process helps ensure that the standards are consistent and transparent.
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4. Follow-up Audits

To ensure that the eco standard is achieved for the website, unlimited follow-up audits are offered throughout the accreditation process. These audits are based on the initial audit's scope and are designed to identify any areas that need improvement.
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5. Verification Directory

Upon meeting the eco standard for websites, the website will receive the EFWA accreditation logo and be listed in the EFWA Verification Directory, providing easy verification access for stakeholders. The directory includes crucial information such as the live accreditation status, registration ID, URL, and associated company or organisation. Additionally, a communications resource pack with social media scripts and press release template will be sent to the website owner to inspire others.
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6. Quarterly Audits

Quarterly audits of the website will be conducted to ensure ongoing compliance with the eco standard, and the audit scope will be expanded to identify more carbon reduction opportunities. These audits will be performed in an environmentally friendly, low-carbon manner, with no added effort required from you. Should corrective actions be necessary, you will be given adequate notice to complete them. A detailed audit report will be provided to you.

On-going Commitment

Maintaining your website within the eco standard showcases your commitment to operating your website in an environmentally responsible manner. By keeping the website’s carbon footprint low, you inspire others to do the same, setting a powerful example and taking an active role in promoting a low-carbon future. This is an ongoing obligation that requires attention and dedication, but it is a meaningful and rewarding one.

Green-hosting

As part of the requirement for climate-positive website accreditation for your website, it’s important to choose a green-hosting provider of your choice. This means that the hosting provider uses data centres powered by renewable energy to run their services. If your current provider is not green-hosted, we’ll remind you during our quarterly audits and you are required to switch to a green host within the first six months of accreditation. By selecting a hosting service that is entirely powered by renewable energy, you can significantly reduce your website’s emissions. Data centres are responsible for a substantial amount (around 15%) of the internet’s overall emissions, so making this change can have a significant impact. If you’re searching for a new hosting provider, the Green Web Foundation‘s database is a great place to start. It features nearly 500 hosting companies worldwide that have a proven commitment to using green energy in their data centres.
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Take responsibility for website's carbon footprint

The first step is to calculate the amount of carbon produced by your website. This can be done by multiplying the number of monthly page views by the average emissions per page view. For example, a website with 5,000 monthly page views and average emissions of 1g of CO2e per page view would result in roughly 50 kg of carbon per year. The same website with 50k monthly page views is estimated to emit 1/2 tonne of carbon per year.

In terms of taking responsibility for these emissions, we recommend insetting over offsetting. Insetting involves reducing emissions within your own activities and processes, such as implementing regenerative farming or reforestation practices. However, depending on your business model, insetting may not always be feasible.

In such cases, offsetting is another option. Offsetting involves supporting projects that reduce emissions elsewhere, such as rewilding or reforestation efforts. You can go beyond the actual carbon footprint for the year and achieve below-zero emissions for your website through high-integrity, science-backed Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard nature solutions that remove carbon, restore biodiversity, and improve livelihoods. Alternatively, you can directly support Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard projects that meet the same high-integrity standards.

It is recommended to take responsibility for your website's emissions annually based on the page views of the website. An additional buffer of 25% is added to this amount of carbon footprint to ensure the website does have a clear net positive impact.

To maintain the integrity of the process, the standard for calculating and taking responsibility for emissions has been set by the scientific advisory board and is subject to regular review and progression.

The carbon emissions calculation methodology

The energy consumption of a website is closely tied to the amount of data that is transferred during page loading. The calculation of websites' carbon emissions is guided by our colleagues, using a standardised public methodology that incorporates CO2.js from The Green Web Foundation. A website’s carbon emissions are estimated using several factors, which include data transfer during page loading, internet data energy intensity, data centre energy source, and electricity carbon intensity. The carbon calculation based on CO2.js measures the data transfer and multiplies it by data on energy consumption to determine the carbon emissions. Additionally, certain website visitors may have already cached website files on their devices are factored in and adjusted for subsequent visits accordingly. The carbon intensity of grid electricity is based on the international average reported by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

At EFWA, we support our industry peers in researching and developing a unified and up-to-date approach to measuring website carbon emissions. We are actively supporting our peers, and collaborators in the industry through the W3C Sustainable Web Community Group. Whether it's sharing knowledge, exploring new ideas, or collaborating on initiatives, we believe that working together is the best way to achieve our goal of creating a more sustainable cleaner greener internet.

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