W3C introduces the first draft of the Web Sustainability Guidelines

The Sustainable Web Design Community Group has announced a draft Community Group Report on Sustainable Web Design.

In a post released on the W3C blog it stated:

The Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSG) 1.0 explains how to design and implement digital products and services that put people and the planet first. The guidelines are best practices based on measurable, evidence-based research; aimed at end-users, web workers, stakeholders, tool authors, educators, and policymakers. The guidelines are in line with the Sustainable Web Manifesto and aligned with GRI Standards to help organisations incorporate digital products and services into broader sustainability reporting initiatives.

Why are these guidelines so important?

The digital industry is responsible for between 2-5% of global emissions, more than the aviation industry. If the Internet were a country it would be one of the top five polluters. It is therefore important to have standards in place for all web designers and developers to follow to decrease the footprint of the internet.

What do the guidelines contain?

These guidelines provide a series of best practices and recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of web development and related design, such as minimising data transfer, optimising images, and using green hosting.

How are the guidelines structured?

The structure of WSG is inspired by WCAG with 93 guidelines and 232 success criteria. Every guideline is supported by evidence and examples with information about the impact it has, the effort involved in implementation, and the specific benefits. WSG has four major categories: User Experience Design; Web Development; Hosting, Infrastructure and Systems; and Business Strategy And Product Management.

There is a wealth of information and research within these guidelines. Pooled from the community from around the globe, it is a great place to learn more on how to create lower-carbon websites.

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