A Fife charity focused on ecology and education has become one of the first in Scotland to gain accreditation for having an environmentally-friendly website.
The Ecology Centre, which has a five-acre site in Kinghorn, teamed up with the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance to ensure its website reduces the amount of CO2 emissions it generates.
The EFWA’s board of scientific advisers recommend that websites should not emit more than one gram of CO2 per page view.
They worked with the Ecology Centre to audit the website and ensure the page fell beneath that threshold.
In line with EFWA recommendations, the Ecology Centre reduced its website page size and have optimised it further, a term called ‘eco optimisation’.
As part of the agreement, the EFWA will carry out regular audits to ensure the website remains beneath the recommended one gram of CO2 per page view levels.
The EFWA argues that if even a fraction of the world’s websites changed to keep their page size low and optimised, potentially millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions could be prevented from entering the atmosphere.
It is estimated that 10 per cent of the world’s electricity is consumed by the internet, a figure which is projected to increase as more of the world comes online and dependence on the web increases.
Energy consumed by the internet includes data centres, electricity used by end-user devices like phones, computers and tablets and transmission networks.
Now that the Ecology Centre has gone through the optimisation and accreditation process, it has received an EFWA kitemark which appears on the company’s home page.
Shane Herath, Chair of the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance, said:
“People tend not to think of the internet as something which contributes to climate change.
“But the amount of electricity it consumes is staggering, and unless we find a way to make that sustainable it will be increasingly difficult for the world to meet its climate change targets.
“By reducing the page size of a website, businesses, charities and other organisations can lessen the amount of energy consumed every time someone visits their website.
“That may sound like a small contribution, but there are nearly two billion websites in the world, some of which receive huge volumes of traffic.
“If even a fraction of these optimised and reduced page size, we could prevent millions of tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
“We were delighted to work with the Ecology Centre, who can now demonstrate to other businesses and organisations in Fife and beyond that their website is one which is environmentally friendly.”
Errin Anderson, general manager of the Ecology Centre, said:
“We are thrilled to announce that The Ecology Centre website has been certified as climate-positive by the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance.
“We’ve made a commitment to switch to green energy to power the website and take responsibility for website carbon emissions through carbon sequestration as part of the criteria.
“The carbon footprint of the internet is growing exponentially, and businesses can take responsibility to reduce the emissions of their websites and digital platforms and transition towards climate positivity.
“The EFWA is working with organisations around the world to help lead the way to a more sustainable digital world, and we are really proud to be part of that journey with this new accreditation.”