Introducing the Web Sustainability Guidelines (WSGs)

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Nervion Arenal II: Alright. So before we start, I think we'll probably do quick round of introductions of speakers, because 3 of us today, I'm here physically and we have Tim and Alex joining us remotely. We're not members of, so it would be probably good for us to explain where coming from.
… I'll go first. My name is Lukas Mastalish, and I'm with climber Dark. My day job is to build open data assets to accelerate
… private capital towards the organization. And my weekend job as a part of sustainable visualization. And that's how I ended up here sharing the the work of sample web design coming into the group with you
… timed and I go next.

Tim Frick (he/him): Sure. Hello, everyone! My name is Tim Frick. I'm the founder of mighty bytes and co-founder of the Csi Web Community Group in 2,013, and I
… and they've been working with all of these wonderful, amazing people to help bring these guidelines to life over that, especially over the past couple of years. So I'm really excited to to share them all with you. Go ahead, Alex.

Alexander Dawson: Hi! I'm Alexander Dawson. I'm a freelance web developer, specialized in inclusive design and sustainability. Do some research in sustainability as well on the side and obviously join the Sustainable Web Site Community Group and rose through the ranks to be a Co. Chair alongside.
… And I've been helping to forge these things into shape and get them into the respect format, though we now see today.
… And yeah, that's pretty much all. I've got her

Nervion Arenal II: perfect thanks, Alex. Alright. So I think we can start with the contents. Now. first of all, let's try to define a problem.
… I'm not going to talk a lot about the climate crisis and price agreement, because, presumably, everyone knows more or less
… and what's happening. That's obviously this is likely to be one of the most transformational events in our lifetimes
… and historically, digital sector was not being was that included? It was included as a part of solution. It was seen as a accelerator and a transition of
… other industries. But it was not seen as a problem.
… The fact that is that
… it starts to changing. And the fact is that digital industry is it's quite a significant negative impact
… on the environment depending on how we calculate this anywhere between 2 to 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to digital sector.
… And according to report by Greenpeace. This puts digital sector with the top 5
… countries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. So if Internet was a country, it would be within top 5. So imagine we have a China top. Then there's us India, and then
… fourth country. Russia is somewhere between 4.6 to 4.8%.
… So if we look at the higher bound of this 2 to 5% spectrum, this is where
… digital industries. So it's higher than
… Japan, higher than Germany, higher than many other high emitting countries.
… Second thing is
… the growth of digital sector between 2,015. So between
… the year of Paris agreement and 2021, according to international energy agency web traffic increased by more than 400%. Similarly, according to data from Http archive
… average size of a webpage increased by 70% for desktop and 140% for mobile
… you may be asking yourself a question if
… impact is so big, and if the growth is so rapid. how is it possible that film didn't explode. Yet so far we've been lucky because of optimization over the last 10 years
… despite the fact that
… usage is growing in 2 digits, percentage high, 2 digit percentage year over year. Optimizations, especially optimizations around networking optimizations within
… data centers optimization to cloud.
… they allowed us to keep emissions from
… digital sector more stable. The question is, whether these optimizations are going to continue. And the answer is, probably we don't know.
… and it's probably risky to assume that they will continue report that we're quoting here from EU Commission
… Predicts that by twenty-thirty
… amount of traffic, the Internet is going to double
… and amount of sorry amount of energy used by Internet is going to double. Obviously, energy is not equivalent to
… Co 2 missions, because over these years grid is going to carbonize. But still, we have to account for this growth on on energy usage.
… The bottom line here is that this is a serious problem. And we have to find a way to address this
… to make it even more interesting or complicated. There's a number of different variables that we have to account for when we talk about digital sustainability.
… Obviously, power usage, energy that's needed to run servers, client devices, networks is significant.
… But then we have to also account for water that's used for data center cooling for energy generation and also in manufacturing.
… Speaking of manufacturing, we have to account for resource extraction, and then, at the very end of the process, we have to account for e waste that's generated by the sector.
… There is a number of
… website carbon calculators that try to account for as many variables as possible. but it's difficult to imagine that with this
… level of complexity they will ever be able to account for all these different scenarios and different
… variables, and that they will be able to give us answers without.
… reliable advice from trusted sources.
… Let's kind of look at what's happening in the context of this problem. So first of all from public point of view. If you watch closely, you see that bad actors attack
… players having major contribution to greenhouse gas emissions or tech players attempting to greenwash are being
… more and more often called out by the public. You'd see that ethical brands are.
… I think, increased consumer. Trust it. See that many organizations are starting to look closely into their impact into the impact of the services providing. And
… media and user companies are good example. Here. then, you see that people are looking into their personal digital footprints and trying to
… trying to reduce this as much as possible. Then there's
… there is an industry angle to this. And there's a lot of things happening within industry.
… There is a number of books already published on web sustainability, and we have authors at least of 2 of them on the call today. There is a number of tools to examine report and fix visual carbon impacts.
… in built into the products. there is a large and growing number of websites, articles, videos, podcasts okay, so exclusively on digital sustainability.
… And
… at the cutting edge. There's a lot of academic research happening especially in the context of accuracy measuring the impact of the sector and try attempt to optimize
… the negative impact of of digital services.
… Then there is a regulatory landscape which
… this is first of all, with a set of well established standards like
… All the Iso, 14,000 standards or gi. and these standards are being supplemented by number of
… regulations, best practices that are emerging within the markets within the whole regulatory landscape. Many of these regulations are
… not specific to the digital sector. They're broader
… other system ability, legislation.
… But still for many companies, this means that they have to start to think about their sustainability impact from digital point of view.
… Because for some types of companies that's going to be very significant portion.
… So with that with this con with this problem that. We've been discussing. And context, probably also worth mentioning that
… digital sustainability is currently fragmented space and industry guidance is scattered.
… And we think that this is where enters the stage as a leader in offering user centered recommendations. That is, recommendations related to
… inclusiveness or privacy.
… W. 3 C. Already. Hints towards sustainability and their design, privacy and ethics principles. And obviously there is a
… web content ex put. There's a set of web content, accessibility, guidelines, which is the source of truth when it comes to web accessibility.
… In fact, web content executive guidelines is
… one of major inspirations for us to start this work on web sustainability
… going into
… the work our group is doing.
… The group started 10 years ago. and we started to
… work more actively on the guidelines that we're presenting today. In 2,022
… as a community group. We're not creating recommendations of sound dots
… but we're building a series of guidelines that can be adopted. We're mostly comprised of non 33 C members of some
… exceptions.
… Over the last 15 months. 15 individuals
… from almost 50 organizations work together to build what we just published couple of days ago.
… Members of a system of web design community group includes a web developers, designers, environmentalists, experts on sustainability people from academia and business leaders.
… Our work has been supported by nearly 50 organizations either as contributors to our guidelines or reviewers of our work.
… Obviously, as I mentioned before, our main inspiration was
… web content up where web content guidelines, and in order to build something similar we built 5 different committees focus on user experience web development hosting.
… a business and metrics. And we've been meeting in these committees for more than a year on regular basis, having workshops working on guidelines in this spaces
… within last couple of months. We've been working on merging this guidelines from different committees editing them and formatting into formats.
… And the first draft of our work has been published to have
… last week. Now that that the draft is on Github. We're starting to collect feedback from the community in the form of issues that are raised against the
… our first draft.
… Our work includes currently, this first draft includes 93 guidelines which can be implemented using more than 200 success criteria.
… We tried to align our guidelines with existing sustainability reporting standards to make them
… easy to embed into current sustainability
… journeys that companies are on.
… Obviously, we've been trying to weight these guidelines based on latest research whenever possible within a
… providing links to articles, and which is probably pay publication supporting guidelines that we're proposing
… every guideline has been accompanied by an example with links to you.
… with links describing how to implement this. in addition to guidelines, we also created a glance page that gives a high level overview of the content. And we're planning to
… built guidelines into sustainable design website.
… What we're starting to do now, after this, first graph has been released is outrage and feedback. We're either already
… reaching out or planning to reach out to design and development community. While your tech industry, media and environmental groups. we're planning to ask scientific organizations and policy makers for feedback. And obviously, as we receive this feedback.
… we plan to iterate on these guidelines and include there's a and future versions
… in terms of implementation. We're looking for area doctors. And in order to simplify the adoption. We're also planning to embed these guidelines into developer tooling.
… Obviously, our ultimate goal is to reduce negative impact of is a sector. Be. It's impact related to Co 2 emissions or any other types of impact that we've been mentioning earlier.
… We're trying to encourage policymakers to include this type of guidelines in their frameworks. And that's one of the main reasons why we live with Gri reporting standards.
… As I mentioned before, we're also thinking of integrating them into tools like lighthouse or search right ranking algorithms.
… And ultimately
… I mentioned before that we're community group in order to progress towards standardization would presumably have to be
… forming a
… walking group around our community group and work on the specification together to build something that can become a standard
… before I open for questions. I wanted to walk through an example of the guidelines. So everyone sees. what is that we're talking about
… this example is one of simpler guidelines we have.
… First, we have a high level overview of the guideline. This guideline is related to munification of

Tzviya Siegman (she/her): Lucas. We've lost audio for the remote people

Nervion Arenal II: about now.

Tim Frick (he/him): Great! Thank you. That works.

Nervion Arenal II: Oh, I don't know what happens.
… alright. So I was just reading through
… high level overview of the guideline.
… Then we have a success criteria in this example. There is only one success criteria, but obviously, that's very simple guidelines for more complicated guidelines. We have a more success criteria. And these are basically
… meant to help
… implementers to actually
… implement the guideline. Then we're rating impact and effort on scale from low through medium to high.
… In this case, both impact and effort are low.
… But yeah, that's a very simple guideline that we're discussing. Now. Then, we're describing different types of benefits that. Come along with the guidelines starting from here. Environmental
… this guideline that we proposing here limits a time with conception which then can be translated into energy usage which then can translate it to you.
… We have gas emissions. Then we'll think performance here and was impacted by performance conversion
… in that section. We're
… ranking or categorizing a guideline against the Gi impact categories. We currently decided to
… rank our guidelines across these 3 categories that's using here. So material usage energy usage, water consumption and emissions.
… The way this works as a
… for each guideline would have a rating across 3 different dimensions. A data center usage impact on networks and impact on end user devices.
… Then we're taking a report from green it data for which allocates impact from all these categories across materials, energy, water and emissions.
… And with that we can calculate impacts on this Dr. Categories. So to give you an example.
… in the report I just mentioned.
… energy is allocated 17% to data centers, 23% to networks and 60% to 100 devices.
… We're taking these figures from reports applying to our ranking and then joining these labels. You'll see here.
… there is 17% for data centers, 23 for networking and 64 android devices.
… Complete devices. 6. Yes, exactly. Yeah. So we're doing this across all these categories here. For materials for water, for emissions.
… In this example, it's that's
… too interesting. Because, the impact here is low across all categories. But if you think about the
… for example. green hosting. Then impact will be significant on data center sites, but very low on user devices.
… Using this metrics to calculate, then impact on materials, energy and materials, energy, water, and emissions. Then we have an example. It's either
… called example or link to materials. Explaining example of application of given guideline. These external links with
… hmm, apply to things like
… guidelines and business strategy category, because obviously, we cannot provide codes examples for these. then we have links to resources and links to tags to
… help navigate database easily.
… With that I think that's everything we wanted to share with you. And I think we're open for questions before we start questions. Let me just stop recording.