From W3C Wiki

This article is a stub. You can help the W3C wiki by expanding it.

W3C has several ongoing environmental sustainability (s12y) related efforts, environmental sustainability is one of the TAG’s Ethical Web Principles, and there have been sustainability focused sessions at W3C meetings.

This page is also the home page for the overall W3C Sustainability Community Group, which you may join here:


Join discussion on sustainability on:

Work Areas

The following work areas of interest were identified at the 2022 s12y CG meeting / breakout session at TPAC 2022, with participants eager to work on each.

Areas with more activity may have their own informal task forces for interested participants, or focused CGs (e.g. the sustyweb CG) for those specific areas.

Sustainable Web Design

The Sustainable Web Design (sustyweb) CG is the longest running sustainability-related group and effort at W3C and is focused specifically on the sustainability area of best practices for developing and improving more sustainable web sites with existing technologies.

See the following resources:

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Tim Frick - co-chair
  • ...

Technologies to reduce energy usage

Focusing more on new technologies, or new adoption of technologies that could reduce internet use of energy. E.g.:

  • multicast

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Jake Holland
  • Yoav Weiss

W3C meetings and operations

What are the impacts of W3C meetings and operations meetings on sustainability? E.g.

  • W3C servers, hosting
  • in-person meetings
    • flights to/from meetings
    • hotel overhead


  • We wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from flying here to help solve the sustainability problem, focus on what’s most important to the problem.
  • We should not get distracted by it, focus on where we can have a bigger impact.

Areas of opportunity:

  • scalability of a good hybrid meetings solution

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Judy Brewer — Good hybrid meeting techniques, and sharing awesome research showing the scalable carbon savings from hybrid
  • Nick Doty


What can we measure and how can we communicate those measurements relating to energy usage? E.g. things to measure:

  • servers could report how much energy, what kinds of energy going into producing this content
  • what are the different variables, what are the blind spots
  • data being presented to end users (W3C is not very good at exposing data to users to help make decisions)

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Jake Holland — Akamai has a sustainability commitment, if I can get access to a good standard for reporting usage I will push measurement within akamai and return feedback on problems with applying the metrics if possible
  • Mike Prorock
  • Yoav Weiss
  • Ivan Herman
  • Aram Zucker-Scharff
  • Phil Archer — by which I mean certified measurements against defined method
  • Zoe Lopez-Latorre

System Effects

What are the system level effects, and systemic aspects that we can investigate, understand, and work to solve at higher level to have a greater impact overall?

  • Any meaningful response has to be at the system effects
  • Make it easy for people, users, consumers to see impacts of what they’re doing, so they can each take action in scalable distributed ways

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Tantek Çelik
  • James Graham
  • Mike Prorock

Horizontal Review

Based on the W3C TAG: Ethical Web Principles: The web must be an environmentally sustainable platform principle, we should develop s12y Horizontal Review akin to existing Horizontal Reviews for a11y, i18n, security, and privacy.

  • must be obtainable
  • start with a checklist or questionnaire like the Security & Privacy Questionnaire
  • make it lightweight

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Tantek Çelik
  • Valerie Young
  • Nick Doty


  • Principles document would be most useful
  • Documents that can be shared with organizations for them to share internally and prioritize their own efforts accordingly

Participants interested in working on this:

  • Tantek Çelik
  • James Graham
  • Max Gendler
  • Tzviya Siegman
  • Aram Zucker-Scharff
  • Nick Doty


Sustainability CG

Created on Earth Day 2022 with the W3C #sustainability community on Slack!

The W3C Sustainability CG is focused on the sustainability of web technologies in general (rather than a specific use like a website), present & future (proposals etc.), and evaluating them from a horizontal review perspective.

Current primary goal: establish and help evaluate environmental sustainability of new web technology proposals, similar to the horizontal reviews of accessibility, internationalization, privacy, and security.

Reference re: purposes of Sustainability efforts:

SustyWeb CG

The Sustainable Web Design Community Group (AKA SustyWeb CG) was established in 2013 as a community group dedicated to creating sustainable websites.

The CG has developed draft guidelines for UX design, hosting & infrastructure, product & business strategy, and web development for sustainable websites.

See the SustyWeb CG wiki for more details on these efforts, and join the CG to contribute!

Other community groups

Past (groups)

Links to Media of Interest

Articles, podcasts and other media about sustainability that the W3C Sustainability CG has found of interest:

Potential External Collaborators

Folks outside of the W3C interested in sustainability (processes unvetted thus far)

Past Sessions

See Also