Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSG) 1.0

Draft Community Group Report

Latest published version:
https://w3c.github.io/sustyweb/
Latest editor's draft:
https://w3c.github.io/sustyweb/
Editors:
Alexander Dawson
Tim Frick (Mightybytes)
Feedback:
GitHub w3c/sustyweb (pull requests, new issue, open issues)
Implementation:
Sustainable Web Design
Supplements:
At A Glance
Introduction to Web Sustainability
Quick Reference
Checklist

Abstract

Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSG) 1.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making websites and products more sustainable. Following these guidelines which utilize environment, social, and governance (ESG) principles throughout the decision-making processes, you can minimize your environmental impact through a mixture of user-centered design, performant web development, renewable infrastructure, sustainable business strategy, and (with metrics) various combinations of those mentioned. It should be noted that these guidelines will not address every possible mechanism or strategy to become sustainable, as such, these guidelines (which are notably Web orientated and focused) should be seen as a starting point in a sustainability journey (coverage does not extend for example to manufacturing or shipping of physical products). Following these guidelines will often make Web content more accessible, usable, and performant as a by-product.

To use these guidelines, it is highly recommended that you take a methodical approach. Rather than working through the entire document and broadly attempting to apply everything held within to your project or service, scroll through the table of contents to find a guideline that appeals to either your skill-set or that you (based upon the impact / effort rating) feel comfortable in attempting to tackle. Sustainable change is measured in progress over perfection and by breaking down the specification into achievable goals based upon guidelines or even success criteria, you can more easily progress toward long-term targets. Guideline examples and resources may also provide implementation guidance while benefits can help justify their usage to management.

Status of This Document

This specification was published by the Sustainable Web Design Community Group. It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track. Please note that under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA) there is a limited opt-out and other conditions apply. Learn more about W3C Community and Business Groups.

This document has been reviewed by Community Group members and interested parties. This is a draft document which may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than a work in progress. The Community Group's role in publishing is to draw attention to the specification and to promote its widespread deployment.

By publishing these guidelines, the Community Group does not expect that the work produced in this specification will affect the work undertaken by other W3C sustainability, accessibility, or performance groups. The Community Group will continue to track these Working Groups and Community Groups as appropriate. This specification closely aligns itself with the principles laid down for Web Platform Design [design-principles], Privacy [privacy-principles], and the Ethical Web [ethical-web-principles].

To provide feedback regarding this specification, the preferred method is using GitHub. It is free to create a GitHub account to file issues. Comments received on the specification cannot result in changes to this version of the guidelines, but may be addressed in errata or future versions of WSG. A list of issues filed as well as archives of previous mailing list public-sustyweb@w3.org (archive) discussions are publicly available. There is currently no preliminary interoperability or implementation report, however potential implementation strategies alongside filtering and categorization of guidelines are showcased within the Sustainable Web Design website.

GitHub Issues are preferred for discussion of this specification.

1. Introduction

This section is non-normative.

1.1 Background on WSG

In 1999, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG22] defined a set of baseline guidance for Web content developers and creators of authoring tools, with the primary goal of promoting Web accessibility through the adoption of inclusive strategies. Through a similar methodology, the Web Sustainability Guidelines promote environmental, social, and economic best practices based on measurable, evidence-based research; aimed at end-users, website or application creators, product owners, stakeholders, tool authors, educators, and policymakers, with the primary goal of reducing harm to the wider ecosystem (regarding people and the planet) through sustainable strategy adoption.

For those unfamiliar with sustainability issues pertaining to the Web, consider that many variables [VARIABLES] may contribute to waste or emissions being produced online.

Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSG) 1.0 is developed in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world. It does so with a goal to provide a shared strategy for Web sustainability that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. WSG 1.0 is designed to apply broadly to different existing Web technologies, and to be testable with a combination of automated testing and human evaluation.

Web sustainability depends not only on sustainable websites and products but also on sustainable Web browsers and other user agents, examples include the performance of rendering and the accurate measuring of website energy use through developer tooling. Authoring tools also have an important role in Web sustainability, by ensuring performant code, reducing waste, and the results are served in the most sustainable way possible.

Significant challenges were encountered finding existing research data to both identify and establish guidance for all the variables which affect Web sustainability, which came as no surprise with the subject being such an emerging and rapidly evolving field. Work will continue in this area in future versions of WSG.

1.2 WSG Layers of Guidance

The individuals and organizations that use WSG 1.0 vary widely and include Web designers and developers, policymakers, purchasing agents, teachers, and students. To meet the varying needs of this audience, several layers of guidance are provided including general guidelines, testable success criteria, impact and effort ratings, advisory potential benefits, documented examples, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) ratings, evidence-based links, and category tags.

All of these layers of guidance (guidelines, success criteria, impact, effort, benefits, reporting, examples, resources, and tags) work together to provide guidance on how to make content more sustainable. Authors are encouraged to view and apply all layers that they can (relevance, time, or budget permitting), including the advisory techniques, to best make their product or service the most sustainable it can become. It should be considered that while great care has been taken to make these guidelines as well-rounded and feature-complete as possible, there will likely be additional tasks authors can perform to improve sustainability which this specification failed to address due to (for example) new techniques becoming available.

1.2.1 Principles

At the top are six principles that provide the foundation for Web Sustainability: clean, efficient, open, honest, regenerative, and resilient.

These guiding principles were chosen to act as the foundation of the WSGs on the basis that they opened the conversation as to what Web sustainability could and should mean for website or application creators and product owners attempting to make a change to benefit people and the planet.

While the primary focus of our guidelines is sustainability in the environmental impact sense, to avoid narrowing our definition, as with many frameworks this specification takes an ESG approach to sustainability. The benefit of this methodology is that while we do recognize the importance of energy / carbon accounting and reduction, we avoid carbon tunnel vision and seek to approach digital sustainability reductions through additional measures such as through the reduction of water waste and raw material conservation such as paper. We also are mindful of the social aspects of sustainability and the importance of people as well as the planet, thereby including important criteria, notes, and cross-links where appropriate to W3C work in accessibility, privacy, and other groups and including mentions of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR), ethical behavior, and other important disciplines.

Of course, principles on their own do not make for good testable guidelines, which is why our guidelines are as heavily evidence-weighted as possible, aligning with existing sustainability reporting frameworks and standards (such as GRI). We also have made every effort possible to map our work to comply with existing and upcoming worldwide regulatory frameworks to assist with compliance.

1.2.2 Guidelines

Under the principles are guidelines. These guidelines provide the basic goals that authors should work toward to make content more sustainable. The guidelines provide the framework and overall objectives to help authors understand the success criteria, which are testable against, to implement better digital solutions. This specification groups guidelines within four categories (User-Experience Design, Web Development, Infrastructure, Product and Business) that overarches Web worker specialisms. It should, however, be noted that while many of these guidelines are curated into categories for simplicity, often they are not limited to a single group and can be utilized within other specialisms for a sustainability benefit. They also come equipped with tags which can be utilized by third-party user-agent tools to filter the criteria on journeys, categories, preferences, or additional variables to benefit the author during the implementation process.

These guidelines also come with both an impact and effort rating system. Whereas Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) uses A to AAA (or in the future, Bronze to Gold) as a measure of conformance against the entire specification, WSG 1.0 uses a simpler system of Low, Medium, or High ratings against each individual guideline to reduce the burden for individuals to identify quick wins or minimal implementations, from long-term benefits or heavy refactoring while encouraging a policy of progress over perfection.

Impact:

Low
Quick sustainability wins.
Medium
Noticeable sustainable impact.
High
Significant long-term benefit.

Effort:

Low
Minimal implementation.
Medium
Some changes needed.
High
Heavy refactoring required.

It should be noted that the coverage of impact and effort may be left open to interpretation, due to the broad and varying nature of how variables can benefit the wider ecosystem. For example, a guideline may have a low impact on preserving water but a high impact on preserving electricity. As such, the nature of benefits is nuanced and may require more in-depth analysis if authors wish to target specific environmental concerns such as water, paper, or mineral waste. This is partially addressed by GRI reporting methodologies, however, impact and effort ratings may be something the community group could address in a future version of the specification to give more targeted advice toward special interest groups wishing to reduce a type of emission.

1.2.3 Success Criteria

For each guideline, testable success criteria are provided. WSG 1.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents or within third-party sources as cited evidence.

1.2.4 Advisory Techniques

For each of the guidelines and success criteria in the WSG 1.0 document itself, the community group has also documented a wide variety of potential benefits. The benefits are informative and may potentially justify scope for compliance with the specification. Examples (where possible) and Resources (third-party evidence-based links) are provided to allow authors to better address the guidelines through implementation and specific techniques.

Furthermore, for those requiring guidelines to be linked to a standardized methodology which can be used in reporting the digital sustainability conformance levels of a business, a section on GRI compliance is provided.

GRI Impact:

As with impact and effort ratings, a similar scoring methodology has been used within each rating section.

Low
This will have a minimal impact within a particular category.
Medium
This will have an impact worthy of consideration within a particular category.
High
This will have a considerable impact within a particular category.
Note

For this specification, an open source Jupyter Notebook was created. As an input, it takes a spreadsheet containing all the guidelines and (using low, medium, or high) their indicators of impact on reduction of server resource usage, network transfer and end-user device usage. Then it takes data from a GreenIT Report [FOOTPRINT] which estimates the environmental impact of the mentioned categories across material use, water use, energy use and GHG emissions. It then combines these datasets and estimates the comparative impact of a given recommendation on different sections of GRI taxonomy.

1.3 Implementation Advice

The following section provides advisory guidance for other specification writers and groups wishing to incorporate digital sustainability within their work (such as W3C Working and Community Groups). If you wish to simply implement our guidelines, feel free to skip over content, otherwise, utilize the best practices within your groups as appropriate.

1.3.1 Considerations

The WSGs have a broad appeal, designed to impact a wide range of Web technologies and related infrastructure as appropriate. With this in mind, when first starting to look to incorporate sustainability within a body of work you may find that certain guidelines more than others will apply to practices.

When designing any fledgling body of work it's worth considering the following:

  • Can a sustainability policy be put in place to vet work appropriately?
  • If any guidelines are applicable, can they be included as "hard and fast rules"?
  • If not (due to a conflict), can this be resolved without impacting the benefit?
  • Can research to identify any sustainability benefits which are yet undiscovered be undertaken?
  • Is education for consumers on a works environmental impact being provided?
Note

When creating specifications or industry-specific documents, cross-reference to specific WSG guidelines that are appropriate for a body of work to connect elements of content to applicable sustainability goals.

Create new sustainability guidelines that are explicitly targeted for a technology (that may be too niche to be included within the WSGs). This would provide additional Success Criteria for an audience to meet.

If you do wish to create additional targeted guidelines, please first consult the SWD-CG as we may be able to include them within the main WSGs or provide guidance to avoid conflicts with other existing guidelines.

1.3.2 Methodology

With the above considerations taken into account, a good next step is to consider sustainability within content and treat sustainability as any other impact target (such as accessibility or performance) by trying to drive change through metrics data. If research exists to back a particular technique as more performant, it's likely to be more sustainable. Often there will be cases where evidence does not exist as Web sustainability is an evolving field and as such, a common sense approach (considering the variables that can impact people and the planet) will be the best method if metrics data cannot be provided to identify the most sustainable option.

Every body of work will have its approach to this and a progress over-perfection methodology is preferred (as doing something is ultimately better than waiting for an ideal fix), but as a general consideration for those who are creating documents that are relied upon by large numbers of individuals, the ESG model which doesn't just account for emissions and the environment but also social factors and good governance are an ideal template to work from. In the context of the Internet this accounts for everyday (but important) factors such as performance, accessibility, privacy by design, security, and reducing waste which all as a by-product have an environmental impact.

It's also important to note that different bodies will have their sustainability challenges, for example, those working on native APIs are more likely to encounter hardware resource consumption (energy usage), whereas language standards will be more considerate of implementors, accessibility, and improving developer workflows. As such, it's worth coordinating with other groups with aligned goals and discussing their sustainability approaches to align work and help improve theirs, accounting for different variables.

Note

Providing sustainability guidance within work can be presented in many ways. One option is to integrate it within existing guidance or specifications (amending the content). Another is to provide notes or in-page sections dedicated to sustainability providing coverage. Or to gently guide individuals into the subject, a dedicated supplement that will be adapted or merged into the specification at the next major version (giving individuals time to adapt) could be created.

1.4 Conformance

As well as sections marked as non-normative, all authoring diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative. The main normative content of WSG 1.0 is composed of guidelines and success criteria, which define requirements that impact conformance claims. Non-normative material provides advisory information to help interpret the guidelines, but does not create requirements that impact a conformance claim.

This section lists requirements for conformance to WSG 1.0. It also provides information about how to make optional conformance claims.

1.4.1 Conformance Requirements

The WSGs approach to conformance differs from WCAG in that in preference to having conformance levels, these guidelines are robustly built so that they can be implemented over time, in a non-specific order, and each will provide some measurable sustainability benefit. As such, conformance is measured upon the implementation of each guideline (and all of its success criteria being met) across the whole website or product.

Note

Total conformance is achieved by meeting every Success Criteria for every guideline within the specification. As a general policy, most websites or products will not likely be able to satisfy all Success Criteria. This could be as a result of time commitments for refactoring code, or because certain guidelines and Success Criteria simply do not apply to your work. In these situations, it is not recommended that authors prioritize conformance over other important website features such as security updates. Pragmatism and progress over perfection should be considered paramount when implementing and conforming to these guidelines.

1.4.2 Conformance Claims

Conformance claims are not required. Authors can conform to WSG 1.0 without making a claim. If a conformance claim is made, then the conformance claim must include the following information:

  1. Date of the claim.
  2. Guidelines title, version, and URI "Web Sustainability Guidelines 1.0 at https://w3c.github.io/sustyweb/".
  3. Conformance: A concise description of Sustainability commitments and list of the guidelines adhered to.
  4. Other: In addition to the required components of a conformance claim above, provide additional information to assist visitor's such as additional steps taken (beyond the specification) to improve sustainability or statistics (metrics) that show the effect of changes which have already been made.
Note

Recording conformance claims may be helpful for utilization within a sustainability statement or a method of proving that you are meeting sustainability reduction targets (such as for internal scope accounting).

1.5 WSG Supporting Documents

The WSG 1.0 document is designed to meet the needs of those who need a stable, referenceable technical specification. Other documents, called supporting documents, are based on this document and address other important purposes, including providing further techniques regarding implementation strategies, guiding authors through the guidelines which apply to their use-case, and how WSG 1.0 would be applied to new technologies.

1.6 Requirements for WSG

WSG 1.0 meets a set of requirements for WSG 1.0 which, in turn, inherit requirements from any prior versions. Requirements structure the overall framework of guidelines and ensure backwards compatibility. The Community Group also used a less formal set of acceptance criteria for success criteria which is based on evidence-supported practices grouped by their impact and implementation upon the Web ecosystem. This allows for further expansion in future versions while maintaining a strict grouping of related (and overlapping) guidelines.

1.7 Versions of Guidance

WSG 1.0 was initiated with the goal of improving Web Sustainability guidance. As no prior version exists, the initial draft was created through initial Community Group meetings, proposals (laid out in meeting minutes), and early draft guidelines were drawn up and refined, leading to the guidelines included in this version. The Community Group considers that WSG 1.0 incrementally advances Web Sustainability in numerous areas, but underscores that not all potential environmental improvements are met by these guidelines.

2. User-Experience Design

Product and user-experience designers are in a unique position. Not only do they often have the ability to dictate the visual aesthetic of a website or application, but they are often the champions of interfaces and the visitor experience.

Having this power gives those working in user-experience the ability to:

By adhering the below guidelines, individuals can make a significant difference in the reduction of front-end sustainability impacts.

2.1 Undertake Systemic Impacts Mapping

There are many variables which can impact the user-experience, and a bunch of these can impact how sustainable your website will be. Attempting to identify where you can make a difference to the visitor and give them a more sustainable experience will be beneficial.

Success Criterion - External Variables

List the negative external variables and identify where your product's sustainable impact can be diminished (systemic design).

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Clearly understanding a systems components can help a product team construct a plan to reduce emissions, especially from third-party services in an organization's supply chain.
  • Privacy: Teams can better prioritize data privacy when they clearly understand a systems components, especially if they can identify potential risks to data protection.
  • Social Equity: Teams can better prioritize social equity when they clearly understand a systems components. They must pay special attention to considerations from underrepresented groups, as these variables may not be well understood or covered in existing best practices.
  • Accessibility: Teams can better prioritize accessibility when they clearly understand a systems components. This is because they will understand their target audience and can identify improvements to make beyond basic inclusive design practices which could provide a well-rounded experience.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

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2.2 Assess and Research Visitor Needs

When creating a product or service, identifying your target audience through user-research, analytics, data collected using ethical anonymous methods, or feedback from and with visitors is important in being able to create a customized service for and with them which is tailor-made for their specific preferences, adapted for any needs they may have, and particularly useful in helping a website or application evolve its service to meet sustainability targets.

Success Criterion - Identify And Define

Primary and secondary target visitors are identified, and their needs are defined through quantitative or qualitative research, testing, or analytics, ensuring your visitors and affected communities remain a close part of the research and testing process.

Success Criterion - Visitor Constraints

Potential visitor constraints like the device age, operating system version, browser, and connection speeds are considered when designing user-experiences.

Success Criterion - Barriers And Access

The team has researched and identified whether a technical, material, or human constraint might require an adapted version of the product or service that reduces barriers or improves access to content.

Success Criterion - Barrier Removal

In the user-research, identify with your visitors if some barriers should be removed (pain points or dark / deceptive design patterns).

Success Criterion - Seat At The Table

When undertaking research, identifying needs, or conducting iterative design work, ensure that all stakeholders including your visitors have an equitable role in the decision-making process.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: Undertaking analytics or research allows you to customize your product or service based on the needs of your visitor. The benefits of this are that emissions will be reduced due to an experience not making assumptions or developing unnecessary features (wasting resources), and being more specific about how you might reduce a product or service's environmental impact.
  • Privacy: Assessing the needs of visitors will help you comply with privacy laws like GDPR, and anonymous analytics alongside test data can also be used to improve privacy.
  • Social Equity: Improved user-experience often means products or services work better for visitors on older devices, in low-bandwidth environments, those with older devices, those in restrictive countries, those who speak different languages, and those with other potential barriers to accessing content. This reduces emissions as less e-waste will be produced if the need for newer equipment becomes less of a priority.
  • Accessibility: Understanding the needs of your visitors through accessibility and trauma-informed research will help you prioritize which inclusive design improvements need to be implemented to enhance an already accessible product or service.
  • Performance: Identifying what visitors require through research and analytics will reduce the potential for technical debt along the product's lifespan, which will help reduce emissions as developers will spend less time building a product with unnecessary features. It can also be used to identify bottlenecks in the user-experience which are causing visitor abandonment. Fixes can be measured and tested against each other, and the benefits of improvements can result in fewer emissions.
  • Economic: Knowing your audience has financial benefits, as they are more likely to purchase your product or service if it meets their requirements. Quantitative data analysis can identify potential cost savings by reducing data payload sizes where optimizations can be made.
  • Conversion: If a product matches an audience's requirements, they will be likely to use it regularly and this will increase its popularity and gain trust, word of mouth, and social standing.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

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2.3 Research Non-Visitor's Needs

If you provide physical goods or services, you may also have to account for the sustainability impact of delivery services. This can often be tricky, but courier companies may provide useful tooling to help you identify emissions data for routing.

Success Criterion - Non-Human Impact

Consider and work with non-users and other stakeholders who might be passively impacted by a digital product or service, such as neighbors accepting parcels, traffic jams due to deliveries, etc. Research their needs and understand how they might be affected.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: To the extent that they can be planned for up-front through verifiable research practices, interventions such as planning with suppliers can potentially significantly reduce the environmental impact of a digital product or service.
  • Social Equity: By including other potentially marginalized groups as part of the research process, product teams can potentially head off unintended consequences or requirements these groups may have before they occur.
  • Accessibility: By including people who might not be primary or secondary users, such as people with disabilities who may be specifically impacted by the need for such services; as key stakeholders in research, this community's specific needs can be better addressed.
  • Economic: Up-front research on a product or service's entire ecosystem, including the wider aspects like indirect services will help organizations more effectively manage project budgets.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

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2.4 Consider Sustainability in Early Ideation

While some things require the use of electricity, during the early ideation phase you could consider wireframing or rapid prototyping (using paper) among other offline tools to reduce energy consumption. Even the electronic versions of these may have a lower carbon cost than committing to building a full-blown experience for each idea.

Success Criterion - Wireframes And Prototypes

Utilize wireframes, and rapid prototyping to quickly build consensus, reduce risk, and lower the number of resources needed to build features.

Success Criterion - Participation And Testing

Involve your users within the iteration and design process using participatory design, and when conducting user-testing reach out to your community to help improve your product by allowing them to apply their knowledge and experience to your product or service.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Incorporating wireframes, prototypes, and user-testing into early product design cycles improves environmental impact by helping product teams build only the features visitors want. This reduces resource use and lowers emissions.
  • Economic: Early rough ideation can improve financial performance, since organizations won't waste time and money building features people don't use.
  • Conversion: Tested user-interfaces often improve conversion rates as they have been optimized to remove confusing aspects of the layout which cause friction and arrange content to optimize the fastest user-flow (which can help emissions).

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.5 Account for Stakeholder Issues

Brainstorming allows you to flush out ideas before you commit to pursuing a path. Being considerate of not just your visitors but other individuals who may be affected by your product or service (including non-humans, like the environment!) is a useful practical exercise as it may influence your decisions in how you scope your project.

Success Criterion - Human-Centered Brainstorming

In the brainstorming process, consider all stakeholders using a human-centered approach.

Success Criterion - Ecological Brainstorming

In the brainstorming process, take the planetary needs and ecological boundaries into account.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: By helping key project stakeholders better understand the ecological impact of a potential digital product or service, its environmental impact can be identified and reduced throughout its life-cycle.
  • Social Equity: For other potentially marginalized groups, such as those who speak different languages, live in low-bandwidth areas, use older devices, have other barriers to accessing information, and so on, accounting for their needs early in the process will reduce the need for costly redesigns to accompany their requirements later on due to demand (or producing specialist alternative sites to cope with their functionality).
  • Accessibility: By understanding the accessibility communities' requirements in the early stages of a digital project, inclusive design can be prioritized throughout the product or service life-cycle, which will lead to efficiency savings in developer time (due to not having to retrofit accessibility) and fewer emissions from the patching process.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

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2.6 Create a Frictionless Lightweight Experience by Default

When providing the option to download, save, print, or access anything online, defaulting to the most lightweight, least featureful version will reduce emissions through passive browsing; with non-essential information removed from the screen either to be shown when it's required or eliminated.

Success Criterion - Efficient Paths

The path taken to access the service (the initial contact with the website or service) should be as efficient and as simple as possible (time required to complete an action displayed, reducing too much choice, ensuring visitors know what's required at the start of a complex set of steps, etc).

Success Criterion - Patterns For Efficiency

Make your user-journey (when browsing an accessed website or service) as smooth as possible. User-research is key, as is building on established design patterns which people already understand.

Success Criterion - Distraction-Free Design

Visitors can complete tasks without distractions or non-essential features getting in the way.

Success Criterion - Eliminate The Non-Essential

Visitors see only information that is relevant to their experience, without non-essential information being displayed on the screen.

Success Criterion - User-Initiated Actionable Content

Ensure that actionable information such as pop-up or modal windows can only be initiated by the visitor.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Streamlining a user-experience to remove barriers and non-essential items (which eliminates waste from code and content) reduces the amount of time visitors spend on their devices trying to complete tasks or find information. This reduces the amount of energy used and lowers emissions.
  • Privacy: Collecting less information by hiding non-essential features will be beneficial for data protection as you can reduce how much information is presented to the visitor and, in turn, how much is exposed to a minimum (if any is needed during the experience).
  • Social Equity: Lightweight experiences work better for people with older devices, those who live in low-bandwidth environments, and so on. The benefits for lower-powered devices are that fewer emissions will be generated, as the device's reduced capabilities will often have lower energy requirements.
  • Accessibility: Intuitive, lightweight user-experiences that are easy to understand improve accessibility, especially for people with cognitive disabilities, and will benefit sustainability in terms of less confusion which could impact the time spent on websites trying to find content.
  • Performance: Displaying less information on the screen by reducing the amount of content until it is necessary will naturally reduce bandwidth consumption over a lifecycle of a product or service, and may make an experience feel faster.
  • Economic: Lower data payloads resulting from reducing visitor choices and simplifying an interface by reducing the amount of information can help reduce the burden of choice and convince visitors during the decision-to-purchase process.
  • Conversion: Busy websites with too much information laid out haphazardly will lead to confusion and abandonment. Following conventions and patterns with a clean, distraction-free layout will reduce churn, page abandonment and the barriers to entry.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

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2.7 Avoid Unnecessary or an Overabundance of Assets

It's great to have a pretty looking website or application, but to ensure a sustainable design, it's important to avoid cluttering up the interface with too many visuals (which aren't necessary to the content). Keeping a clean design will reduce website rendering, and thereby emissions.

Success Criterion - Decorative Design

Decorative design is used only when it improves the user-experience, and unnecessary assets or ones that fail to benefit the visitor or sustainability are removed (or rendered optional and disabled by default).

Impact & Effort

Impact
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Using fewer typefaces will reduce the page size and use less resources rendering the new font on the visitor's machine for that page's instance (saving DOM rendering cycles).
  • Social Equity: Bloat costs bandwidth, slimming down the web matters to remain inclusive.
  • Accessibility: Decorative design can be intrusive (if marked up incorrectly) or distracting.
  • Performance: HTTP requests can be reduced both with fewer fonts and by creating CSS / SVG sprites if the images are unlikely to change.
  • Conversion: A page with fewer heavy elements is more likely to load within 3 seconds.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

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2.8 Ensure Navigation and Way-Finding Are Well-Structured

Information architecture is a central part of the Web development process, and how you structure a website ensures that people can way-find your content easily. Having appropriately marked-up links within your product or service allows visitors, search engines and social networks to identify key information quickly.

Provide an accessible, easy-to-use navigation menu with search features that help visitors easily find what they need.

Success Criterion - Navigable Sitemaps

Implement an efficient (human-readable) sitemap that is organized and regularly updated helps search engines better index website content, which helps visitors more quickly find what they are looking for.

Success Criterion - New Content

Provide a way for visitors to find out about new content and services.

Impact & Effort

Impact
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Efficient navigation with intuitive search features means visitors spend less time and energy finding what they require and accomplishing tasks. This also lowers emissions.
  • Accessibility: Accessible navigation improves the user-experience for people with disabilities. Being able to find the correct pages quickly also helps to reduce data wastage.
  • Performance: Efficient website structure has an impact on performance in that people can more quickly find what they require. This doesn't necessarily mean pages or assets load faster, but if appropriate way-finding mechanisms are in place, less time on-screen can result, which is beneficial for emissions.
  • Economic: If visitors more quickly find what they need, this could potentially reduce hosting costs if those are based on data transfer.
  • Conversion: Good website structure and navigation can also improve conversion rates if more people find what they require. This could also be true if visitors are alerted to new content they have expressed interest in.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.9 Respect the Visitor's Attention

Time is precious, wasting a visitor's will cause frustration and lead to abandonment or resentment. Additionally, the more time a visitor spends in front of a screen, the more energy they utilize. As such, throwing stuff in front of the visitor vying for their attention might sound like good business (even though we know due to banner blindness it rarely works), but it mostly damages the environment and dissuades the visitor.

Success Criterion - Respecting Attention

Respect a visitor's attention by allowing them to easily control how (and when) they receive information.

Success Criterion - Avoid Distraction

Prioritize features that don't distract people or unnecessarily lengthen the time they spend using the product or service.

Success Criterion - Avoid Attention-keeping

Avoid using infinite scroll or related attention-keeping tactics.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Using pagination rather than infinite scrolling allows individuals to request data on demand rather than encouraging overconsumption, thereby reducing their carbon impact by way of using psychology to encourage healthy (and sustainable) browsing habits.
  • Transparency: Being open and honest with visitors about their experience and avoiding moving their attention in negative ways will lead to greater trust and the potential for repeat custom.
  • Social Equity: By avoiding dark and deceptive patterns and ensuring that the visitor's attention is focused on achieving their aims, you reduce the potential for confusion, mistakes, and lapses in judgement which could lead to consequences for them and the trust they have in your business down the road.
  • Accessibility: Being aware of accessibility barriers and accounting for them within your processess will allow you to reduce barriers to access and prioritize the availability of information for visitors who may access information using different tooling (such as assistive technology like a screen reader). In doing so you can reduce the additional emissions produced from accessibility tools as visitors can find what they want quicker, and less mistakes are likely to be made during a session.
  • Performance: Certain attention-seeking features like notification requests or cookie banners can detract from visitor performance, as time is spent by consumers navigating through methods to close or hide the annoyances. Finding better ways of presenting the information will make an experience feel faster and reduce the barriers to access which trigger a block in the user-flow.
  • Economic: Organizations that monetize visitor attention strive to keep it as long as possible, therefore increasing their product or service's environmental impact. Conversely, organizations that strive to streamline interactions while still meeting visitor's needs (and their own business goals) measurably reduce their product or service's environmental impact, and potentially reach new audiences.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

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2.10 Use Recognized Design Patterns

Visitors can identify patterns fairly easily, and they like browsing websites and apps and feeling as if they know what they are dealing with. As such, focusing your efforts on producing a product or service that is clean and has key components in easy-to-recognize locations (and visuals) will allow faster user-experiences and fewer emissions.

Success Criterion - Design Patterns

Provide only essential components visible at the time they are needed. Where appropriate, interfaces should deploy visual styles (patterns) that are easily recognized and used.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Using easily recognized design components will reduce the amount of time visitors spend browsing between pages, trying to identify the information they came to your resource to locate. As such, the less time visitors spend on your site, the greater the efficiency savings in terms of emissions.
  • Accessibility: Recognizable design patterns can help people with cognitive disabilities easily understand how to perform a task. Similarly, simple layouts often improve access to information as well.
  • Performance: Using recognized patterns which appear where visitors expect, and only when they require them may increase the perceived speed of the website or application as navigation from point-to-point will increase due to the ease of use.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.11 Avoid Manipulative Patterns

Manipulating the visitor into doing things you want them to is a short-term gain, long-term loss tactic tool. It's ethically bad, unsustainable, and should be avoided at all costs.

Success Criterion - Dark and Deceptive Design Patterns

Avoid what are commonly known as dark patterns, deceptive design, or unethical coding techniques, which manipulate visitors into taking actions not necessarily in their best interest (anti-right click, no-copy, requiring an account to purchase, etc).

Success Criterion - Using Advertisements

Advertisements and sponsorships are both ethical and clearly identified with the product or service, only presenting them when they provide real economic and ethical value and don't diminish a visitor's experience.

Success Criterion - Page Tracking

Remove unused and unconsented page tracking.

Success Criterion - Search Engine Optimization

Optimization for search engines, social networks, and third-party services should be organically led with good coding practices and user-experience being the focus, not manipulating the services to gain greater priority through obfuscating content, pages, websites, or applications with redundancy or non-useful and optimized (to the visitor) material.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Many deceptive design patterns have visitors wasting time and energy trying to undo choices they never intended to make. Avoiding them therefore reduces energy use.
  • Privacy: Many deceptive patterns are intentionally designed to undermine data privacy. Ensuring you comply with ethical privacy practices and avoiding such patterns will avoid potential legal conflicts. You also reduce additional data being sent among the providers of tracking and advertising data.
  • Accessibility: Dark and deceptive design patterns often intentionally block or hide access to information, which especially undermines the experience of people with disabilities who use assistive technologies. By avoiding them, you will give those with accessibility needs justification to trust your brand. Furthermore, avoiding unsustainable or carbon intensive implementations will prevent making any existing situations worse.
  • Performance: Interference with the user-interface (such as removing the ability to copy text) causes friction and forces the visitor to spend more time on the page to work around the barrier put in place. This uses additional energy as they try to find a solution onsite, elsewhere, or give up entirely. Using ethical, non-disruptive coding practices will speed up interactions within your website.
  • Economic: Ethical websites incentivize customers to whitelist your website on ad-blockers.
  • Conversion: Avoiding dark and deceptive patterns will likely result in fewer complaints. A classic example of this is the use of CAPTCHAs which can disrupt the visitor, cause accessibility barriers, and reduce the legitimate use of your product or service.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.12 Document and Share Project Outputs

Everything produced by designers, developers, writers and those involved with a project should be in an open format, well maintained, and curated in a common format (so everyone is working from the same model).

Success Criterion - Deliverables Reusability

The deliverables output, including documentation, are used upstream of the project and produced in ways that will allow it to be reused in subsequent projects.

Success Criterion - Deliverables Documentation

Design functionality and technical specifications are documented so that deliverables are comprehensible by the project team and transferable to the development team.

Success Criterion - Deliverables Readability

Ensure that developers have access to code comments and other View Source affordances which can reduce the burden in order to access, understand, maintain, and utilize production ready code as this will reduce redundancy and foster an open source culture.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: Deliverables that are used in common, easy-to-understand formats will take less computer time to learn and adapt to the environment. As such, less energy will be spent trying to manage a project with emissions savings as a consequence.
  • Economic: Well-documented projects that can be implemented with ease are likely to have fewer ongoing costs due to a lower need for maintenance.
  • Conversion: Using an open format, to which anyone can contribute, will have a lower barrier to entry as there will likely be no cost involved in participation. Therefore it will encourage more individuals to play an active role in your project's future.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.13 Use a Design System To Prioritize Interface Consistency

Design systems allow common components and patterns to be formalized and managed within a website or application. By using such a tool, designers and developers can avoid reinventing existing tooling and thereby reduce wasted time (and emissions).

Success Criterion - Design System

Employ a design system based on web standards and recognizable patterns to mutualize interface components and provide a consistent experience for visitors.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Consistent interfaces that employ web standards require less energy and resources across the product ecosystem, as they are usually tightly optimized. Also, design systems that incorporate environmental criteria can help to scale digital sustainability across the enterprise and reduce redundancy within code, resulting in collectively reduced energy use and impact.
  • Social Equity: A design system with standardized, lightweight components will improve access to information for people in low-bandwidth areas, on older devices, and so on. Also, design systems will reduce the chance of biases that could affect such groups being introduced.
  • Accessibility: A design system with accessible components will improve access to information for people with disabilities. Building design features with accessibility baked in by default reduces the potential that people with accessibility requirements will be left out during the website or applications lifecycle.
  • Performance: Design Systems are built using standardized components that reduce the churn of repeat coding, thereby reducing developer coding turnarounds and, as a byproduct, improve performance and reduce emissions during the process. This will inherently reduce emissions considerably through the building of sustainable patterns.
  • Economic: Because of their use of standardized components and their avoidance of redundancy, design systems reduce costs as the development time may be reduced (even accounting for the maintenance time involved in having one). Also, familiar-looking websites that can be browsed with ease are likely to suffer lower bounce rates (where visitors just give up) due to the ease of transition (unlike a unique-looking website which can make navigation increasingly complex).
  • Conversion: Design Systems encourage using recognizable components throughout a design, which will help visitors identify and utilize the product or service successfully. As such, this will reduce complaints and annoyance, which can help increase customer retention. Also, user-interface consistency improves visitor trust as individuals will recognize familiar components within your design and know how to utilize them, and this can improve conversion rates as it will lower the rates of abandonment.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.14 Write With Purpose, in an Accessible, Easy To Understand Format

Everyone should be able to understand what you've written without wasting time staring at a screen or jumping from page-to-page looking for answers, whether they have accessibility requirements or not. This also means avoiding using technical language (without explanations) and including enough information to help direct people (and search engines) from page to page.

Success Criterion - Write Clearly

Write clearly using plain, inclusive language delivered at an easy-to-understand reading level considering accessibility and internationalization inclusions as required (for example, dyslexia).

Success Criterion - Content Formatting

Deliver content formatted in ways that support how people read online, including a clear document structure, visual hierarchy, headings, bulleted lists, line spacing, and so on.

Success Criterion - Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Prioritize SEO at early design stages and throughout a product or service's lifecycle to improve content findability.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: When people can quickly find and comprehend the content they need to make informed decisions, they use less time and resources, which reduces energy use and lowers emissions.
  • Social Equity: Inclusive language that avoids jargon, gendered terms, and so on can improve the user-experience for a broader audience.
  • Accessibility: Plain-language content that can be quickly skimmed is easier to understand, especially for people with cognitive disabilities. Moreover, good document structure works better for assistive technologies such as screen readers.
  • Performance: Good document structure improves search performance as the content will likely rank higher in search engines, which can help people more quickly find the content they need.
  • Economic: Being an authoritative source on a subject can have a positive financial impact on your business, as it can bring income through multiple streams.
  • Conversion: Content which is well-written and authoritative will be cited by third parties and can lead to an increase in traffic.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.15 Take a More Sustainable Approach to Image Assets

Of all the data which comprises the largest over-the-wire transfer rates within the average website or application, images are usually those which are responsible due to their quantity and usefulness. As such, doing all you can to reduce their size and unnecessary loading will be beneficial for sustainability.

Success Criterion - Need For Images

Assess the need for images considering the quantity, format, and size necessary for implementation.

Success Criterion - Optimize Images

Resize, optimize and compress each image (outside the browser), offering different sizes (for each image) for different screen resolutions.

Success Criterion - Lazy Loading

Provide Lazy Loading to ensure image assets only loads when they are required.

Success Criterion - Sizing And Deactivation

Let the visitor select the display size, and provide the option to deactivate images.

Success Criterion - Management And Usage

Set up a media management and use policy to reduce the overall impact of images, with criteria for media compression and file formats.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Image assets often make up the largest part of a web page's overall size. Compressing and delivering them in lightweight formats that improve the user-experience can often reduce the hardware burden on older devices. This in turn can reduce overall consumer e-waste in reducing forced upgrade cycles.
  • Social Equity: Lightweight images work better for visitors in low-bandwidth areas and on older devices, as long as the device can support the formats used.
  • Accessibility: Delivering images in ways that are meaningful to visitors improves access to information.
  • Performance: By optimizing your images, you can significantly speed up your website in terms of HTTP requests, data transfer, and even in some cases the physical rendering effort - all of which have an impact on a visitor's user-experience and speed of access.
  • Economic: Visitor's with data caps will benefit from optimized resources as they will be able to consume more content, and hosts of content will endure smaller bills due to a lower overhead.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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2.16 Take a More Sustainable Approach to Media Assets

Video and audio-heavy websites are often those which can have significant sustainability costs in terms of storage and carbon intensity for viewers who have to process the media with their devices to watch them (draining batteries). Optimizing such assets as much as possible is critical for a sustainable product or service.

Success Criterion - Need For Media

Assess the need for video or sound usage (including only when they add visitor value), and ban non-informative media (background media) including autoplaying functionality.

Success Criterion - Optimize Media

Choose the right media to display by compressing according to the visitor's requirements, selecting the appropriate format, ensuring it works across browsers, and avoiding embedded player plugins.

Success Criterion - Lazy Loading

Media requiring a lot of data to be downloaded on the client side (including the media itself) must be loaded via a facade (a non-functional, static, representational element).

Success Criterion - Labels And Choice

Increase visitor awareness and control by informing them of the length, format, and weight of the media; allowing media deactivation, and giving a choice of resolutions; all while providing alternative resolutions and formats.

Success Criterion - Management And Usage

Set up a media management and use policy to reduce the overall impact of audio and video, with criteria for media compression and file formats.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Media assets like audio and video can be very resource-hungry. Reducing battery draining events such as loading high-effort content until the moment it is required can have savings in terms of pure processing and displaying of the media.
  • Social Equity: Providing alternatives to bandwidth-hungry media will assist those unable to benefit due to their environment.
  • Accessibility: Delivering media assets in ways that convey information in an easy-to-read manner both visually and contextually (even if people are unable to for example see), will allow a wider audience to gain from your content.
  • Performance: Catering your experience to the device, situation, and environment of the visitor will reduce wasted bandwidth (for example, sending a lower resolution for less capable devices). As such, the data savings will translate into a performance boost for those taking advantage of the reduced capabilities.
  • Economic: Being able to avoid media entirely and rely on options such as transcripts will provide huge financial rewards for those who pay for the bandwidth they consume or serve.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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2.17 Take a More Sustainable Approach to Animation

Animation can be both CPU and GPU intensive and have implications for accessibility. While visually appealing and useful in certain situations, care and attention should be taken when considering the use of a high emissions' technology.

Success Criterion - Need For Animation

Use animation only when it adds value to a visitor's experience, and not for decorative elements.

Success Criterion - Avoid Overburdening

Progressively display an appropriate quantity of animation so as not to overburden the visitor or diminish expected device behavior.

Success Criterion - Control Animation

Allow visitors to start, stop, pause or otherwise control animated content.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Animation can be resource intensive. It can utilize both the CPU and GPU, consume a vast amount of RAM, and take a while to render. This is without considering the accessibility and usability issues it contains. By taking all of this into account, allowing the disabling or reduction of animation can be environmentally beneficial.
  • Social Equity: Individuals from different nations and backgrounds may have differing views on the use of animation, and different devices may support different levels of technology. As such, catering to many viewpoints will ensure the widest possible audience.
  • Accessibility: Animation which flashes can potentially trigger seizure conditions such as epilepsy; therefore it is critically important that you avoid any hazards within your designs.
  • Performance: Compressing, removing, or otherwise reducing animation files improves performance as less syntax will exist within your product or service codebase.
  • Economic: Subtle animation can draw the visitor's eye to useful information which could assist you to financial success, but this must be done ethically, and without overdoing it.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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2.18 Take a More Sustainable Approach to Typefaces

Since the advent of the modern web, the ability to include embedded fonts and provide a more customized experience has seen their use explode. They aren't always the most performant option (which poses emissions hazards) and come with a few issues such as Flash Of Unstyled Content (FOUC) / Flash Of Unstyled Text (FOUT) which should be addressed.

Success Criterion - Default Typefaces

Use standard system-level (web-safe / pre-installed) fonts as much as possible.

Success Criterion - Font Optimization

Ensure the number of fonts, and the variants within typefaces (such as weight and characters) are limited within a project, using the most performant file format available.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Reducing the number of fonts being loaded will reduce the amount of rendering that occurs, all of which have a carbon impact (as the physical rendering of non-system typefaces graphically onto every element of the DOM will have an energy commitment).
  • Social Equity: System-level (Web Safe) fonts work across the widest range of devices and platforms, which improves access to information for those who may have tightly regulated browsing habits or limited availability.
  • Performance: By providing Web fonts which are optimized but optional, visitors can experience the product or service with a level of speed versus aesthetic they feel comfortable with.
  • Economic: While pretty, custom typefaces are entirely optional on the Web and, as such, the bandwidth they consume (and the emissions this produces) are unnecessary. This added cost can be eliminated, but the benefit such fonts give in readability or personality for a website or application is worth considering.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.19 Provide Suitable Alternatives to Web Assets

Media, images, fonts, and documents enrich the Internet. The problem is that people may not want to watch a video, listen to an audio file, look at an image, or use a specific application. By providing alternative formats to anything you embed, you ensure the widest possible audience can benefit from it (and reduced carbon output will occur as alternative text will induce less consumer hardware thrashing than its rich media alternative).

Success Criterion - Open Formats

All proprietary file formats (such as PDF) should also be offered in HTML for accessibility and to ensure future availability.

Success Criterion - Font Subsetting

All custom typefaces (using font-display) should be subsetted and offered as part of a font stack with a system font as a backup.

Success Criterion - Alternative Text

All images should provide meaningful alternative text for screen reader users (or when images fail to load) accessibility.

Success Criterion - Audio Alternatives

Audio should provide text transcripts of conversations as an alternative to playing the media.

Success Criterion - Video Alternatives

Video should provide text transcripts (at minimum), subtitles (using WebVTT), and for accessibility best practice, offer closed captions and sign language options.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Offering low-impact alternatives to media formats reduces the amount of battery draining hardware processing required for visitors to find the information they require.
  • Social Equity: Not every visitor will be in a situation where they can watch a video or listen to audio; therefore it makes sense to have a plaintext alternative.
  • Accessibility: Certain accessibility barriers can prevent media from being consumed, as such it's important to offer different ways of viewing a site's content.
  • Performance: Reducing the interactivity of a website doesn't mean a lesser experience, it can help visitors access what they need quicker.
  • Economic: Media is costly to produce and host, text is cheap and takes little data to download, it can help reduce your hosting costs to serve a media-free setting within pages.
  • Conversion: Text alternatives (like transcripts) to media can be indexed by search engines, this can allow your project to be found easier.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.20 Provide Accessible, Usable, Minimal Web Forms

It's understandable that businesses want to know more about their customers, but a key part of sustainability is being ethical towards visitors and as such, the right to privacy is considered paramount. Don't demand information when it's not required and not only will this help visitors complete transactions quicker (reducing emissions), it will help with legal compliance such as GDPR.

Success Criterion - Form Simplicity

Assess the need for forms and reduce form content to the bare minimum necessary to meet the visitor's needs and the organization's business goals. Clearly communicate why a form is necessary, what its value proposition is, how many steps it will take to complete, and what an organization will do with collected data (informed consent).

Success Criterion - Form Functionality

Avoid auto-completion / auto-suggest if it would prove unhelpful (to conserve bandwidth) whilst allowing autofill for ease of repeat entry (including the use of helpful tooling such as password managers).

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Optimizing forms reduces the resources necessary for visitors to complete them and products or services to process them, and in doing so, will reduce the emissions as a byproduct of avoiding using unnecessary hardware at the server or client-side.
  • Privacy: Forms that include informed consent and helpful prompts about cookies, data collection, and so on improve data privacy.
  • Accessibility: Ensuring your forms are well labelled, and accessible not only for those with disabilities but those using a range of different devices and inputs will reduce barriers and thereby form processing will occur with higher success rates.
  • Economic: If visitors can complete forms more successfully, they will suffer less frustration and website owners will get fewer complaints, which will be beneficial in a potential reduction in support costs and result in more visitors likely to continue with purchases on a website.
  • Conversion: Forms that are standards-based and well constructed which consider accessibility will improve conversion rates due to visitors being able to complete forms error-free more regularly.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.21 Support Non-Graphic Ways To Interact With Content

Certain visitors such as those with visual disabilities or speech agents (like Amazon Alexa) may rely on an experience without the graphical part of an interface. As such, they potentially may use less data or may have a different carbon impact on the Web.

Success Criterion - Alternative Interactions

Support speech browsing and other non-graphical ways to interact with content that provide alternatives to a visual interface.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Aural (speech) browsers have no visual component, which reduces the environmental impact they suffer when browsing pages (as a screen is often one of the biggest drainers of a consumers' battery). Being able to look up information through such mechanisms through your product or service thereby will help reduce your overall emissions greatly.
  • Accessibility: People who have accessibility needs and browse the Web using specialist equipment, hardware, or software will benefit from the assistance aids you have built into your product or service.
  • Conversion: Increasing compatibility by supporting a wider range of device types, outside the most popular or well-known sort of hardware and software, will encourage new audiences to visit and potentially become customers.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.22 Provide Useful Notifications To Improve The Visitor's Journey

Notifications whether through the browser or messaging can be potentially useful, but only used in moderation. Spam and the lack of control are contributing sources of Internet emissions and as such, businesses should aim to reduce such actions.

Success Criterion - Notification Justification

Remove non-essential notifications while justifying and reducing the practice of e-mailing or text messaging to what is strictly necessary. Useful notifications (such as alerts for new content) should be used with care and restraint.

Success Criterion - Notification Control

Let the visitor control notifications (for example through the browser, SMS, or by email) and adjust messaging preferences, and the option to unsubscribe, logout, and close an account should be available and visible.

Success Criterion - Prompts And Responses

Help visitors manage expectations by clearly explaining the result of a potential input through helpful prompts and messages that explain errors, next steps, and so on.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Notifications which can inform visitors about important events can help them avoid having to constantly refresh pages, as such they act as a shortcut to only loading information when the information becomes available, leading to emission savings.
  • Privacy: If used appropriately, notifications can provide personalized content to specific devices, which reduces the risk of information exposure.
  • Accessibility: Being able to signpost individuals to information through helpful notifications or error messages will have a beneficial effect of avoiding visitor abandonment. It's especially essential to ensure that all information is presented so that such critical information doesn't discriminate based on an individual's abilities, as you could exclude a massive part of your audience.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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2.23 Reduce the Impact of Downloadable or Physical Documents

Printing or downloading documents can both be a net benefit and a net cost in terms of sustainability as it can reduce repeat requests to websites, but the act of printing (especially when unoptimized) wastes valuable ink and paper.

Success Criterion - Printing Documents

Design documents to limit the printing impact. If the production of paper documents is essential, it should be designed to limit its impact to the lowest possible. Create a CSS Print stylesheet and test it with different types of content. Ensure PDF printing is encouraged over paper-based storage.

Success Criterion - Optimize Documents

Offer optimized, compressed documents in a variety of accessible file formats.

Success Criterion - Optimize Delivery

If a document is likely to be re-used, generate the document once on the server-side (preferably on a cookie-free domain) rather than forcing the effort to be duplicated.

Success Criterion - Labels And Choice

Clearly display the document name, a summary, the file size, and the format, allowing the visitor a choice if possible of both the format, and the language (if not the same as the web page). Furthermore, be sure to avoid embedding the document within Web pages (provide a direct link to download or view within the browser instead).

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Reducing the need to print documents or by providing a printing StyleSheet will remove the emissions from wasted paper and ink.
  • Accessibility: Providing a range of inclusively designed downloadable documents in a variety of formats which the visitor can choose between can benefit those with accessibility needs as they can choose the best fitting download for their device.
  • Performance: Compressing or otherwise optimizing documents will allow them to be downloaded faster by the consumer, which helps visitors avoid having to wait to view uniquely formatted offline files.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Content, UI, Usability, Compatibility, Assets, Performance, Hardware, Software, E-Waste

2.24 Create a Stakeholder-Focused Testing & Prototyping Policy

The organization has policies and practices in place to incorporate stakeholder-focused testing and prototyping into its product development cycles.

Success Criterion - New Features And Perspectives

The organization has outlined processes it uses to prototype and test new features, product ideas, and user-interface components when applicable with real users who represent various stakeholder perspectives, including people with slow connection, with disabilities, with difficulties using digital services and so on.

Success Criterion - Resourcing And Viability

The organization has appropriately resourced these processes to support its long-term product viability.

Success Criterion - Training And Onboarding

The organization has training materials to onboard new product team members to these practices.

Success Criterion - Testing And Validation

The organization regularly conducts extensive testing and user interviews to validate whether the released features are meeting both business goals and visitor needs.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Potentially less energy use and reduced emissions as visitors complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.
  • Economic: Organizational policies that prioritize user-research help to reduce and mitigate risks associated with building the wrong thing (incurring technical debt), which can increase costs. Additionally, iterative testing and prototyping reduces the resources needed to build new features.
  • Conversion: Reduced visitor frustration resulting from a well-researched and built interface will likely result in less visitor churn.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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2.25 Conduct Regular Audits, Regression, and Non-Regression Tests

Products and services at any stage of a project can suffer bugs or issues which need to be resolved. Fixing these regressions also generates additional development and environmental costs. By resolving such issues, you can reduce the chances of a visitor giving up on a session and thereby reduce the amount of wasted energy your website emits overall.

Success Criterion - Regular Issue Testing

Check your codebase for bugs, identify any performance issues, and account for accessibility or security problems at either monthly or quarterly timeframes (depending on your scheduling allowance).

Success Criterion - Non-Regression Tests

Non-regression tests are implemented for all important functionality.

Success Criterion - Regression Tests

Incorporate regression testing into each release cycle to ensure that new features don't introduce bugs or otherwise conflict with existing software functionality.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Regular service audits reduce technical debt, which improves performance and environmental sustainability. Regression analysis also supports continuous improvement and lowers resource use over time, which also reduces emissions.
  • Security: Regular auditing of a product or service will not only identify potential sources of breaches, but it will also identify areas of improvement both in security and privacy.
  • Accessibility: Maintaining inclusivity over time through regular audits and testing reduces outages, improves access to information, and creates a better experience for all users, not just those with accessibility needs.
  • Economic: Ongoing regression testing improves security, which reduces risk and its associated costs.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.26 Incorporate Performance Testing Into Each Major Release-Cycle

Try to ethically measure how efficient a visitor's experience is by analyzing the performance of the website or application and how it has been constructed, by doing so you might be able to reduce any issues they may have encountered previously, decrease loading times, and reduce the burden of loading unnecessary pages.

Success Criterion - Performance Testing

Regularly measure with each release-cycle (using tooling or through research and auditing) the performance of a website or application to identify and resolve bottlenecks or issues in the underlying code or infrastructure which could ultimately impact the sustainability of a website or application.

Success Criterion - Measurement And Compliance

Only collect the data required to provide a streamlined and effective user-journey, put policies in place to ensure strict adherence, and comply with relevant accessibility policies and privacy laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Impact & Effort

Impact
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Alongside the device longevity which inherently comes with having a performant product or service, it can also help you meet the social aspect of ESG targets.
  • Performance: Faster pages that load less data improve performance, as there will be less for rendering engines within browsers to process. Additionally, as the pages are smaller, they will reach the visitor quicker based on their connection speed.
  • Economic: Less data stored and transferred also reduces costs for those hosting content and those who own websites and applications.
  • Conversion: Page load speed can measurably improve conversion rates, as visitors will be less likely to abandon a product or service if the content appears instantaneously.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.27 Incorporate Value Testing Into Each Major Release-Cycle

Occasionally, you may find that features you have developed for a product or service have little to no active users or could be better implemented to bring better value. Undertaking research to identify redundancy allows you to optimize your codebase (and reduce emissions).

Success Criterion - Usage Changes

Consider visitor feedback and monitor adoption and churn rates of product or service features, incorporating insights into future releases.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Feedback can help product teams make choices that improve a product or service's environmental impact, a clear example of this would be ensuring that frequently used features are more visible than lesser used features, thereby reducing the burden of findability. Which helps visitors spend less time attempting to achieve their goals.
  • Performance: User-testing allows you to focus on your product goals, ensuring that you maintain a minimum viable product and not one overburdened with complexity. In doing so, your product or service will be lightweight and run quickly.
  • Economic: If you can avoid wasting development time building features which bring little value to the consumer, your precious resources can be better spent where it will provide a better return.
  • Conversion: Feedback often improves conversion rates because it ensures that your product or service reflects the needs of your audience.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.28 Incorporate Usability Testing Into Each Minor Release-Cycle

Researching a product or service and how it is used over time allows you to iterate and ensure the features and functionality being offered match how user-needs change over time. Doing so will help you reduce code redundancy further and reduce emissions through optimization.

Success Criterion - Usability Testing

Incorporate usability testing into product cycles and measure the impact of these tests for future releases.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: When visitors can quickly and easily accomplish tasks or access information, this reduces the energy they burn searching for answers.
  • Accessibility: Visitor feedback from people with disabilities can inform key improvements within the product or service, which will ensure your website or application can be used by the widest possible audience.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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2.29 Incorporate Compatibility Testing Into Each Release-Cycle

Compatibility is a critical part of the sustainability mindset and should be prioritized through all products and services. If individuals wish to use older devices (or cannot upgrade due to cost), or do not wish to upgrade as frequently, it will reduce the amount of e-waste which enters the system. If something doesn't work, it's also likely to result in visitors suffering a wasted effort or are refused access to your service (and thereby emitting further emissions).

Success Criterion - Compatibility Policy

Establish a policy for compatibility with obsolete devices and software versions, listing the supported devices brands, operating systems, and browsers (including versions).

Success Criterion - Maintaining Compatibility

Avoid planned obsolescence in software updates, striving to maintain compatibility for as long as possible and clearly communicating whether an update is evolutionary (large updates that can significantly reduce performance) or corrective (smaller updates that fix bugs or improve security).

Success Criterion - Frequent Testing

Regularly test the product or service with weak connections, old browsers, and on devices older than five years to ensure compatibility.

Success Criterion - Mobile Friendly

Prototype your interfaces using mobile-first methods to ensure progressive enhancement, content prioritization, and improved accessibility.

Success Criterion - Progressive Web Application's (PWAs)

Consider whether a PWA will be more sustainable and compatible over a native mobile application.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Incompatible websites and applications across the Web encourage people to purchase new devices, which has a giant impact upon the environment due to the amount of e-waste it produces. Additionally, planned obsolescence is one of the biggest contributors to e-waste on the planet. By extending the lifespan and improving digital device compatibility within your site's service plan, it can improve sustainability and slow the upgrade cycle which results from sluggish digital experiences.
  • Social Equity: More compatible products and services that last longer helps to reduce the digital divide, which can be a key issue in cases where income inequality, infrastructure robustness, and other factors play their part (and open your work to new markets). Similarly, because progressive web applications use established web standards, they are available to more people than more cost-prohibitive closed systems (Apple App Store, Google Play, etc).
  • Accessibility: The fourth pillar of Accessibility is robustness. By incorporating accessibility into early prototypes, it becomes a priority for project teams throughout a product's lifecycle. Broken source code can also (in specific cases) impact assistive technologies (such as screen readers) and how they can read content to individuals with visual disabilities. Ensuring semantic code can provide an equal, error-free experience to all.
  • Performance: Incompatible code has an energy cost, when it's non-standard, deprecated or doesn't work on a device it can take additional time to render as it is usually un-optimized for the environment, which will put pressure on the CPU and waste the consumer's battery. Using modern Web standards will help your website run fast in modern browsers.
  • Economic: Product teams benefit from time savings and improved quality, organizations see cost reductions as less refactoring is required due to increased stability, and users benefit from greater trust and potentially lower product costs and maintenance fees as upgrades may not be required as frequently.
  • Conversion: More compatible products and services that last longer can potentially increase conversion rates due to the lower rates of abandonment and a wider market audience which can use a friction-free version of the product or service.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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3. Web Development

Web developers are typically the implementors of ideas and concepts. With the ability to dictate code practices at the front-end and back-end, the ability to impact the visitor and sustainability of a product or service is unquestionable.

With the ability to implement code-based solutions, developers can:

By adhering the below guidelines, individuals can make a significant difference in the reduction of front-end and back-end sustainability impacts.

3.1 Identify Relevant Technical Indicators

Performance is a key part of the sustainability mindset as reductions in loading times can have a considerable impact on energy loads within CPU, GPU, RAM and hard drive caching (among other variables), as such ensuring a performant product is essential.

Success Criterion - Performance Goals

Set goals which impact the environment and performance of the service, for example HTTP requests, or the amount of DOM elements which need to be rendered.

Success Criterion - Accountancy Types

Because the payload being delivered may not always be equal in terms of energy intensity, operators of websites and applications must ensure that consideration is given for the energy intensity (or unit being evaluated) of each component. For example, non-rendering text is less computational than CSS, which in turn is less process-heavy than JavaScript, which is less resource-heavy than WebGL.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Limiting the number of server requests and the size of the DOM decreases a product or service's environmental impact by reducing CPU and GPU cycles, and RAM usage which benefits energy consumption, reducing the need to recharge devices as frequently.
  • Performance: Reducing the hardware utilization as denoted above will also improve performance metrics, as a device will suffer less consumption and thrashing of limited resources.
  • Conversion: Search engines consider web performance in their ranking data, as such a faster website may lead to a higher rank and potentially better conversion rates.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.2 Minify Your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Whitespace holds no value when it's being presented to the visitor (unless they view the source code), by using minification, valuable data savings can be made which will reduce loading times.

Success Criterion - Minify Code

All source code is minified upon compilation (including inline code).

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Performance: Reduced loading times as a result of less data being transferred. Though this does not inherently have an ecological benefit as whitespace is ignored by rendering engines, it does help meet sustainability targets with visitor-based improvements in terms of loading times.
  • Conversion: When a page loads quickly, visitors are less likely to abandon their journey or search for their information elsewhere.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.3 Use Code-Splitting Within Projects

When dealing with heavy components (such as JavaScript), the ability to modularize them into smaller pieces which can be loaded as and when required reduces the amount of redundancy and serves as a great way to make your scripts more sustainable.

Success Criterion - Code Splitting

Breakdown bandwidth-heavy components into segments that can be loaded as required.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Performance: Having smaller (modular) components allows for more optimized caching and loading only what code functions are required (which reduces the payload). Unused portions of a resource remain un-downloaded (potentially huge savings).
  • Economic: Reducing the size of large files will result in lower bandwidth bills for service providers.
  • Conversion: A faster website reduces the chance of abandonment (which is especially of concern for visitors of handheld devices).

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.4 Apply Tree Shaking To Code

Often when coding, projects can accumulate clutter and functions which are no longer used (due to newer, more effective features being developed). By utilizing tree shaking techniques, all the "dead wood" will be automatically dropped upon compilation, reducing a file's size.

Success Criterion - Remove Redundancy

Identify and eliminate unused and dead code within CSS and JavaScript.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Removal of unused code eliminates wasted bytes from the rendering tree, which means less wasted download and potential processing time (which can be a battery draining process).
  • Performance: Unused code will not impact visitors, yet it takes up space in the cache, RAM, and takes extra time to download and render. Clearing wasted space frees' visitor resources.
  • Economic: Unused code has a maintenance cost as it might affect other code, additionally, it's something else for developers to have to deal with unnecessarily.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.5 Ensure Your Solutions Are Accessible

Not everyone can access services equally, being sustainable is also about being accessible, fair, ethical, and ensuring that your product or service doesn't discriminate. As such, ensuring your website complies with best-practices and relevant laws whilst meeting the needs of your visitors is critical as well as good business.

Success Criterion - Accessibility Compliance

Your website or application must conform to WCAG (at the necessary level), plus extend beyond to obey relevant laws and meet additional visitor accessibility requirements. Building inclusively means that people with permanent, temporary or situational disabilities will be able to more quickly find what they are looking for, and not have to spend extra time searching for a way to use your product or service.

Success Criterion - Enhancing For Accessibility

Enhance your website or application with Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) ONLY if applicable or necessary, and accessibility enhancing features when useful or beneficial.

Success Criterion - Electronic Inequalities

Deploy solutions which fight against electronic inequalities in products and services.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Inclusive websites are often more sustainable due to the effort put into improving code quality, user-experience and limiting issues such as barriers to access that trigger waste in the service or product.
  • Social Equity: There is a legal obligation to be accessible, and beyond this, turning away millions of potential visitors due to a lack of care is wasteful not only in time, but in digital and physical resources (e-waste).
  • Accessibility: Adapting a digital product or service to be accessible-by-default will improve access to information for people with disabilities. This must be managed and maintained over time, as the sustainability benefits from reduced visitor friction add to the benefits from increasing your audience.
  • Performance: An accessible website or application will typically be written using semantic, well-written code. While you may have more code to accommodate accessibility tooling (like ARIA), well-coded sites are usually less bloated, so they may have a performance edge which will reduce overall emissions.
  • Economic: Improving the user-experience through accessibility can also improve financial performance by reducing costs (through lawsuits), building capacity, increasing sales or donations (with new audiences), and making better use of available resources.
  • Conversion: Better-equipped experiences across devices and platforms signals to visitors that you are making a concentrated effort to meet their specific needs. This increases trust and can improve conversion rates.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.6 Avoid Code Duplication

Redundancy is the enemy of sustainability. Having systems in place to ensure that everyone can work from established patterns, the website or application remains clean and easy to use, and iteration over redesign is firmly in the mindset that will help promote sustainable practices. It's also worth being wary of abstracting code too early (see AHA methodology) or incorrectly, as while good abstractions can be more efficient, poor ones can waste effort and introduce complexity, bloat, and bugs to your codebase which can lead to emissions.

Success Criterion - Remove Or Simplify

Don't be afraid to remove or simplify (through rewriting for performance) your code to focus on essential features and have a cleaner, less redundant product (and codebase).

Success Criterion - Iteration Over Recreation

Improve (iterate) an existing creation rather than constantly redeveloping and redesigning products from scratch (duplication of coding effort) if possible to reduce visitor learning burden and developer impact.

Success Criterion - Organize Code Arrangement

Within CSS and JavaScript, use methodologies (like BEM) and systems like DRY and WET to optimize the arrangement and output of your source code.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: While CSS methodologies increasingly add more code to your markup, they improve maintainability (reducing development time at scale), which can reduce energy usage.
  • Accessibility: Developers with accessibility requirements may find the naming conventions used in CSS methodologies easier to work with than generic CSS selector identifiers.
  • Performance: Avoiding repetitive code reduces waste in markup, which reduces the time sites take to download (and reduces server energy usage).
  • Economic: An optimized codebase (that's reusable) can improve productivity and code quality.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.7 Rigorously Assess Third-Party Services

Whether advertising, chatbots, maps, or other tooling; outsourcing your service to a third-party provider may be potentially useful in certain scenarios in reducing design or development time and redundancy (which can be a win for sustainability). Third-party services, however, come with issues, such as the lack of control over emissions, and they often can potentially suffer from latency and large file sizes which may not exist if you self-hosted or created the material.

Success Criterion - Assess Third-Parties

Assess third-party services (including plugins, widgets, feeds, maps, carousels, etc) as early in the ideation or creation process as possible and use as few as possible to reduce the product or service's overall ecological impact, including Scope 3 emissions.

Success Criterion - Third-party Implementation

Third-party content (including plugins, widgets, feeds, maps, carousels, etc) should be placed behind a click-to-load delay screen (using the "import on interaction" pattern), while alternatives to automated solutions such as chatbots should be offered.

Success Criterion - Libraries And Frameworks

Large CSS libraries and JavaScript frameworks should only be used if a more performant alternative which achieves the same goal cannot be used instead.

Success Criterion - Self-Hosting

Prioritize self-hosted content over embedded content from third-party services.

Success Criterion - Avoiding Dependency

Create your own clickable icons and widgets, rather than relying on third-party services to host or allow embedding within your product or service.

Success Criterion - Third-party Preferences

Third-party products, services, libraries, and frameworks are often a source of sustainability issues that cannot be controlled or managed by the first-party provider of a service. While many do provide benefits to a website, the need to justify their inclusion should be made not only by those creating the product or service but also be able to be controlled by the consumer. As showcased with cookies, websites or applications should provide a similar mechanism of disabling or refusing non-first-party features (with explanations of their purpose) - unless such features can be proven as critical for functionality.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Replacing heavy tooling and third-party services with lightweight tooling reduces visitor bandwidth usage considerably, despite having to learn a new way of doing things or reducing the visibility of such information. It can significantly reduce a page's (and data you have no control over) environmental impact, especially when it comes to Scope 3 emissions.
  • Privacy: Visitor's not interested in embedded content may identify the lack of third-party tracking (such as embedded pixels and tags) as a privacy benefit, as there are fewer chances that visitor data is exploited.
  • Performance: Self-made widgets and controls work much faster than third-party content as you don't have to perform additional server requests, rendering requests, and such. You only include what features you require, and this reduces the overall size of the bandwidth usage (and emissions produced).

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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3.8 Use HTML Elements Correctly

HTML semantics are important. They don't just play a key role in making the Web look the way it does, they have a function in accessibility, in SEO, and even in sustainability. Ensuring that you markup your content correctly and avoid cluttering your markup wastefully will reduce emissions.

Success Criterion - Semantic Code

Ensure content is marked up semantically using the right HTML element for the right job.

Success Criterion - Optional Features

Consider removing optional HTML tags (which aren't required for rendering), attribute quotes, or attributes that are set to their default value.

Success Criterion - Avoid Non-standard Code

Avoid using non-standard elements or attributes.

Success Criterion - Custom Code

Only use custom elements or Web Components if you cannot utilize native HTML elements or if you need tightly regulated control over the implementation of design system components.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Sites with bloated markup waste data, also sites with broken markup could trigger memory leaks (performance issues) in apps, and following standards ensures sites will work the same across devices and platforms (reducing bugs, developer fix time, and resource waste).
  • Accessibility: Semantic HTML is a great stepping stone towards making your content easier to navigate by assistive technologies. Many tags within HTML5 come with pre-loaded context about what is expected within them (reducing the need for ARIA or other descriptive features). This can also help browsers, search engines, social networks, and other "blind" technologies understand your websites or applications better. This can help you reduce barriers in terms of content navigability.
  • Performance: Deprecated code isn't optimized within rendering engines, and while Web components do outperform framework components, they won't beat the native HTML elements they build upon.
  • Economic: Inaccessible sites can lead to lawsuits, avoiding these is beneficial to any website owner.
  • Conversion: Poorly coded sites may break features for visitors, leading to website abandonment.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Social Equity, Accessibility, Content, Usability, Compatibility, HTML

3.9 Resolve Render Blocking Content

The ability to work around render-blocking issues is a great addition to the web. From deferring code, to lazy loading, to asynchronous loading, each has its own use-case and each can have the potential to reduce or give performance benefits to a website or application.

Success Criterion - Asynchronous Code

All external assets should be deferred or set to async (unless required) to avoid Flash Of Unstyled Content (FOUC).

Success Criterion - Priority Loading

If external resources are required on load, ensure their priorities (delivery route) are set correctly.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Lazy loading videos and images ensures that they are only requested once the visitor needs them (not demanded even if they aren't viewed). This saves processing power which can help older devices or those with less battery capacity access your websites and applications barrier-free.
  • Performance: Letting text render first makes your website feel like it's loading faster (as the remainder will appear in the background or on-demand).
  • Economic: Unused content will not contribute to your server's bandwidth bills.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.10 Provide Code-Based Way-Finding Mechanisms

Helping visitors avoid wasting their time can reduce the number of emissions from time spent in front of a screen. As such, by using existing technologies like metadata, robots files, and accessibility-friendly aids within the page, improvements to the experience can be made.

Success Criterion - Metadata And Microdata

Optimize your metadata and microdata for search engines and social media.

Success Criterion - Search Engines

Assist search engines, while blocking any ill-intentioned robots and scripts.

Success Criterion - Accessibility Aids

Offer accessibility and usability aids to find content, such as skip links and signposts.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: People spend a lot of time searching for the information they want, and helping them get there quicker will reduce the drain on their device battery.
  • Social Equity: Paradoxically as it may seem, the concept of getting people to spend more time on your website is not often beneficial. Visitors often want to accomplish a task and move on, yet we put great effort into keeping them on-site (time-wasting). This is a dark pattern that has consequences for sustainability (consumption of resources) and potentially the visitor's health and well-being.
  • Accessibility: Skip links and other aids can accelerate a visitor's journey through your website, reducing the system resources their tooling requires, and assist them finding the content they need.
  • Performance: Finding information quickly is a perceived performance. It may not physically reduce the data transferred, but it will help reduce the steps required to achieve a goal; thus, the time on-screen is lessened.
  • Economic: Quick visits may encourage repeat custom when the visitor has limited spare time.
  • Conversion: A well-mapped website will index properly in search engines, leading to a good page rank.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.11 Validate Form Errors and External Input

Entering information on a page can lead to problems. If a visitor makes a mistake along the way, it makes good sense to have systems in place to guide them through resolving the typos, confusion, and glitches that can occur which lead to abandonment and extra emissions through wasted device usage.

Success Criterion - Error Validation

Errors should be identified through live validation as well as upon submission.

Success Criterion - Label Elements

Required elements should be clearly identified and labeled (for the benefit of voice tools such as screen readers and virtual assistants), and optional elements (if unnecessary) removed.

Success Criterion - Allow Paste

Always allow the pasting of content (including passwords) from external sources.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Security: Allowing people to correct mistakes (and identifying errors early in the input process) on forms before submission can avoid costly mistakes during financial transactions and spend less time being wasted on tasks.
  • Performance: Being able to fill in a form while addressing issues quickly reduces the barrier to entry and thereby avoids potentially having to refill a form or waste time going back and scrolling.
  • Economic: Shopping cart abandonment happens when errors occur, fixing issues upfront can reduce such potential issues.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.12 Use Metadata Correctly

Search engines and social networks make use of the content within a website, by ensuring that your metadata is correctly marked up, you can reduce emissions by improving way-finding.

Success Criterion - Required Elements

Include the required title element, plus any optional HTML head elements (such as link).

Success Criterion - Meta Tags

Include necessary meta tag references that search engines and social networks recognize, using a recognized name scheme such as Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), Friend Of A Friend (FOAF), or RDFa.

Success Criterion - Structured Data

Embed Microdata, Structured Data (Schema), or Microformats within your pages.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Adding rich metadata allows your website to be indexed correctly within search engines and social networks, allowing visitors to find content from your website or product quicker (often without even requiring a visit), saving clicks and energy.
  • Transparency: Used correctly, metadata can ensure clients find the correct site, and if they are just after contact details, potentially not have to even visit the page (wasting bandwidth).
  • Performance: Visitors spend less time jumping through pages, as they will likely land on the page they wish to browse through searching (if they came via a third-party tool).
  • Economic: Increased awareness within a search engine or social network may lead to more visitors or customers.
  • Conversion: Recognized microdata usage can lead to a better search engine position.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.13 Adapt to User Preferences

Sustainability benefits can be generated in numerous ways, by making sure that your website adheres to the requests made by a browser for specific conditions to be taken into account (such as CSS media and preference queries), you can unlock benefits for the visitor, and as a by-product reduce your emissions. It's worth noting that the introduction of user preferences and APIs has increased the risk of visitor fingerprinting and privacy issues.

Success Criterion - Media and Preference Queries

Apply the monochrome, prefers-contrast, prefers-color-scheme, prefers-reduced-data, prefers-reduced-transparency, and prefers-reduced-motion CSS preference queries if they will benefit your website or application. Also consider the print & scripting CSS media queries if they will improve the sustainability of your website.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Improving the experience for monochrome devices (using a monchrome preference query) could encourage more visitors to use these energy efficient eInk devices. For OLED displays dark mode (prefers-color-scheme) will be more energy efficient. Animation and media have a significant impact on CPU and GPU, therefore reducing it's usage (prefers-reduced-motion) will reduce energy usage. Finally, having a print friendly stylesheet will save not only paper but ink wastage.
  • Social Equity: Media queries don't tell individuals how to experience the web, they follow the preferences of the visitor or a devices capabilities.
  • Accessibility: Having a high contrast (prefers-contrast) version of a site will reduce the barriers to entry and time wasted for visually impaired visitors. Less motion may also assist people with accessibility requirements.
  • Performance: Allowing visitors to have a Lo-Fi (prefers-reduced-data) version of a site could significantly reduce the carbon footprint they emit (which for individuals on a data plan would be beneficial). Additionally, by detecting if scripting is disabled and offering alternative content, you could save wasted effort and improve the performance of a product or service.
  • Economic: Print media queries (or stylesheets) can save visitors additional ink and paper costs.
  • Conversion: User preferences make an interface friendlier, encouraging repeat visitors.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.14 Develop a Mobile-First Layout

Visitors approach our products and services on a wide variety of devices these days. Ensuring that your device works on the widest range of devices and differing screen resolutions ensures that you will have a compatible website or application. As such, visitors can actively choose to browse on devices which emit less carbon if they wish.

Success Criterion - Mobile-First

Allow a website or app to work on mobile devices primarily (testing with various connection speeds), expanding to accommodate larger displays thereafter (mobile-first). It is much more effective to do the hard work to ensure that it works well on a mobile device and then scale it up to larger interfaces.

Success Criterion - Responsive Design

Utilize progressive enhancement and responsive web design to ensure that your work accommodates a device's capabilities, different screen sizes, and will not fail if it meets an unsupported technology.

Success Criterion - Carbon Aware Design

To maximize the use of renewable energy, adapt your website or service to electricity availability using carbon-aware design techniques.

Success Criterion - Alternative Browsing

Consider supporting other indirect methods of interaction such as voice (speech), code (QR, etc), reader view (browser, application, or RSS), or connected-technology (watch, appliance, transport, etc).

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Mobile first and responsive design interfaces reduce energy use by improving performance and providing a streamlined experience for visitors. Additionally, smaller devices are often more underpowered than larger devices. Using less energy to power screens (and potentially other hardware).
  • Social Equity: Low-powered devices are frequently used in developing nations, but ensuring that content works for older devices is paramount.
  • Accessibility: Mobile-first websites usually incorporate large, touch-friendly buttons, simplified navigation menus, and clear readable fonts. This often makes it easier for individuals with visual or motor impairments to interact with than a traditional desktop layout and could prove to be beneficial for certain visitors to take advantage of.
  • Performance: Using lazy-loading and other delayed rendering techniques can boost website speed for small visual capacity devices.
  • Economic: Ensuring that your website or application works across not only desktop devices but also smartphones and other unique screen resolutions can benefit you financially as it allows for individuals to make purchases while on the move (which can be more convenient), while potentially using little or no screen.
  • Conversion: Products and services that work well across a wider range of platforms and devices can encourage a wider audience to use your website or application not only in one situation, but in many you might not have envisaged.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.15 Use Beneficial JavaScript and Its APIs

When new best practices or if beneficial scripting guidance exists which will improve the visitor experience, following it should be of the highest priority (only using scripts ethically should be promoted).

Success Criterion - Beneficial JavaScript

Improve sustainability through accessible and performant code implementations.

Success Criterion - API Requests

When using an API, make sure you only call it when necessary. On the other side, make sure no unrequired data is sent by the API.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Removing unwatched distractions (Page Visibility API), for example, would reduce wasted visual effects such as animation from being processed in the background. This could potentially help visitors conserve battery if they leave multiple tabs open in their browser.
  • Privacy: Allowing for script-free visitors can protect the privacy of visitors who may live in unsafe nations.
  • Performance: Using modern APIs or low-code solutions often reduces heavy codebase usage. Having fallbacks for unavailable JavaScript allows older or less capable devices to still experience your products.
  • Economic: If a product works in more situations, you can sell it to more people without it failing.
  • Conversion: Fallbacks for technology that might fail can lead to sales that otherwise wouldn't exist.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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3.16 Ensure Your Scripts Are Secure

The dangers of scripting are well known, and vulnerabilities are discovered with increasing regularity. As such, it's of ethical benefit for authors to ensure all code used regularly passes security processes.

Success Criterion - Script Security

Check the code for vulnerabilities, exploits, header issues, and code injection.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Websites that have no outstanding security issues are less likely to become a target for individuals who might exploit them (consuming vast amounts of data in the process).
  • Security: Having a secure website can prevent personal information from being exploited.
  • Performance: A secure website is less likely to have its infrastructure breached, which could lead to vast amounts of data being stolen, corrupted, or destroyed.
  • Economic: Preventing security issues will help your project and visitors avoid financial crime.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Social Equity, JavaScript, Security, Privacy

3.17 Manage Dependencies Appropriately

While JavaScript may not cause the most website bloat, it can cause very high emissions in terms of CPU load due to the rendering process, thereby it makes sense to consider the use of dependencies and third-party code carefully.

Success Criterion - Dependency Management

Prevent developers from downloading and installing JavaScript libraries to run locally (client-side) when they are not needed by checking for unused dependencies and uninstalling those that aren't needed and removing them from your package.json file.

Success Criterion - Dependency Necessity

Reduce the amount of JavaScript that has to be downloaded and parsed by the browser by only using libraries where necessary. Consider whether you can use a native JavaScript API instead. Check the package size, and whether individual modules can be installed and imported rather than the whole library.

Success Criterion - Dependency Updates

Regularly check dependencies and keep them up-to-date.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Developers machines do not need to waste energy installing and / or rendering packages that are not needed.
  • Security: Third-party code can contain bugs and security issues. Keeping packages up-to-date and using fewer third-party libraries reduces the likelihood of security flaws.
  • Performance: Reduction in client-side JavaScript normally results in faster websites.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.18 Include Files That Are Automatically Expected

Search engines and browsers regularly examine websites, requesting specific files by default (they expect them to exist). If the files don't exist, this will lead to potential errors and emissions being caused when they could be created, especially as the files offer SEO, user-experience, and other benefits to visitors.

Success Criterion - Expected File Formats

Take advantage of the favicon.ico, robots.txt, opensearch.xml, site.webmanifest, and sitemap.xml documents.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Search engines or browsers request certain files by default, ensuring they are inplace will reduce loading errors, and may provide efficiency enhancements in how visitors find or interact with a site.
  • Accessibility: OpenSearch enables the browser's default search box rather than a custom solution to be integrated with your website search, which may aid accessibility as it encourages the use of a browser native component (and / or keyboard shortcuts) rather than a website or application which may suit certain accessibility requirements better.
  • Performance: Files that are expected will produce HTTP requests, ensuring they are met will satisfy the products making them and potentially reduce the requests once they are discovered.
  • Economic: Robots and Sitemap files can be utilized by search engines to help make your website more findable, this could lead to more visitors and potentially more customers as a result.
  • Conversion: Robots can be used to target specific search engines, helping to ensure content is correctly indexed to get a good placement so that visitors can find you easily.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: UI, Patterns, Compatibility, Assets, Marketing

3.19 Use Plaintext Formats When Appropriate

There are several small assets which can be included within a website, conferring a range of benefits upon the website or application that utilizes them. They each have a low carbon footprint, so while they do create emissions, it's worth including them for the benefits they provide.

Success Criterion - Beneficial File Formats

Utilize standards such as ads.txt, carbon.txt, humans.txt, security.txt and robots.txt.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Plaintext requires no rendering. If visitors (or search engines) know about these useful files (like carbon.txt) they can load quicker and with less CPU / GPU impact than any HTML website.
  • Transparency: The humans file provides credit to people involved in a site's creation, and security offers critical points of contact if an issue is discovered. Both are valuable additions to a project.
  • Performance: Plaintext files contain no links, no markup, and have no imprint. Putting credits (for example) in such a file will reduce data transfer and have a lower rendering footprint.
  • Economic: The ads.txt file is part of a scheme to reduce advertising fraud, it could be useful.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.20 Avoid Using Deprecated or Proprietary Code

The Web is full of dead, often proprietary code, created using standards which have been superseded or by groups which aren't recognized. By following recognized coding standards, you ensure that your code will be rendered properly by browsers (and reduce the potential for added emissions occurring from unmaintained rendering processes).

Success Criterion - Deprecated Code

Upgrading or avoiding deprecated formats is important, the only exception being if consumer support demands maintaining older standards to provide a functional product.

Success Criterion - Outdated Code

Don't use an older standard if a newer recommendation will do the same job as or more effectively.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Deprecated standards will not be optimized or supported by future browsers, which could lead to broken functionality or a slow experience, wasting time and visitor resources.
  • Security: Old code can potentially be exploited if security issues arise (and browsers stop supporting the features). Ensuring you maintain standards should be a part of your processes.
  • Accessibility: Deprecated web standards often have poor support in assistive technologies, avoiding them will help to provide a semantic experience that works well for everyone.
  • Performance: Modern web standards are highly optimized, avoiding deprecated or less efficient standards will increase the longevity of your product and reduce the need for a carbon-intensive redesign.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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3.21 Align Technical Requirements With Sustainability Goals

Every product or service is different, and each will require a different set of tooling to accomplish the most sustainable result. Deciding whether to go with a bulky framework, Static Site Generator (SSG) or a Content Management System (CMS) takes careful planning based on client or service requirements.

Success Criterion - Identify Requirements

List (and choose carefully) the requirements of the product or service. A simpler technological implementation may use more human resources, but could have a smaller footprint. A prebuilt solution may use more system resources (and thereby produce more emissions upon render) but have a faster build-time (emitting less carbon during development).

Success Criterion - Optimized Methodology

As a general rule, coding from scratch is the best-performing methodology (though if an existing solution is actively maintained, it may be better optimized than what you could produce). Therefore, prefer native components and file systems to a WYSIWYG editor or heavy framework, and be considerate of the impact of third-party solutions.

Success Criterion - Static VS Dynamic

If you do decide to use a code generation tool, consider using a Static Site Generator in preference to a bulky content management system. Because SSGs often start using a minimalist content entry format (like markdown) and all of the compilation is done before the website is uploaded, the emissions benefit comes from the server not having to place as much effort into serving pages (as they are static) for each visitor. In the case of a CMS, the dynamic nature of a site will involve additional computation (server-side processing) and bulkier libraries.

Success Criterion - Expandability Considerations

Plugins, extensions, and themes have been carefully reviewed and selected to maximize interoperability, accessibility, and performance. They are regularly audited over time to ensure continued compatibility.

Success Criterion - Interface Impact

Make sure all the components of the user-interface are the subject of special attention in terms of its sustainability impact, while respecting accessibility and the performance of such components.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Carefully considering long-term technology implications and taking the time to ensure they are optimized and efficiently utilized can help a team measurably reduce a product or service's environmental impact over time, which will reduce overall emissions.
  • Security: Maintaining a software product over time and ensuring that the only third-party products you use are critical, and your service improves security.
  • Privacy: Prioritizing security and user privacy helps an organization better comply with current and emerging related legislation.
  • Accessibility: Making assistive technologies a core part of project specifications from the beginning and throughout a product or service's life-cycle improves access to information for people with disabilities.
  • Performance: Avoiding unnecessary complexity in your infrastructure will increase the speed at which developers can work, but also reduce the overhead load of website performance, increasing the benefits relating to emission reduction.
  • Economic: Avoiding tooling which may be overburdening the user-experience may have financial savings, especially if certain tooling has maintenance costs or fees for software usage.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Ideation, Compatibility, Performance, Strategy

3.22 Use the Latest Stable Language Version

Languages evolve regularly, and it's important for security and performance reasons to keep on top of the technology stack you are using. It's also important to consider whether the language you are using is appropriate or optimized for the task you wish to use it for.

Success Criterion - Versioning

Use the latest build of your chosen syntax language and its coupled framework.

Success Criterion - Language Choice

Many tools and programming languages are optimized for performing particular tasks, and utilizing those most appropriate to the problem, especially if there is a reasonable visitor base involved justifies the time and effort, as long as it doesn't impact ESG factors such as the well-being of those involved or become too cost prohibitive.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Using the latest language version may improve efficiency and reduce data center energy consumption. Verify benefits are worthwhile before major build upgrades.
  • Security: Often, older versions may have security issues which could expose your website or app (and thereby your visitors) to harm. Maintaining an upgrade schedule is good for security.
  • Performance: Language version updates are usually coupled with performance improvements. Regarding language choice, an algorithm implemented in a compiled language such as C or Rust, for example, can have greatly reduced execution time and energy usage compared to the same algorithm written in an interpreted language like Python or JavaScript.
  • Economic: Using the latest and more performant language version could help hosting companies to reduce their costs. That could be beneficial for the company and the visitor.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.23 Take Advantage of Native Features

Ensuring that your code is free of redundancy by using pre-existing functionality provided by the web browser is important as it will help you to reduce the amount of time wasted, re-creating the same components, this offers obvious sustainability benefits in terms of time in front of the screen.

Success Criterion - Native Over Custom

Use native functions, APIs and features over writing your own.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Avoiding repetition of pre-existing features improves efficiency, which ultimately will lead to less redundancy, less development time, and thereby emissions saving for the construction of the product or service.
  • Performance: Native features will have been well optimized, it's unlikely a custom component will match this, therefore a native function will not only load quicker but will use fewer resources.
  • Economic: Existing features don't require additional development time, so is a time saver.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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3.24 Run Fewer, Simpler Queries As Possible

Making multiple requests whether HTTP or within a database has a carbon cost as infrastructure has to send that information back and forth. As such, managing how you store and use data locally for a visitor will help reduce wasted cycles.

Success Criterion - Database Queries

If you need information that is stored in a database, and you require it (or its likely to be requested) more than once in your code, access the database only once, and store the data locally for subsequent processing. Also, avoid reliance on framework helpers that might defer filtering to later on in the process.

Impact & Effort

Impact
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Filtering out unneeded data at a deeper level of the application may reduce energy usage, as less processing is required for (de)serialisation.
  • Performance: By holding the data locally rather than remotely, you can avoid waiting for an additional HTTP request to occur to process the string. Relational databases and other specialist data stores are generally heavily optimised for data filtering and retrieval. Performing transformations at this level of the application may lead to reduced CPU time and faster responses.
  • Economic: Rather than pushing multiple additional demands to the server (which could lead to stress failures and lost business), an optimized codebase can reduce bandwidth overheads.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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4. Hosting, Infrastructure and Systems

DevOps (Developer Operations) and hosting providers work to ensure that the infrastructure for a product or service meets its demands. Having the ability to decide where content will be housed along with managing its interaction with browsers provides numerous sustainability-related decisions of benefit to all.

Being able to manage infrastructure allows individuals to:

By adhering the below guidelines, individuals can make a significant difference in the reduction of back-end sustainability impacts.

4.1 Choose a Sustainable Hosting Provider

In addition to reducing the environmental impacts of a website, choose a hosting service that mitigates the remaining impacts. To make sure of this, there are many criteria to look for.

Success Criterion - Monitor Metrics

To assess the environmental impacts of hosting and detect overconsumption, some indicators should be monitored: energy / water usage, CPU / Memory usage, allocation of servers and CPU cores, etc. These indicators could be used to calculate metrics directly related to environmental impacts, such as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE). They could be displayed to visitors for transparency and monitoring reasons.

Success Criterion - Equipment Longevity

Manage equipment responsibly by keeping them as long as possible, using them as efficiently as possible, making sure they are certified, and purchasing long-lifespan products.

Success Criterion - Recycling Waste

Recover, recycle, and upcycle waste including equipment.

Success Criterion - Renewable Electricity

Electricity comes entirely from sources with the lowest possible carbon intensity (ideally generated by wind or solar rather than from non-renewable sources). For example, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) can help verify the source, or, ideally, prove that electricity comes directly from renewable sources.

Success Criterion - Remaining Emissions

Compensate remaining emissions, keeping in mind that the priority should be to avoid then reduce them and only compensate for them if they cannot be avoided. Carbon credits may not be sustainable, therefore the effectiveness of an offset solution must be verified, shown to be both environmentally viable and sustainable, and part of a longer-term strategy to eliminate emissions entirely from a chain, benefitting the wider ecosystem.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Helps in detecting overconsumption, reduces the environmental impacts of equipment (such as embodied carbon, for instance), and reduces the environmental impacts related to the production of consumed electricity.
  • Economic: Reduces the quantity of equipment needed to be purchased.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Social Equity, Hardware, Networking

4.2 Optimize Browser Caching

Browser caching reduces the requirement for files to need to be constantly reloaded from the server, and in certain situations, it can even allow for files to be viewed offline (or in the case of a reverse-proxy, send immediate recurring requests without additional calculation or computation from the server). As such, this will have sustainability and performance benefits (for instance by greatly reducing Time-To-First-Byte).

Success Criterion - Server-side Caching

If using a CMS, install an applicable plugin to enable on-the-fly server-side caching. Otherwise, use the provided server configuration files to include and tweak the file-type cache expiration using expires, bfcache, or cache-control HTTP header. If using a language or framework that generates pages on request, cache responses for static pages so that they can be reused for future visitors.

Success Criterion - Offline Access

Client-side JavaScript uses a combination of ServiceWorkers, WebWorkers, storage Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), or cookies (if necessary) to reduce friction in the user-journey. For example, through the use of a PWA (Progressive Web Application) to ensure that an offline version is available and accessible at all times to reduce inequality and improve accessibility.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Social Equity: Allows websites to be functional in regions where no or intermittent Internet connectivity is available.
  • Performance: Unmodified files don't need to constantly be redownloaded (saving bandwidth, and server-side caching reduces the amount of computing resources required (as fewer HTTP requests will likely be submitted). Also, being selective over cached content balances faster reloads over the need to request new pages, which means that visitors may experience less latency due to data being held for repeat requests.
  • Economic: Reduced data transfer allows for savings for individuals on a monitored data plan and infrastructure costs for the provider.
  • Conversion: Caching increases repeat visitor page-load speeds (a customer benefit).

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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Tags: Assets, HTML, JavaScript, Performance, Networking

4.3 Compress Your Files

Every file will take up a certain amount of room on a server's hard drive, and this data will need to be sent across-the-wire to each visitor. Doing so will consume resources, but by using compression algorithms you can shrink each file to make its journey less impactful.

Success Criterion - Server-side Compression

If using a CMS, install an applicable plugin to enable on-the-fly server-side compression, such as Brotli or GZIP. Otherwise, use the provided server configuration files to include and tweak the performance-related features to the requirements.

Success Criterion - Media Compression

Compress your various images, fonts, audio, and video; by reducing the quality and offering different resolutions / dimensions (sizes) before uploading to a server or content management system.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Social Equity: Reduced reliance on a high-speed connection (which in many locations is unavailable).
  • Accessibility: People with accessibility needs are disproportionately affected by poverty and lower levels of income and thereby are more likely to be unable to afford either a high speed or the high cost of data plans found on cellular networks and satellite providers.
  • Performance: Reduced data consumption (with a slight increase in visitor CPU decompression with server-side techniques).
  • Economic: Reduced data transfer allows for savings for individuals on a monitored data plan.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Assets, Performance, Networking

4.4 Use Error Pages and Redirects Carefully

Navigation errors lead to mistakes, which lead to visitors wasting time trying to resolve them, or abandoning a website altogether. Anything that can be done to interject, predict, and way-find around potential problems will reduce emissions over time.

Success Criterion - Error Pages

Maintain sites by ensuring links are correct, and if errors occur, provide suitable way-finding within optimized pages for each error type to ensure resources can be identified to help a visitor complete the task they started.

Success Criterion - Redirection

Redirect websites, subdomains, and pages only when necessary. Proactively seek broken or outdated links and fix them. A redirect or search will often help reduce the number of pages a visitor needs to load.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: While errors and redirects should be avoided, it's not likely possible. Therefore, having the page's visitor's encounter optimized will hopefully reduce their frustration (and thereby their time on screen trying to pick a new route - or worse, giving up).
  • Transparency: Problems can occur, having failsafe mechanisms in place prevents the visitor from being blamed, and it gives them a direction to move once they encounter an error.
  • Accessibility: Error pages matter, they can help lost individuals find their path, and providing useful navigation and appropriate signage can reduce the loss of abandonment. This can be especially useful for individuals with cognitive impairments who may have reached such a location due to forgetting where a resource was located, being unable to spell the URL correctly, or finding themselves at a dead end due to confusion.
  • Performance: Redirects used appropriately can help visitors find a resource that has been moved quickly.
  • Conversion: Visitors are less likely to abandon a website if they can find an instant solution.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Content, UI, Usability, Compatibility, Networking, Marketing

4.5 Limit Usage of Additional Environments

Decommission or switch off additional environments, such as testing / Quality Assurance QA) / re-production and other such environments when they are not useful.

Success Criterion - Unused Environments

Ensure no unused environment is available, balancing the cost of deploying an environment with the cost of keeping it online while unused.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Avoids consuming resources for unused services.
  • Economic: Unused services should not be paid for, resulting in savings.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

Resources

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Tags: Performance, Hardware, Software, Networking

4.6 Automate To Fit the Needs

Any tasks, especially repetitive, that can be automated should be automated (compilation, deployment, tests, etc.) to reduce time at the computer being wasted by people.

Success Criterion - Automate Tasks

Every recurring task, such as deployment, testing, or compilation, can be run automatically, as is recommended by continuous integration / continuous delivery best practices.

Success Criterion - Necessitate Tasks

To reduce wasted processing cycles, every automated task is only run when needed.

Success Criterion - Automated Scaling

Use automated scaling infrastructure to automatically increase the capacity of the web server and implement buffering / throttling to respond to visitor demand.

Success Criterion - Security Tooling

Web browsing from bots has been steadily increasing in recent years. As such, it is a growing concern for security, performance, and sustainability. Use security tools that automatically block bad actors and minimize bad behavior. This results in substantially less load on the server, fewer logs, less data, less effect due to compromise, and more. The result of compromised websites is a large increase in HTTP, email, and other traffic as malicious code attempts to infiltrate other resources and exfiltrate data. Compromised websites are typically identified by anomalous patterned behavior.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: These practices can reduce the resources necessary to execute tasks, which can also result in reduced emissions.
  • Operations: When coupled with upskilling and cross-training, automation can also improve team performance and operational efficiency.
  • Economic: Automation can help reduce organizational costs.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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4.7 Maintain a Relevant Refresh Frequency

Only send data from the server when the visitor needs it. As much as possible, you can rely on client-side or server-side cache and client-side / local storage. Rather than refreshing data on a given frequency, it might be up to the visitor to manually ask for a refresh.

Success Criterion - Refresh Frequency

The frequency for refresh (of both the cache, locally stored data, and the page) is defined depending on visitor needs.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Caching reduces energy consumption for both servers and end-user devices. This reduces emissions.
  • Economic: Caching can potentially reduce costs by reducing the amount of data transmitted over the network.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Usability, JavaScript, Performance, Networking

4.8 Be Mindful of Duplicate Data

For security reasons and in accordance with an Service-Level Agreement (SLA), it is often recommended to duplicate data to make sure it remains available if a problem occurs. This should be balanced with the cost of such duplication. Not all data is critical and, rather than overcompensating with multiple saves, duplication should be designed with efficiency in mind.

Success Criterion - Data Backups

Backups of system and user data are both incremental and secure.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Limiting redundancy reduces the amount of consumed resources.
  • Economic: Limiting redundancy can reduce the induced storage costs.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Performance, Hardware

4.9 Enable Asynchronous Processing and Communication

Depending on carbon-intensity, some processes and communications should be delayed and sometimes batched. This could also be a way to reduce the workload on a server or Virtual Machine (VM). In such cases, visitors should be warned that the process is asynchronous and notified when it is over.

Success Criterion - Batch Processing

By default, non-critical processes and communications are batched and launched only when carbon-intensity is under a given threshold.

Success Criterion - Protocol Usage

Ensure the communication protocols are relevant to the visitor's needs and data transferred. Avoid using insecure protocols (HTTP, FTP), and prioritize more efficient and privacy-aware data routes for visitors (HTTPS, SSH).

Success Criterion - Event-Driven Architecture

When creating products or services that utilize state changes (without triggering a complete refresh), consider if the utilization of Event-Driven Architecture and Microservices will be more environmentally friendly (based on the ESG variables involved) than traditional APIs in handling the server-side workload of your solution.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: The potential reduction in a workload by running processes in batches could help reduce the intensity of peak hardware thrashing, thereby reducing the energy requirements and potentially even the water requirements for cooling (due to excess heat generation).
  • Social Equity: Leaving non-critical processes to run during quieter periods may reduce the opportunity for sites or services to experience downtime or slowdown due to being overburdened.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: JavaScript, Performance, Networking

4.10 Consider CDNs and Edge Caching

Edge caching and CDN delivery can help optimize sustainable delivery of digital services by optimizing the way in which your websites traffic is transferred over the internet.

Success Criterion - Content Delivery Network's (CDNs)

When building for a globally distributed audience, use a CDN to store and serve simple read-only, pre-generated resources in a fast and efficient manner. Although they definitely can increase performance, it is also another layer of infrastructure which needs to be considered for sustainability.

Success Criterion - Sustainability Commitment

Check the CDN to verify that it provides a commitment to sustainability.

Success Criterion - Local Servers

Choose a hosting provider with servers located close to the visitor.

Success Criterion - Avoid Caching Inappropriate Resources

Avoid using the service to host dynamic resources or JavaScript (unless through a first-party host) as due to cache partitioning, cross-origin resource sharing (CORS), and other browser mechanics, any benefits are negated by weaker performance, the inability to cache or interact, and the potential introduction of security and privacy issues to be introduced. This doesn't affect JSON or other static assets.

Success Criterion - Process Data Close to the Source

All information passed between the layers of an application incurs a cost, both in terms of data transferred, and CPU cycles for (de)serialization. Wherever possible, data transformations should be performed close to the source to reduce these costs and avoid processing data that will later be discarded.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Reduces the amount of time spent in front of the device as the delivery of assets can occur quicker (due to servers being closer to the device), which in turn will drain the consumers' device battery less.
  • Social Equity: Benefits visitors in normally underserved geographies and economies, or from disadvantaged backgrounds, as content may be available in a region closer to their location.
  • Performance: Visitor's experience less latency due to the distance between them and the server is reduced.
  • Economic: Content delivery networks work on economies of scale, and their data transfer rates are often cheaper than those of many hosting providers.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Content, Performance, Hardware, Networking

4.11 Use the Lowest Infrastructure Tier Meeting Business Requirements

Select infrastructure with minimal specifications meeting business requirements of performance, availability, etc.

Success Criterion - Lowest Requirements

Select infrastructure elements with the lowest requirements tier, meeting your service-level agreements. Avoid over-provisioning multi-datacenter, multi-zone, or distributed deployments if standalone instances meet the requirements. Also avoid provisioning infrastructure that will be under-utilized by provisioning for established average loads, ensuring reasonable resource utilization and autoscaling occurs as needed. Avoid provisioning for peak loads.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Reduces the size and intensity of the compute.
  • Economic: The right-sized compute will typically be the cheapest solution.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Performance, Hardware, E-Waste

4.12 Store Data According to Visitor Needs

Optimize storage of data according to what is most important, relevant, and required in service to visitors. This will help to avoid unnecessary storage of data that may not be useful or valuable, which will reduce required infrastructure, power, and data transfer.

Success Criterion - Reduce Redundancy

Remove unnecessary and redundant data from your servers, whether it is single-use (dark data) or abandoned.

Success Criterion - Expiration Dates

Create data with an expiration date. Excess data is a form of technical debt, and routinely cleaning up old data needs to be normalized.

Success Criterion - Classify And Tag

Use a data classification / tagging policy to make it easier to find, handle, and remove.

Success Criterion - Justify Storage

Store data only when it is difficult to recreate.

Success Criterion - Optimize Logging

Optimize log collection, storage (off-site), and rotation; scheduling during low-activity hours and using carbon-neutral backup providers.

Success Criterion - Asset Downloads

Ensure long-term assets, especially those of a large size, are made available for download.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Reduced storage usage results in reduced storage requirements.
  • Security: Reduced storage of personal information reduces the risk of compromise.
  • Economic: Reduced storage usage will result in reduced prices.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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Tags: Content, Performance, Hardware, E-Waste, Privacy

5. Business Strategy and Product Management

For anyone who owns or operates a website or application, there are practical considerations behind such decisions, and these can have sustainable impacts. While business owners are likely to be those involved in higher-level decisions, benefits can still be found for individuals working on the Internet.

Being involved in the management of a product or service gives you certain abilities:

By adhering the below guidelines, individuals can make a significant difference in the reduction of non-technical sustainability impacts.

5.1 Have an Ethical and Sustainability Product Strategy

Create a publicly available statement in an easy-to-find location on your website that outlines a clear commitment to prioritize ethics and sustainability ESG standards which align with the organization's mission, vision, and values and includes statements specific to digital products, services, policies, and programs. This should be done while actively promoting such efforts (with evidence) using social channels.

Success Criterion - Statement Availability

The organization has published a publicly available Code of Ethics, Product Guidelines, Sustainability, or ESG Statement that includes language specific to digital products, services, policies, and programs.

Success Criterion - Achievements And Compliance

List achievements, features, compliance, and anything beyond the scope of these guidelines and publish it in a sustainability section of your product or service.

Success Criterion - Governance Over Time

The organization can show how it effectively governs implemented digital sustainability, climate policies, and related ESG practices over time.

Success Criterion - Onboarding New Members

The organization has training decks and workshops it uses to onboard new team members on how it implements more sustainable product strategies.

Success Criterion - Documentation

Raise awareness with your visitor's by documenting your methodology, through impact storytelling, documentation, and helping individuals make more informed decisions.

Success Criterion - Renewable Showcasing

The organization can show how it powers digital products and services with renewable energy.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: A clear sustainability statement should make it easier to align organizational policies and practices with measurable metrics to support goals. And, if included early in digital product strategy, can benefit from improved efficiency and reduced environmental impact.
  • Privacy: By trying to reduce your emissions, and explaining to a wider audience how you aim to keep your sustainability promises, you can also highlight other key areas of visitor value as ethically important, such as privacy and security (which will gain visitor trust in your brand).
  • Transparency: A clear, public-facing set of policies help internal and external stakeholders better understand an organization's commitments.
  • Social Equity: Highlighting intersectional social issues in documentation, storytelling, and marketing materials raises awareness of both problems and potential solutions.
  • Accessibility: Prioritizing inclusive design both in user-interfaces and storytelling raises awareness of accessibility barriers, improves experience for people with disabilities, and will reduce emissions by reducing barriers to access which may trigger wasted traffic.
  • Economic: Transparent communication on how an organization shares the economic benefits of its digital work raises awareness of social inequalities. Similarly, helping visitors make more informed decisions can support a more financially sustainable product or service overall. A clear statement of intent will also make it easier for the company to measure and report on its impact efforts.
  • Operations: Product teams are more engaged in the work they're doing.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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Tags: Social Equity, Ideation, Research, Education, Strategy, KPIs

5.2 Assign a Sustainability Representative

Having someone within an organization who represents sustainability as a core agenda makes good sense due to the accessibility, performance, financial, and other benefits which can occur from following best practices.

Success Criterion - Ecological Referee

Choose and assign an ecological referee (with specific digital expertise) for the product or service within your organization.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: A referee will maintain quality assurance and guide decisions that measurably reduce the environmental impact of the organization's digital products and services.
  • Privacy: They will maintain intersectional data privacy standards and potentially watch out for legal compliance issues within the organization.
  • Social Equity: A representative will help to reduce the digital divide and improve access to information for visitors with older devices, in low-bandwidth areas, and so on. This reduces emissions as less e-waste will be produced if the need for newer equipment becomes less of a priority.
  • Accessibility: The sustainability representative will help the organization improve issues surrounding barriers to access. These inherently could cost bandwidth, have a monetary value, and have potential legal implications.
  • Economic: A dedicated resource who maintains quality control will ultimately improve the organization's financial standing.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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5.3 Raise Awareness and Inform

Businesses should not only reference their own materials showcasing how they are working towards becoming sustainable, but cite existing sustainability best practices to help others looking to make similar changes within their own work or personal environments.

Success Criterion - Inform And Train

Make sure that all project stakeholders, including product teams, colleagues, and organizational decision-makers (managers and clients) are informed about and trained in your business's use of sustainable technology.

Success Criterion - Active Participation

Encourages stakeholders to actively reduce their environmental impact by providing resources on sustainable design, practices, and concepts.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: An informed and educated team has the potential to reap benefits through systemic changes within the way they build products and services, the way they host or manage their creations, and even the way they do business or carry out their everyday lives (extending to their wider community).
  • Operations: By clearly stating sustainability goals and sharing resources, you encourage organizational stakeholders to make their own progress.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Content, Education, Reporting, Marketing

5.4 Communicate the Ecological Impact of User Choices

Allowing the visitor to take action to reduce their emissions is key to helping them play a part in becoming more sustainable. By helping them identify when choices they make could have an environmental impact (and by how much) and then providing them with the tooling choices to reduce their footprint, you can empower them to make a lasting difference.

Success Criterion - Impact Communication

Clearly communicate the ecological implications of visitor choices and allow visitors to configure settings based on those choices.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: More ecologically friendly software settings are designed to improve the environmental impact of a product or service. Empowering the visitor will also allow you indirectly to reduce emissions.
  • Performance: Sustainability is inherently tied into accessibility and web performance, as such the benefits these fields bring can have a positive impact on the way your website or application works.
  • Conversion: By clearly communicating the impact, allowing the visitor to set preferences can potentially encourage more individuals to make ecologically friendly choices, thereby increasing adoption rates from those who look for sustainable or ethical brands.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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5.5 Estimate a Product or Service's Environmental Impact

Being able to identify key issues with your website or application is essential, and while not a foolproof method, using tooling can help you achieve an overall idea about the state of your product or service's environmental state (as such tools can do for accessibility).

Success Criterion - Life-cycle Analysis

Conduct a full life-cycle Analysis based on the functional unit defined in Guideline 5.15.

Success Criterion - Competitor Analysis

Estimate the environmental impact of your or your competitor's current service to inform decision-making (as a potential target goal).

Success Criterion - Tooling Impact

When identifying the environmental impact of your product or service, be sure to include the impact (or estimates of) of any tooling used to create the product or service along with any third-party solutions utilized in the pipeline. While not created by you, the emissions they generate from production to maintenance are considered integral to your overall solution.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Given their rigor, LCAs offer the biggest opportunities to reduce a digital product or service's overall environmental impact through the identification and elimination of variables and vectors of digital emissions.
  • Social Equity: While LCAs are primarily concerned with environmental impacts, they can incorporate intersectional social metrics as well to improve and consider issues like inequality which affect sustainability.
  • Accessibility: Auditing for accessibility can potentially be included as a key part of a digital LCA, as long as parameters are defined up front (such as WCAG conformance) and maintained throughout the project to ensure barriers to access are eliminated.
  • Performance: Because they are so detailed, following LCA recommendations should improve product performance due to optimizations being quickly identified and checked off based upon best practices.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Social Equity, Ideation, Research, Strategy, KPIs

5.6 Define Clear Organizational Sustainability Goals and Metrics

Define sustainability goals for the organization to meet and incorporate into its business model. Pair each goal with at least one clear, achievable metric or Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

Success Criterion - Sustainability Goals

The organization has defined and published a clear set of sustainability goals. It publicly communicates how it will meet these goals, including which performance metrics are important to help the organization and its various stakeholders thrive.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Setting, measuring, and communicating clear sustainability goals aligns an organization's impact aspirations with ongoing efforts to meet these goals.
  • Transparency: Helps stakeholders such as employees, clients, and partners better understand how the organization creates shared value in its various sustainability policies and programs.
  • Economic: Aligning with existing standards or frameworks makes it easier for organizations to include digital in their overall sustainability reporting.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

Resources

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Tags: Social Equity, Ideation, Research, Governance, KPIs

5.7 Verify Your Efforts Using Established Third-Party Business Certifications

Business certifications can fill the gaps left by incomplete sustainability legislation. Ensuring a business complies with third-party certifications will help verify and apply an objective level of rigor to an organization's sustainability efforts.

Success Criterion - Certification Achievement

The organization has achieved one or more business sustainability certifications and incorporated operational policies and practices to support them.

Success Criterion - Certification Maintenance

The organization maintains its certification through evolving policies and practices over time.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Operations: These types of certifications can make it easier for organizations to align operational practices with their mission, vision, and values and communicate these decisions to organizational stakeholders.
  • Economic: Business certifications, which are overseen by impartial governing bodies, help organizations operationalize sustainability principles and achieve higher verified levels of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. These certifications can also help an organization differentiate itself from others in its industry. Though, organizations should be sure to vet the certifying entity so no conflicts-of-interest exist.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Governance, KPIs

5.8 Implement Sustainability Onboarding Guidelines

The organization has clear onboarding and training processes that include ESG policies and practices with explicit references to digital sustainability and responsibility. Ensure that onboarding utilizes a "green by default" process and avoids being an opt-in procedure. This applies equally at an organizational level and to visitors and consumers of your products and services.

Success Criterion - Training Materials

The organization has dedicated training manuals, workshops, and materials that outline the ESG policies and practices it follows and how to implement them. While managing and maintaining these materials over time, adapting them as new policies and practices arise.

Success Criterion - Progress Incentivisation

The organization incentivizes leadership, teams, and stakeholders to make progress toward the goals outlined in their training, including time for sustainability activities, recognition for completion, and so on.

Success Criterion - Negative Variables

The organization anticipates and maps potential negative external variables on the service, and acts to minimize their overall impact.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Economic: Organizations with sustainability training and onboarding practices in place benefit from higher retention rates, improved performance, and more resilient standards of practice for maintaining business continuity.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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Tags: Education, Strategy

5.9 Support Mandatory Disclosures and Reporting

The organization discloses and reports its ESG impact on at least an annual basis.

Success Criterion - Policies And Practices

The organization has created and published policies and practices for disclosing the social and environmental impacts of its products, services, policies, and programs in line with existing reporting standards such as GRI Performance, SASB, etc.

Success Criterion - Impact Report

The organization produces a publicly available impact report outlining its progress against previous reports on social and environmental goals at least once per year.

Success Criterion - Standards And Policies

The organization publicly and transparently follows existing or emerging environmental standards and legislative policy that promotes mandatory disclosures and reporting for emissions. This is done alongside other social and environmental criteria in its impact reporting, maintaining these practices over time for future reports.

Success Criterion - Impact Reduction

The organization clearly identifies how it reduces its environmental impact, avoiding double accounting, greenwashing, excluded data, or other manipulative techniques.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: As reporting standards become more rigorous and commonplace, early adopters find the transition less disruptive due to more resilient business operations. Organizations that commit to these practices long-term will also be ahead of the curve as legislation catches up.
  • Economic: Organizations that regularly report on their impact, and show measurable improvement over time, are increasingly likely to attract employees, partners, potential customers, investors, and suppliers based on shared values and an aligned mission. Customers are more likely to purchase products from ethical companies with a proven environmental record.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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Tags: Content, Reporting, KPIs

5.10 Create One or More Impact Business Models

An Impact Business Model enables an organization to incorporate specific impact initiatives into one or more business models for generating revenue, often making them "green by default" and folding impact initiatives into the organization's operating system. Moreover, being able to calculate the return on investment in terms of sustainability your product or service will bring is important to identifying whether it poses a net-positive or net-negative effect on the environment.

Success Criterion - Theory Of Change

The organization has completed (and operationalized) a Theory of Change process with requisite documentation to identify the impact it hopes to create, how it will generate revenue, shared, or added value from these activities, how it will measure results based on desired outcomes; or in the case of launched projects, is generating revenue, actively tracking and measuring progress against any desired outcomes.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Business models based on advertisement, sponsorship, or the selling of products can be contradictory to some guidelines as they tend to increase the time spent using a product or service. Taking decisions not only based on financial indicators but on benefiting the visitor and the wider ecosystem can help prevent this and reduce overall emissions.
  • Social Equity: Adding social indicators (such as the shared value within digital services) can prevent negative social impacts such as impoverishment or exploitation occurring.
  • Economic: Organizations that implement these practices create positive social and environmental impacts with every sale of a product or service. These practices also make it easier for the organization to track and measure progress over time. Understanding and incorporating shared value into a digital product or service can also improve trust, which often leads to improved financial considerations.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.11 Follow a Product Management and Maintenance Strategy

The organization has clearly defined governance policies around how it manages and maintains digital products and services over time.

Success Criterion - Management And Maintenance

The organization has documented policies outlining how it approaches product management and maintenance.

Success Criterion - Planning Strategy

The organization has maintenance / security plans in place for all the digital products and services it manages.

Success Criterion - Resourcing Products

The organization appropriately resources products over time via staffing and budgeting to support refactoring code, addressing technical debt, new product features, ongoing testing, and product or service maintenance plans to continue supporting its customers, visitors, and other stakeholders.

Success Criterion - Resource Measurement

The organization incorporates carbon and resource measurement into maintenance programs and can show measurable improvement over time.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: This provides another opportunity to manage and reduce emissions over time.
  • Performance: Products at these organizations also have better security, reduced technical debt, and improved data privacy, and customer retention.
  • Economic: Organizations with clear product maintenance and management practices tend to be more resilient in the face of digital disruption.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.12 Implement Continuous Improvement Procedures

The organization has policies and practices in place to embrace experimentation, foster a growth mindset, support organizational agility, and provide continuous improvement. Product creators should iterate, regularly, though never at the cost of getting things done (such as working on larger, long-term features).

Success Criterion - Continuous Improvement

The organization has created policies and practices to enable continuous improvement and has resourced the organization appropriately to support these efforts over time.

Success Criterion - Agile Reviews

Agile sprints and update frequency must go through a review process to ensure project teams have enough time to conduct user-research, identify technical debt, and produce quality output.

Success Criterion - Iterative Consideration

Use (and show a track record of) continuous improvement (iteration) to analyze your website or application while also addressing the by-products and potential consequences of ongoing experimentation, such as technical debt, product performance, emissions, and related issues. Limiting analytics to only necessary features to aid with decision-making, encouraging visitor feedback, and comparing performance against business goals and visitor needs.

Success Criterion - Functionality Decisions

Justify and prioritize the retention of existing features, the creation of new functionality, and the decommission or elimination of unused functionality and unvisited pages through the product's life-cycle.

Success Criterion - Security Updates

Provide corrective security and policy updates during the product or service lifecycle, while distinguishing these updates from more extensive evolutionary updates.

Success Criterion - Skills And Maintenance

Develop sustainable product and data strategies along with appropriate training techniques that help your team (managers, colleagues, etc) build capacity and learn new skills to manage and maintain products and services over time.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: Focusing on continuous improvement reduces waste and energy use by iteratively identifying opportunities to improve the product or service.
  • Operations: A culture of experimentation fosters more innovation. This supports team-building and improves overall organizational resilience and efficiency.
  • Security: Products or services that are maintained and updated over time reduce risk and improve security.
  • Privacy: Having a high-quality, regularly kept up-to-date product or service will reduce the chances of a data breach, which will in-turn increase the privacy potential of the website or application.
  • Accessibility: Iteration is important for inclusive design as different visitors will have different needs, and no two individuals are alike. As such, being agile and adaptable will benefit authors in expanding their accessibility.
  • Performance: Technical debt is reduced if review processes exist. Focusing on continuous improvement rather than large single-scale releases, bottlenecks in a website or application's speed can be resolved quickly as they become apparent. This is especially useful as new releases of Web browsers can alter the performance of products and services.
  • Economic: Agility and continuous improvement help an organization be more resilient in the face of disruption and a changing climate. Long-term, these practices save the organization time, money, and resources. They also provide security benefits that decrease risk and can potentially reduce emissions.
  • Conversion: If a website or application renders correctly, it will naturally encourage more trust with its visitors, and thereby have the potential for repeat custom.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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Tags: UI, Compatibility, Performance, Security, Strategy, KPIs

5.13 Document Future Updates and Evolutions

Products or services update regularly, ensure that additions, changes, deprecations, removals, fixes, or security patches are documented in an easy-to-read document with details that showcase how such changes affect the visitor (or how they can take advantage of new features).

Success Criterion - Feature Changes

The user-experience considers possible changes to the product or service such as adding, updating, or removing features.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: Maintaining an intuitive, lightweight user-experience while adding new features or updating software reduces frustration, churn, and the energy visitors expend when the interface doesn't perform in ways visitors expect.
  • Security: Websites and applications that maintain an evergreen status often have fewer issues due to a strong release cycle which not only makes necessary changes, but also keeps visitors informed, maintaining transparency.
  • Performance: Maintaining an optimized user-experience which is regularly kept current using best practices also implies that pages and assets load quickly in ways visitors expect.
  • Economic: Products and services which are left to become outdated may have higher costs to restart the project from scratch and resurrect; whereas small regular updates have a lesser overhead in terms of time commitments from development scheduling and the impact on potential lost consumers.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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5.14 Establish if a Digital Product or Service Is Necessary

Ensure that the product or service you are creating offers value to visitors and doesn't duplicate existing functionality (without bringing something new to the table) as this redundancy wastes digital and physical resources.

Success Criterion - Sustainable Development Goals

Review and identify whether your product or service aligns with one of the U.N. (SDGs).

Success Criterion - Creation Evaluation

Evaluate the desirability, feasibility, and viability of the digital product or service they wish to create to ascertain whether it is necessary.

Success Criterion - Avoid Duplication

Determine that no existing digital product or service offers the same value. They have conducted analysis to understand whether a new product or service is necessary.

Success Criterion - Obstacle Consideration

Consider any obstacles to using a product or service, such as accessibility, equality, technical, or territorial.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Low

Benefits

  • Environmental: By determining that a digital product or service is not necessary, you avoid potential environmental impacts associated with its creation and use.
  • Operations: Organizations don't waste time or resources creating unnecessary tools that then require ongoing maintenance.
  • Social Equity: Organizations avoid increasing the digital divide by creating only digital products and services that are meaningful and necessary.
  • Accessibility: As long as an accessible replacement is available, avoiding an unnecessary digital product or service can improve access to existing information.
  • Economic: Organizations cut costs by not investing in unnecessary products or services.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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Tags: Ideation, Software, E-Waste, Reporting

5.15 Determine the Functional Unit

The functional unit of a product is a quantified description of the performance requirements that the product fulfills. Ensure you identify the requirements of your product before development.

Success Criterion - Life-cycle Assessment

Consider and conduct a life-cycle Assessment (LCA) to define the requirements of your product's function throughout its lifecycle.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: The functional unit enables the comparison of non-equivalent products or services in the assessment of environmental impacts.
  • Performance: Focusing on a functional unit drives performance-based choices for a better, more efficient, and faster user-experience.
  • Economic: Focusing on the functional unit supports a robust product or service without unnecessary, potentially costly features.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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5.16 Create a Supplier Standards of Practice

The organization collaborates with suppliers, authors, clients, and other partners on initiatives that are both mutually beneficial and create positive social and environmental outcomes.

Success Criterion - Vetting Potential Partners

The organization has created specific policies to vet potential partners in its supply chain based on ESG principles.

Success Criterion - Collaborative Measurement

The organization has partnered with suppliers to create, track, and measure collective impact on issues that impact their stakeholders.

Success Criterion - Informative Partner Promotion

The organization promotes its partnerships in a publicly available place, along with information on how the partnership creates a collective impact.

Impact & Effort

Impact
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: Vetting suppliers and partners can help an organization define, track, and reduce its Scope 3 emissions.
  • Operations: This can increase diversity within the technology sector.
  • Economic: This will also help an organization better align its business ecosystem with its mission, vision, and values; whilst improving its relationship with stakeholders.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

Resources

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Tags: Social Equity, Content, Ideation, Hardware, Governance

5.17 Share Economic Benefits

The organization shares the economic benefits of its digital products, services, policies, and programs.

Success Criterion - Living Wage

The organization publicly commits to paying employees, contractors, and other stakeholders a living wage.

Success Criterion - Incentivisation

The organization has policies and practices in place to incentivize stakeholders, such as workers and contractors, to meet its impact goals.

Success Criterion - Employee Benefits

The organization provides benefits to employees in accordance with its resources, including, where relevant, healthcare, retirement planning, flex time, profit sharing, and so on.

Success Criterion - Legislation Advocation

The organization advocates for responsible legislation that supports employment rights, transparency, and accountability related to sharing economic benefits.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Social Equity: Organizations that pay a living wage and offer good benefits often have higher employee retention rates.
  • Economic: Organizations that collaborate with stakeholders to coordinate mutually beneficial economic incentives benefit from stronger relationships.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.18 Share Decision-Making Power With Appropriate Stakeholders

Ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table is important to promoting voices who may not otherwise have their voices heard, and potentially getting useful ideas from fresh sources.

Success Criterion - Decision-Making

Ensure that the project team's goals are aligned with key business objectives, and project stakeholders (for example, project managers) have the power and autonomy to make key decisions on the organization's behalf.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Operations: If project teams are incentivized with key sustainability goals and have the authority to make decisions based on such criteria, they can measurably improve a range of metrics within the business, design, development, and infrastructure categories. In doing so, emissions can be reduced through group action and commitment changes at an organizational level.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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5.19 Use Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI) Practices

The organization has public policies and practices supporting racial justice, inclusion, equity, and diversity in hiring and operations.

Success Criterion - JEDI Practices

The organization has documented its commitment to JEDI practices with clear policies on how it prioritizes marginalized or otherwise underserved communities, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQIA+, Women, Disabled, Veterans, Seniors, and so on.

Success Criterion - Accessibility Policy

The organization has an accessibility policy for digital products and services and can show this via a verified accessible website, application, product, or service.

Success Criterion - JEDI Training

The organization has JEDI-related training materials and schedules ongoing workshops related to how this topic manifests itself in digital products and services (algorithmic bias, digital divide, gig economy work, mis / disinformation, etc).

Success Criterion - JEDI Improvements

The organization can show measurable JEDI improvement over time in its hiring, leadership, and operations.

Success Criterion - JEDI Legislation

The organization advocates for responsible legislation relating to JEDI practices, especially as related to digital products and services.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Accessibility: Organizations that incorporate more diverse stakeholder perspectives enact more inclusive policies and often create better products, services, and programs. JEDI practices strengthen an organization's resilience and ability to collaborate. Additionally, this improves diversity in the tech sector and the overall accessibility of the Internet.
  • Economic: Organizations with clear JEDI policies and practices have reduced risks of potential legal issues, lawsuits, etc.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.20 Promote Responsible Data Practices

The organization has devised and implemented a responsible data strategy that prioritizes data privacy and promotes more ethical uses of data, including disposal and data sustainability practices.

Success Criterion - Privacy Policy

The organization has a public-facing privacy policy in place and supports existing privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and so on. This policy must be both accessible for all visitors, including those with accessibility and reading comprehension needs, and abide by plain English best practices to avoid jargon, technical language, and legalese.

Success Criterion - Data Ownership

The organization can show measurable progress over time on how it respects data privacy and ownership, including a visitor's "right-to-be-forgotten" and provides the ability to export data.

Success Criterion - Data Protection

The organization supports new and emerging legislation related to data privacy, data sustainability, and responsible data practices.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Economic: Organizations that prioritize data privacy and other responsible data practices benefit from reduced risk and costs, increased resilience, and, often, better relationships with customers and other stakeholders.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.21 Implement Appropriate Data Management Procedures

Expired or unused data has a cost, it takes up space, and it requires maintenance. As such, the ability for customers to manage their own data and for service providers to manage older website material which no longer applies but might still have use will be a carbon benefit.

Success Criterion - Outdated Content

Outdated or otherwise expired product content and data are archived and deleted via automated expiration dates and scheduled product audits. Create an archiving schedule with a lighter version of the old searchable content available.

Success Criterion - Data Controllers

Enable users to control, manage, and delete their data, subscriptions, and accounts.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Low
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: By storing less data, you inherently require less computing power to maintain a service, and this will require less energy within the Internet's infrastructure. This will help to reduce your emissions.
  • Privacy: Good data management supports better data protection practices.
  • Performance: Putting older information that is less relevant onto a smaller scaled-down version of your website will reduce your bandwidth usage, and it's likely not going to impact visitors as archived information will have significantly fewer visitors.
  • Economic: Requiring less data has a potential financial benefit in that the lower storage requirements mean that you can scale down your hosting package or, if on a pay-as-you-go scheme, simply be charged less for your infrastructure costs.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Low
GRI 302: Energy
Low
GRI 303: Water
Low
GRI 305: Emissions
Low

Example

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5.22 Promote and Implement Responsible Emerging Technology Practices

The organization has devised and implemented responsible policies related to artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Web3 (Decentralized Web, blockchain, etc), and related emerging technologies.

Success Criterion - Emerging Technologies

The organization has public-facing policies in place for emerging technologies, and all such technologies are ethically sourced, screened, validated, and implemented in a non-discriminatory, responsible manner.

Success Criterion - Disruptive Technology

The organization can show how it up-skills workers as new technologies and practices potentially disrupt its business model.

Success Criterion - Technology Legislation

The organization supports responsible legislation related to automation and emerging technologies.

Success Criterion - Environmental Responsibilities

Organizations must consider, audit, and account for any environmental considerations that may derive from the use of emerging technologies they wish to either promote or implement within a chosen setting. Also note that this should include third-party choices, the \"expense\" (in terms of waste or emissions) of the utilization of the technology to create a desired result, and consequential issues to the environment that may arise from its deployment.

Success Criterion - Quantum Resilience

Don't roll out post-quantum encryption for high-traffic services that don't need resilience against harvest now, decrypt later.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Operations: Organizations that prioritize ongoing learning and continuous improvement build stronger teams that can adapt more quickly.
  • Economic: Organizations with clear policies related to digital disruption are more resilient and can pivot more quickly than those without, and organizations with clear emerging technology policies are at less risk of any number of potential threats, including legal action.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.23 Include Responsible Financial Policies

The organization implements responsible finance strategies, including divesting from fossil fuels and appropriately resourcing digital products and services to account for long-term care and maintenance.

Success Criterion - Fuel Divestment

The organization has divested from fossil fuels and moved its banking, sponsorship, and other affiliations to more responsible partners.

Success Criterion - Responsible Finance

The organization engages in flexible financing and responsible budgeting for its digital products and services to accommodate long-term care and maintenance.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Environmental: Divesting from fossil fuels moves us more quickly to an economy that is powered by renewable energy, which can reduce the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
  • Economic: Responsibly financing digital products and services improves their resilience and saves the organization time, money, and resources eventually.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.24 Include Organizational Philanthropy Policies

For-profit organizations have clear philanthropy policies and practices in place to help non-profit organizations build digital capacity and acumen while also engaging their own teams in meaningful work that promotes shared learning and stretch goals.

Success Criterion - Philanthropy Policy

The organization has a clear corporate giving policy and creates philanthropic partnerships with strategically aligned organizations.

Success Criterion - Voluntary Work

The organization engages in free or volunteer projects, which help its team learn new tools and tactics, while also helping charities and non-profit organizations build capacity.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Operations: Organizations with clear philanthropy strategies that include volunteer or free projects with team stretch goals can have higher employee engagement and retention.
  • Economic: Organizations with clear philanthropic strategies often have a system of checks and balances in place that support better overall financial practices.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.25 Plan for a Digital Product or Service's Care and End-of-Life

Everything ends at some point, planning for if and when a product or service is finalized makes good ethical sense to ensure customers can be transitioned toward a replacement rather than losing access to their data.

Success Criterion - End-of-life Care

Establish clear, documented end-of-life guidelines that include data disposal, archiving, file deletion, and so on.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Many products or services keep unnecessary data and functionalities alive while they are not used or useful anymore. Planning for end-of-life reduces their long-term environmental impact by eliminating waste and allowing the freed-up resources to be utilized for other information.
  • Security: Regular maintenance, updates, and care on outdated software and data can significantly reduce security risks.
  • Privacy: Incorporating clear end-of-life policies that include a visitor's right-to-be-forgotten will benefit the visitor by explaining how you enforce data protection and comply with legislation.
  • Performance: Removing unnecessary features, functions, and data of a service improves performance and resilience as the resources which were utilizing data will be better spent on more popular functionality, and the gains made from their elimination will be felt in terms of emissions through saved development time.
  • Economic: Removing redundancy in the product or service can generate savings in hosting, security costs, and other third-party subscriptions.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

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5.26 Include E-Waste, Right-To-Repair, and Recycling Policies

The organization addresses e-waste, right-to-repair, recycling, and related practices in its operations.

Success Criterion - E-Waste Policy

The organization has specific policies in place to recycle e-waste and repair owned technology products whenever possible.

Success Criterion - Recycling And Repairing

The organization has formed relationships with local partners for e-waste recycling and repair.

Success Criterion - Refurbishment Strategy

The organization buys refurbished equipment whenever possible.

Success Criterion - Right-to-Repair

The organization should allow consumers to repair (to the best of their ability) the consumables they purchase, offering (if possible at cost) replacement components and clear instructions to resolve faults that occur.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: Organizations with clear e-waste and recycling policies reduce environmental impact and promote circularity, while also extending the shelf-life of technology hardware. When coupled with clear philanthropic policies, donated hardware can also support resource-constrained charities.
  • Economic: Extending the shelf-life of hardware and clear e-waste / recycling policies reduces costs.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

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5.27 Define Performance and Environmental Budgets

Setting targets and limits regarding your product or service is important for keeping a sustainable mindset. Using budgets, you can declare the remits of which you will work within to ensure your emissions do not fall outside (and monitor your progress through development).

Success Criterion - Environmental Budget

The product team has defined, baselined, and documented a clear sustainability and environmental budget criteria that covers the page, user-journey, and digital service levels and metrics (such as a CO2.js score) that are approved by relevant product stakeholders.

Success Criterion - Performance Budget

Use tools such as a performance budget to determine the maximum size (goals) your app or website can weigh to reduce the data transfer and HTTP request impact (using metrics like Google Lighthouse).

Success Criterion - Human Budget

Define KPIs around engineering hours, development time, or sprints keeping the health and wellbeing of your workers paramount. Consideration should be taken around optimizing your workflow sustainably to allow all tasks to be performed with care.

Success Criterion - Measurable Improvements

The product team can measurably show how much the budgeting process improved performance and reduced emissions.

Success Criterion - Capacity And Maintenance

The product team invests in resources to build capacity and maintain the budgets over time.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
Medium
Effort
Medium

Benefits

  • Environmental: A strict sustainability or performance budget will reduce the chance of your website getting too large (and causing pollution transfers), which in turn will ensure it has a minimal impact on a visitor's device. This will have a direct impact on emissions' reduction by forcing businesses to choose where to make reductions and efficiency savings.
  • Performance: Keeping realistic goals regarding delivery size will push developers to optimize resource-heavy projects and reconsider using large tooling in place of lightweight alternatives. Moreover, A lower set target budget for a product or service will decrease the amount of time a browser spends transferring and rendering data.
  • Economic: Customers will not have to keep upgrading devices to match the needs of a website that grows (unchecked) over time.
  • Conversion: Reduced churn and page abandonment will occur due to the application or website becoming more performant. Potentially, your search engine ranking may perform better due to performance being a key indicator in PageRank algorithms.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
Medium
GRI 302: Energy
Medium
GRI 303: Water
Medium
GRI 305: Emissions
Medium

Example

Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement is implied.

Show / Hide citations and available resources.

Tags: Accessibility, Ideation, Research, Usability, Performance, KPIs

5.28 Use Open Source Tools

The organization has clear policies about using open source tools, including how it gives back to the community and responsibly manages code repositories to reduce waste.

Success Criterion - Open Source Policy

The organization has a clear open source policy in place that outlines how it uses open source tools and the practices it supports surrounding open source development.

Success Criterion - Collaboration

The organization has a track record of collaboration and community-building around open source principles.

Success Criterion - Contribution

The organization regularly contributes to open source community-based projects.

Impact & Effort

Impact [*]
High
Effort
High

Benefits

  • Operations: Collaboration and community-building around open source practices engenders trust and helps to reduce inequalities.
  • Economic: If managed properly, open source tools can significantly reduce development time.

You can find details about complying with [GRI] through the body behind the standard.

GRI 301: Materials
High
GRI 302: Energy
High
GRI 303: Water
High
GRI 305: Emissions
High

Example

Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement is implied.

Show / Hide citations and available resources.

Tags: Social Equity, UI, Ideation, Assets, Software

6. Glossary

This section is non-normative.

Accessibility

Web accessibility (within the context of Inclusive Design) means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities (and those without) can use them, free of barriers.

Note

Types of accessibility barriers can include auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual. They can also be permanent, temporary, or situational (depending on the situation).

ESG

Environmental, social, and (corporate) governance (ESG), is a set of principles which recommends taking each of these factors (alongside economic variables) into account during the sustainability process.

Note

This work is grounded within the three pillars of sustainability:

  1. Environmental: We prioritize the health of ecosystems and the planet overall.
  2. Social: People should have access to resources, information, and opportunities necessary for their well-being.
  3. Economic: Financial stability and equitable economic development—in this case, through the digital economy—ensures shared prosperity for the planet and its inhabitants.
Informative

For information purposes and not required for compliance.

Note

Content identified as "informative" or "non-normative" is never required for compliance.

Normative

Required for compliance.

Web Sustainability

An approach to designing digital products and services that puts people and the planet first.

Note

Aiming for a clean (hosted using renewables), efficient (using the fewest resources possible), open (accessible and user-controlled data), honest (avoiding misleading or exploiting visitors), regenerative (support people and the planet), and resilient (function under any circumstances) service or product.

Visitors

Within the context of this specification:

  • A visitor is an individual who may visit a website but not necessarily use or interact with (in a measurable way) the products or services provided by the provider.
  • A user is an individual who visits a website or application but also uses and interacts with the features provided (whether or not information is exchanged).
Note

In many cases, visitor and user on the web are used interchangeably (and this is perfectly acceptable), but we have chosen to make this distinction to provide context that in certain cases, individuals (for privacy reasons or simply because certain users just glancing or certain websites having static content) may not be classified as a user (in the sense of a customer) as they are a window shopper (visitor).

A. Acknowledgements

Additional information about participation in the Sustainable Web Design Community Group (SWG-CG) can be found within the wiki of the community group.

A.1 Participants of the SWD-CG Active in the Development of This Document

Alexander Dawson, Andy Blum, Anne Faubry, Arnaud Levy, Ben Clifford, Berwyn Powell, Brett Tackaberry, Brian Louis Ramirez, Chris Adams, Chris Needham, Chris Sater, Chris Wilson, Claire Thornewill, Dennis Lemm, Diogo Abrantes Da Silva, Dom Robinson, Emily Trotter, Fershad Irani, Francesco Fullone, Iain McClenaghan, Ian Jacobs, Ines Akrap, Ismael Velasco, James Christie, Jennifer Strickland, Jens Oliver Meiert, Jim McCool, Josh Kim, Julien Wilhelm, Laurent Devernay, Loren Velasquez, Łukasz Mastalerz, Marie Ototoi, Michelle Barker, Mike Gifford, Morgan Murrah, Nahuai Badiola, Neil Clark, Nick Doty, Nicola Bonotto, Orie Steele, Owen Barton, Romuald Priol, Sandy Dähnert, Shane Herath, Simon Perdrisat, Tantek Çelik, Thibaud Colas, Thorsten Jonas, Tim Frick, Tzviya Siegman, Youen Chéné, Yuna Orsini, Zoe Lopez-Latorre

A.2 Other Active SWD-CG Participants, or Contributors to Supporting Resources

Anthony Vallée-Dubois, Antoine Abélard, Bee Flaherty, Boris Schapira, Christophe Clouzeau, Christos Baharakis, Crystal Preston-Watson, Elise West, Florence Maurice, François Burra, Gaël Duez, Gerry McGovern, Greg McDonald, Ivano Malavolta, James Cannings, James Gallagher, Jean Rigotti, Jon Gibbins, Juan Sotés, Julien Robitaille, Kate Mroczkowski, Kimi Wei, Leah Goldfarb, Len Dierickx, Louise Towler, Luis Tiago, Marie Koesnodihardjo, Mert Antinoz, Nicolas Oren, Pietro Jarre, Radu Micu, Rick Butterfield, Rick Viscomi, Robin Whittleton, Seb Solere, Sylvain Tenier, Thierry Leboucq, Tom Greenwood, Torsten Beyer, Yelle Lieder.

B. References

B.1 Normative references

[1Planet]
1% For The Planet. 1% for the Planet. Informational. URL: https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/
[ADS]
Ads.Txt - Authorized Digital Sellers. IAB technology Lab. 01 August 2022. Informational. URL: https://iabtechlab.com/ads-txt/
[ADVERT]
Environmental impact assessment of online advertising. M. Pärssinen, M. Kotila, R. Cuevas, A. Phansalkar, and J. Manner. 19 September 2018. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195925517303505
[AFNOR]
AFNOR SPEC 2201. AFNOR. 01 April 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.boutique.afnor.org/en-gb/standard/afnor-spec-2201//fa203506/323315
[AISDG]
The role of artificial intelligence in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Ricardo Vinuesa, Hossein Azizpour, Iolanda Leite, Madeline Balaam, Virginia Dignum, Sami Domisch, Anna Felländer, Simone Daniela Langhans, Max Tegmark, and Francesco Fuso Nerini. 13 January 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-14108-y
[ALMANAC]
Web Almanac: Sustainability. HTTP Archive. 26 Sepember 2022. Informational. URL: https://almanac.httparchive.org/en/2022/sustainability
[ANGEL]
Blue Angel. Blue Angel. Informational. URL: https://www.blauer-engel.de/en
[APPMANIFEST]
Web Application Manifest. Marcos Caceres; Kenneth Christiansen; Matt Giuca; Aaron Gustafson; Daniel Murphy; Anssi Kostiainen. W3C. 29 November 2023. W3C Working Draft. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/appmanifest/
[BATLED]
How much battery does dark mode save?: an accurate OLED display power profiler for modern smartphones. Pranab Dash and Y. Charlie Hu. 24 June 2021. Informational. URL: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3458864.3467682
[BCORP-C]
B Corperation Certification. B Lab. Informational. URL: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/certification/
[BCORP-I]
Improving your BIA score. B Lab. Informational. URL: https://bcorporation.uk/b-corp-certification/how-to-certify-as-a-b-corp/improving-your-score/
[BCORP-S]
B Corperation Standards. B Lab. Informational. URL: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/standards/
[BITCOIN]
The Sustainability of Bitcoin and its Impact on the Environment. Eunice Rho. 17 January 2023. Informational. URL: https://grc.berkeley.edu/the-sustainability-of-bitcoin-and-its-impact-on-the-environment/
[CACHE]
A Web Caching Primer. Brian Davison. 01 Sepember 2001. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/2570397_A_Web_Caching_Primer
[CARBON]
Carbon.txt - Green Infrastructure Verification. Green Web Foundation. 27 May 2023. Informational. URL: https://github.com/thegreenwebfoundation/carbon.txt
[CCEEDC]
Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centres. Mark Acton, Paolo Bertoldi and John Booth. 01 January 2023. Informational. URL: https://e3p.jrc.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/publications/jrc132576_jrc132576_jrc_2023_best_practice_guidelines_v14.1.0final_gt1.pdf
[CCPA]
California Consumer Privacy Act. State of California Department of Justice. 10 May 2023. Informational. URL: https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa
[CDP]
CDP. CDP Worldwide. Informational. URL: https://www.cdp.net/en
[CEE]
Equations relating total annual energy consumption and chips energy efficiency. Anders S.G. Andrae. 28 June 2023. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/371938289_Equations_relating_total_annual_energy_consumption_and_chips_energy_efficiency
[CEIUE]
Carbon Emission Implications of ICT Re-use at the University of Edinburgh. Jim Hart. 01 July 2016. Informational. URL: https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/pc-carbonfootprints-jh-ecci2.pdf
[CIWS]
The Carbon Impact of Web Standards. Alexander Dawson. 22 January 2023. Informational. URL: https://websitesustainability.com/cache/files/research23.pdf
[CLOUDDATA]
The Cloud Is Material. Steven Gonzalez Monserrate. 27 January 2022. Informational. URL: https://mit-serc.pubpub.org/pub/the-cloud-is-material/release/1?readingCollection=b2d8aadb
[COGA-USABLE]
Making Content Usable for People with Cognitive and Learning Disabilities. Lisa Seeman-Horwitz; Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Steve Lee; Ruoxi Ran. W3C. 29 April 2021. W3C Working Group Note. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/coga-usable/
[COMPETE]
Sustainability innovations and firm competitiveness. Fanny Hermundsdottir and Arild Aspelund. 19 October 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652620347594
[CRITCSS]
On the Impact of the Critical CSS Technique on the Performance and Energy Consumption of Mobile Browsers. Kalle Janssen, Tim Pelle, Lucas de Geus, Reinier van der Gronden, Tanjina Islam, and Ivano Malavolta. 22 June 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.ivanomalavolta.com/files/papers/EASE_2022_critical_css.pdf
[CRYPTO]
Cryptocurrency's Dirty Secret: Energy Consumption. Jeremy Hinsdale. 04 May 2022. Informational. URL: https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2022/05/04/cryptocurrency-energy/
[CRYPTOBENCH]
3rd Global CryptoAsset Benchmarking Study. Apolline Blandin, Gina Pieters, Yue Wu, Thomas Eisermann, Anton Dek, Sean Taylor, and Damaris Njoki. 04 May 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-ccaf-3rd-global-cryptoasset-benchmarking-study.pdf
[CTICT]
The real climate and transformative impact of ICT. Charlotte Freitag, Mike Berners-Lee, Kelly Widdicks, Bran Knowles, Gordon S. Blair, Adrian Friday. 10 September 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666389921001884
[CTML]
Carbontracker: Tracking and Predicting the Carbon Footprint of Training Deep Learning Models. Lasse F. Wolff Anthony, Benjamin Kanding, and Raghavendra Selvan. 06 July 2020. Informational. URL: https://arxiv.org/abs/2007.03051
[CYBER]
The cyber-consciousness of environmental assessment. John Mulrow, Manasi Gali, and Emily Grubert. 22 December 2021. Informational. URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac413b
[DC-T]
DCMI Metadata Terms. Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. 20 January 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dcmi-terms/
[DDATA]
Exploring the sustainability challenges facing digitalization and internet data centers. Dlzar Al Kez, Aoife M. Foley, David Laverty, Dylan Furszyfer Del Rio, and Benjamin Sovacool. 15 October 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652622032115
[DNC]
Does not compute: Avoiding pitfalls assessing the Internet's energy and carbon impacts. Jonathan Koomey and Eric Masanet. 24 June 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(21)00211-7
[DSASCF]
Digital sustainability audits: a de facto standard for the Internet carbon footprint. David Monras. 08 June 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343041330_Digital_sustainability_audits_a_de_facto_standard_for_the_Internet_carbon_footprint
[DSMS]
Digitalization for sustainable maintenance services: A systematic literature review. Bishal Raj Karki and Jari Porras. 25 June 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666954421000107
[ECCCT]
Energy-efficient Cloud Computing Technologies and Policies for an Eco-friendly Cloud Market. European Commission. 09 November 2020. Informational. URL: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/library/energy-efficient-cloud-computing-technologies-and-policies-eco-friendly-cloud-market
[ECCRA]
EU Cyber Resilience Act. European Commission. 20 June 2023. Informational. URL: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/cyber-resilience-act
[ECDCBC]
Energy Consumption in Data Centres and Broadband Communication Networks in the EU. European Commission. 16 Febuary 2024. Informational. URL: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC135926
[ECDCCOC]
Data Centres Code of Conduct. European Commission. 4 November 2023. Informational. URL: https://e3p.jrc.ec.europa.eu/communities/data-centres-code-conduct
[ECDCEE]
2020 Best Practice Guidelines for the EU Code of Conduct on Data Centre Energy Efficiency. European Commission. 21 January 2020. Informational. URL: https://e3p.jrc.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/publications/jrc119571_jrc119571_2020_best_practice_guidelines_v11.1.0a_br_ma_21_jan.pdf
[ECDF]
Shaping Europe's digital future. European Commission. 19 February 2020. Informational. URL: https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/priorities-2019-2024/europe-fit-digital-age/shaping-europes-digital-future_en
[ECGDS]
Green digital sector. European Commission. 22 February 2023. Informational. URL: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/green-digital
[ECODFR]
Ecoconception. French Republic. 16 December 2021. Informational. URL: https://ecoresponsable.numerique.gouv.fr/docs/2021/formation-ecoconception-2021-12-16.pdf
[EDRP]
European Digital Rights and Principles. European Commission. 27 September 2023. Informational. URL: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/digital-principles
[EEA]
Europe's consumption in a circular economy: the benefits of longer-lasting electronics. European Environment Agency. 18 June 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europe2019s-consumption-in-a-circular/benefits-of-longer-lasting-electronics
[EEF-ICT]
Measuring the Emissions & Energy Footprint of the ICT Sector. The World Bank. 12 December 2023. Informational. URL: https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/099121223165540890/pdf/P17859702a98880540a4b70d57876048abb.pdf
[EEG]
Electronics Goes Green. Electronics Goes Green. 01 September 2020. Informational. URL: https://online.electronicsgoesgreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Proceedings_EGG2020_v2.pdf
[EEI]
Investigating the Inconsistencies among Energy and Energy Intensity Estimates of the Internet. Vlad Coroamă. 28 June 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.aramis.admin.ch/Default?DocumentID=67656&Load=true
[EFAI]
The growing energy footprint of artificial intelligence. Alex de Vries. 10 October 2023. Informational. URL: https://www.cell.com/joule/fulltext/S2542-4351(23)00365-3
[EFIIU]
The overlooked environmental footprint of increasing Internet use. Renee Obringer, Benjamin Rachunok, Debora Maia-Silva, Maryam Arbabzadeh, Roshanak Nateghi, and Kaveh Madani. 8 January 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921344920307072
[EIDT]
Electricity Intensity of Internet Data Transmission. Joshua Aslan, Kieren Mayers, Jonathan G. Koomey, and Chris France. 01 August 2017. Informational. URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jiec.12630
[ETC-EO]
Electronics and obsolescence in a circular economy. John Bachér, Yoko Dams, Tom Duhoux, Yang Deng, Tuuli Teittinen, and Lars Fogh Mortensen. 18 June 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.eionet.europa.eu/etcs/etc-wmge/products/etc-wmge-reports/electronics-and-obsolescence-in-a-circular-economy
[ETSI]
ETSI ES 203 199. European Telecommunications Standards Institute. 01 Febuary 2015. Informational. URL: https://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_es/203100_203199/203199/01.03.01_60/es_203199v010301p.pdf
[EWASTE]
Sources and Streams of Electronic Waste. Josh Lepawsky. 24 July 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(20)30307-9
[fingerprinting-guidance]
Mitigating Browser Fingerprinting in Web Specifications. Nick Doty. W3C. 28 March 2019. W3C Working Group Note. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/fingerprinting-guidance/
[FIREFOX]
Tracking Protection in Firefox For Privacy and Performance. Georgios Kontaxis and Monica Chew. Informational. URL: https://www.ieee-security.org/TC/SPW2015/W2SP/papers/W2SP_2015_submission_32.pdf
[FOAF]
Friend Of A Friend. Dan Brickley and Libby Miller. 01 May 2004. Informational. URL: http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/
[FOOTPRINT]
The environmental footprint of the digital world. Frédéric Bordage. 01 November 2019. Informational. URL: https://www.greenit.fr/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/GREENIT_EENM_etude_EN_accessible.pdf
[FRAMEWORKS]
Measuring energy consumption of cross-platform frameworks for mobile applications. Matteo Ciman and Ombretta Gaggi. Informational. URL: https://www.math.unipd.it/~gaggi/doc/webistext15.pdf
[FUNIT]
Defining Functional Units For LCA and TEA. US Department of Energy. 03 May 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2022-06/2022-05-03%20-%20Functional%20Unit%20PDF_compliant.pdf
[GAMING]
Climate Change Implications of Gaming Products and Services. Joshua Aslan. 01 February 2020. Informational. URL: https://openresearch.surrey.ac.uk/discovery/delivery/44SUR_INST:ResearchRepository/99512335802346#13140594990002346
[GDPR]
General Data Protection Regulation. European Union. Informational. URL: https://gdpr.eu/
[GHGP]
Greenhouse Gas Protocol. WRI & WBCSD. Informational. URL: https://ghgprotocol.org/
[GHGP-CLOUD]
Greenhouse Gas Protocol - Cloud & Data Center Services. WRI & WBCSD. Informational. URL: https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/GHGP-ICTSG%20-%20ALL%20Chapters.pdf#page=142
[GON]
Future trends of Green All Optical Networks and ICT Infrastructure in a large context. Anders S.G. Andrae. 29 March 2023. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/368690756_Future_trends_of_Green_All_Optical_Networks_and_ICT_Infrastructure_in_a_large_context_-_trends_to_2050
[GR491]
Handbook of Sustainable Design of Digital Services. European Institute for Sustainable IT. 15 October 2021. Informational. URL: https://gr491.isit-europe.org/en/
[GREEN-D]
The power of green defaults. Micha Kaiser, Manuela Bernauer, Cass R. Sunstein, and Lucia A. Reisch. 01 August 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919317975
[GREEN-SW]
Green software: Refactoring approach. Rajni Sehgal, Deepti Mehrotra, Renuka Nagpal, and Ramanuj Sharma. 04 November 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319157820305164
[GREENCODE]
Energy Efficiency across Programming Languages. Rui Pereira, Marco Couto, Francisco Ribeiro, Rui Rua, Jácome Cunha, João Paulo Fernandes, and João Saraiva. 24 October 2017. Informational. URL: https://greenlab.di.uminho.pt/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/sleFinal.pdf
[GRI]
Global Reporting Initiative. Global Reporting Initiative. 30 June 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.globalreporting.org/
[GSMA]
Best practises for 5G App Developers. GSMA. 23 November 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.gsma.com/get-involved/working-groups/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/IG.15-v1.0-1.pdf
[HOLCOL]
Cost of living: Impact of rising costs on disabled people. House Of Lords, U.K. Government. 14 December, 2022. Informational. URL: https://lordslibrary.parliament.uk/cost-of-living-impact-of-rising-costs-on-disabled-people/
[HTML]
HTML Standard. Anne van Kesteren; Domenic Denicola; Ian Hickson; Philip Jägenstedt; Simon Pieters. WHATWG. Living Standard. URL: https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/
[HUMANS]
Humans.txt - We Are People, Not Machines. Abel Cabans, Abel Sutilo, Carlos Mañas, Juanjo Bernabeu, and Maria Macias. 04 April 2011. Informational. URL: https://humanstxt.org/Standard.html
[IATI]
IATI Technical Climate Impact Measurement. Nik Osvalds. 22 June 2022. Informational. URL: https://climate.iatistandard.org/methodology
[ICODD]
Your right to get your data deleted. Information Comissioners Office, U.K. Government. 07 January 2023. Informational. URL: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/your-right-to-get-your-data-deleted/
[ICTCA]
Study on the practical application of the new framework methodology for measuring the environmental impact of ICT. European Union. 01 January 2014. Informational. URL: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/ef17c01f-ea7c-49e0-91aa-878f16ba6361
[IEA]
Data Centres and Data Transmission Networks. IEA. Informational. URL: https://www.iea.org/energy-system/buildings/data-centres-and-data-transmission-networks
[IEA-DE]
Digitalisation and Energy. IEA. 01 November 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.iea.org/reports/digitalisation-and-energy
[IEA-V]
The carbon footprint of streaming video: fact-checking the headlines. IEA. 11 December 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.iea.org/commentaries/the-carbon-footprint-of-streaming-video-fact-checking-the-headlines
[IEU]
New perspectives on internet electricity use in 2030. Anders S.G. Andrae. 30 June 2020. Informational. URL: https://pisrt.org/psr-press/journals/easl-vol-3-issue-2-2020/new-perspectives-on-internet-electricity-use-in-2030/
[INR]
Label numérique responsable. INR & Agence LUCIE. Informational. URL: https://institutnr.org/label-numerique-responsable
[LIFESPAN]
Promoting product longevity. European Union. 01 March 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/648767/IPOL_STU(2020)648767_EN.pdf
[maturity-model]
Accessibility Maturity Model. David Fazio; Charles LaPierre; Janina Sajka. W3C. 15 December 2023. W3C Working Group Note. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/maturity-model/
[METAEX]
MetaExtensions. WHATWG. 31 July 2021. Informational. URL: https://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/MetaExtensions
[MF]
Microformats. Microformats Community. 18 July 2020. Informational. URL: https://microformats.org/wiki/Main_Page
[MGGR]
Mobile Gender Gap Report. GSMA. 01 March 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GSMA-The-Mobile-Gender-Gap-Report-2020.pdf
[MOBI]
The state of the art in measurement-based experiments on the mobile web. Omar de Munk, Gian Luca Scoccia, and Ivano Malavolta. 20 May 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095058492200091X
[MOBILE-BP]
Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0. Jo Rabin; Charles McCathieNevile. W3C. 29 July 2008. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/mobile-bp/
[MPWA]
Evaluating the Impact of Caching on the Energy Consumption and Performance of Progressive Web Apps. Ivano Malavolta, Katerina Chinnappan, Lukas Jasmontas, Sarthak Gupta, and Kaveh Ali Karam Soltany. 6 October 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.ivanomalavolta.com/files/papers/MOBILESoft_Caching_PWA_2020.pdf
[NCSC-CC]
Produce clean and maintainable code. National Cyber Security Center, U.K. Government. 22 November 2018. Informational. URL: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/developers-collection/principles/produce-clean-maintainable-code
[NCSC-HS]
Serve websites over HTTPS. National Cyber Security Center, U.K. Government. 22 November 2018. Informational. URL: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/serve-websites-over-https-always
[NCSC-PP]
Let them paste passwords. National Cyber Security Center, U.K. Government. 22 November 2018. Informational. URL: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/let-them-paste-passwords
[NETCACHE]
A Review on Green Caching Strategies for Next Generation Communication Networks. M. Ishtiaque A. Zahed, Iftekhar Ahmad, Daryoush Habibi, Quoc Viet Phung, Md. Munjure Mowla, and Muhammad Waqas. 09 November 2020. Informational. URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=9272291
[OAG43]
43% of major environmental websites make mass carbon emissions. Open Access Government. 21 April 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/43-of-major-environmental-websites-make-mass-carbon-emissions/134119/
[OGRAPH]
Open Graph Protocol. OGP Team. 11 December 2010. Informational. URL: https://ogp.me/
[ONLIGN]
How might we shape the future of a greener Internet?. Lu Ye. 1 June 2020. Informational. URL: https://trello-attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/5ebe50461cdc203af62d5e5d/5f1959cb638a3c1fe7c8abe3/8c9913f7876a417ede6e55d90f4d7f61/Lu_Ye_Final_Report.pdf
[OSEARCH]
OpenSearch Protocol. OpenSearch Team. 18 November 2020. Informational. URL: https://github.com/dewitt/opensearch/blob/master/opensearch-1-1-draft-6.md
[OXCCHR]
Impact of New and Emerging Internet Technologies on Climate Change and Human Rights. Kira Allmann and Mike Hazas. 01 October 2019. Informational. URL: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/migrated/un_human_rights_council_advisory_committee_submission_-_new_and_emerging_technologies_-_allmann_hazas.pdf
[PARTDES]
An introduction to radical participatory design. Victor Udoewa. 20 December 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/design-science/article/an-introduction-to-radical-participatory-design-decolonising-participatory-design-processes/63F70ECC408844D3CD6C1A5AC7D35F4D
[PEWR]
Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally. Pew Research Center. 05 Febuary 2019. Informational. URL: https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2019/02/05/smartphone-ownership-is-growing-rapidly-around-the-world-but-not-always-equally/
[PHP-FM]
PHP Function and Method listing. The PHP Group. Informational. URL: https://www.php.net/manual/en/indexes.functions.php
[PSEC]
Investigating the correlation between performance scores and energy consumption of mobile web apps. Kwame Chan-Jong-Chu, Tanjina Islam, Miguel Morales Exposito, Sanjay Sheombar, Christian Valladares, Olivier Philippot, Eoin Martino Grua, and Ivano Malavolta. 17 April 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.ivanomalavolta.com/files/papers/EASE_2020.pdf
[QUANTUM]
Dismantling the Quantum Threat. Tilman Runge. 06 December 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/367205680_Dismantling_the_Quantum_Threat
[RAHS]
Rethinking Allocation in High-Baseload Systems. D. Schien, P. J. S. Shabajee, and C. W. Preist. 05 July 2022. Informational. URL: https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/348324297/Schien_rethinking_allocation.pdf
[RDFA-CORE]
RDFa Core 1.1 - Third Edition. Ben Adida; Mark Birbeck; Shane McCarron; Ivan Herman et al. W3C. 17 March 2015. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/rdfa-core/
[RGESN]
Référentiel général d'écoconception de services numériques. French Republic. 28 November 2022. Informational. URL: https://ecoresponsable.numerique.gouv.fr/publications/referentiel-general-ecoconception/
[ROBOTS2]
An Extended Standard for Robot Exclusion. Sean Conner. 5 November 2002. Informational. URL: https://www.conman.org/people/spc/robots2.html
[RSS]
RSS 2.0 Specification. RSS Advisory Board. 30 March 2009. Informational. URL: https://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification
[SASB]
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. IFRS Foundation. Informational. URL: https://sasb.org/
[SCHEMA]
Structured Data. Schema Community. 23 May 2023. Informational. URL: https://schema.org/
[SDGS]
Sustainable Development Goals. United Nations. 11 July 2020. Informational. URL: https://sdgs.un.org/goals
[SECURITY]
security.txt - A proposed standard which allows websites to define security policies. E. Foudil and Y. Shafranovich. 01 April 2022. Informational. URL: https://securitytxt.org/
[SEMVER]
Semantic Versioning. Tom Preston-Werner. Informational. URL: https://semver.org/
[SITEMAP]
Sitemaps Protocol. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. 21 November 2016. Informational. URL: https://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html
[SOLID]
Solid Protocol. Solid Project. 31 December 2022. Informational. URL: https://solidproject.org/TR/protocol
[SUSTYDEBT]
Sustainability debt: A metaphor to support Sustainability design decisions. Stefanie Betz, Christoph Becker, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Leticia Duboc, Steve Easterbrook, Birgit Penzenstadler, N. Seyff, and Colin C. Venters. 01 January 2015. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282889658_Sustainability_debt_A_metaphor_to_support_Sustainability_design_decisions
[SWPWA]
Assessing the Impact of Service Workers on the Energy Efficiency of Progressive Web Apps. Ivano Malavolta, Giuseppe Procaccianti, Paul Noorland, and Petar Vukmirovic. 23 May 2017. Informational. URL: https://www.ivanomalavolta.com/files/papers/Mobilesoft_2017.pdf
[TCFD]
Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. TCFD. Informational. URL: https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/
[TRAFFIC]
Are there limits to growth in data traffic?. Mike Hazas, Janine Morley, Oliver Bates and Adrian Friday. Informational. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303748253_Are_there_limits_to_growth_in_data_traffic_on_time_use_data_generation_and_speed
[UKG-AS]
Sample accessibility statement. U.K. Government. 2 April 2020. Informational. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sample-accessibility-statement
[UKG-PDF]
Making a positive change: PDF to HTML. U.K. Government. 12 June 2023. Informational. URL: https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2023/06/12/making-a-positive-change-pdf-to-html/
[UKG-PE]
Building a resilient frontend using progressive enhancement. U.K. Government. 16 December 2019. Informational. URL: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/technology/using-progressive-enhancement
[UKG-SDG]
Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. U.K. Government. 15 July 2021. Informational. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-the-sustainable-development-goals/implementing-the-sustainable-development-goals--2
[UKG-TA]
Testing for accessibility. U.K. Government. 24 May 2022. Informational. URL: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/helping-people-to-use-your-service/testing-for-accessibility
[UNGA]
United Nations Global Impact. United Nations. Informational. URL: https://unglobalcompact.org/
[UNGA-LW]
How to Ensure a Living Wage for All Employees, Globally and Regionally. United Nations. Informational. URL: https://unglobalcompact.org/academy/how-to-ensure-a-living-wage-for-all-employees
[USG-UT]