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 evaluates your entire website, beyond just the home page, against the recommended carbon limit per page. It also checks if your site 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

Continuous efforts provide insights and recommendations for further carbon savings.

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 maintained unlimited follow-up audits are available during the accreditation period. These are particularly beneficial if the website is revamped, re-branded, or undergoes change. These audits 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 of website, and associated company or organisation, green-hosted status and the measures taken to address its carbon footprint annually.
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6. Quarterly Audits

Every quarter, the website will undergo comprehensive audits to ensure ongoing compliance with the eco standard, providing insights that drive further carbon reduction. These audits will be performed in an environmentally friendly, low-carbon manner. Should corrective actions be necessary, the website owners will be given adequate notice to complete them. A detailed audit report will be provided.

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 that the website is green-hosted. This means that the hosting provider uses data centres powered by renewable energy to run their services. By selecting a hosting service that is entirely powered by renewable energy, you can significantly reduce your website's emissions. By using a green host, you can reduce the carbon emissions of a website by about 9%. If you're searching for a new hosting provider, the Green Web Foundation's database is a great place to start. It features nearly five hundred hosting companies worldwide that have a proven commitment to using green energy in their data centres.

Should your website be on standard hosting, or even if it's green-hosted but not reflecting as such, an additional 10% will be added to the overall carbon footprint. This measure ensures that responsibility is taken for the site's environmental impact.

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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 60 kg of carbon per year. The same website with 500k monthly page views is estimated to emit 6 tonnes of carbon per year. For accredited websites, even if the average carbon is under 1g per page view, each page view is counted as 1g to account for more carbon than estimated.

In terms of taking responsibility for these emissions, insetting is recommended. Insetting involves taking measures within your business to capture or reduce the carbon emissions it produces. Think of insetting as an internal carbon offset, where a company makes eco-friendly changes in its own operations or supply chain. You are expected to recognise the carbon footprint of your website and factor that in when you have taken steps to reduce your organisation's carbon footprint.

If insetting isn't feasible, as a last resort, consider offsetting your emissions by investing in projects like reforestation or renewable energy. If you haven't taken responsibility for your website's annual carbon footprint, we step in at the 6th month of accreditation and take accountability through high-integrity nature/community projects (Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard), adding additional buffers to ensure that the website has 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, beyond our dedication to research, development, and innovation, we stand alongside our industry colleagues, harmonising a unified and up-to-date approach to measuring website carbon emissions. Our active involvement includes being a founding contributor to ComputerWeekly's IT Sustainability Think Tank and providing steadfast support to our fellow industry members and collaborators through participation in the W3C SustyWeb 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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