We get lots of requests about how to get a smiley green result for a website when it is run through our Green Web Checker.
The way to change your result is to talk to your hosting provider and ask them to work with us so we can gather data and evidence about their renewable energy use. You can use our sample emails below to help you raise the issue.
With your help we can continue to green the internet and become fossil free by 2030.
You have a website with a company not in the directory, and your site is not showing up as green
We can only show green results for infrastructure where we have some evidence we can refer to when people ask about the basis for listing a site as running on green energy. For this reason, you might be using a provider who is using green power – we just might not have the information listed with us yet.
If this is the case the fastest way to be listed is to ask your provider to:
- list some supporting evidence with us
- provide a list of network addresses that let us link that evidence to digital infrastructure they are running.
Once we have this, as long as we can identify them as running your site, we will be able to show your site with a happy green badge.
We’ve started you off here with a sample letter, with a link to the page where we list in more detail what we require for a site to be listed as green:
I’m am a customer of your services, and when I chose your company, I did so at least partly because of your approach to sustainability and green credentials.
I want to demonstrate that I am a user of your services, and I host my own website with you, but when I check using this green checker from the Green Web Foundation, I am unable to see a the expected “Green hosted” check result. You can see the result I am talking about at the link below – I would expect it to show a smiling green face, instead of the sad grey face:
<insert the link for your check here>
I have contacted the team there, them and for my site to show as green (and any other of your customers, too), they are asking for supporting evidence that can link to as supporting evidence of running on green energy.
The information they request, and the basis for doing so is listed on their what you need to register page.
Can you please add this so I can have my green badge?
You have a website and it is showing as hosted by Cloudflare or another organisation instead of your green provider
Our checking tools work by looking up a website’s domain name, i.e. mygreensite.com, and from there, looking up the address of the digital infrastructure it runs on, called an IP address.
From there, we can usually tell if a website is running on digital infrastructure that is marked as running on green energy in our system.
Key to this working has been the idea that domain name points to an IP address, and that IP address represents a server run by the organisation responsible for the website.
Changes to this assumption
In the last few years, content delivery networks like CloudFlare or Amazon Cloudfront have become increasingly popular, and because they work differently, this assumption is no longer one we can make all the time.
Because services like this make copies of the content you would show on a website, and serve it from a multiple possible servers around the world, your website can appear as being served by the content delivery network’s fleet of servers, instead of the server with a hosting company that you might have chosen for their green credentials.
This also means that if we can’t find evidence of the content delivery network using green energy, your site will not show as using green energy either.
While we try do our best to keep track of changes made by large providers and their commitments on sustainability, there may be cases where the providers have made changes where we haven’t seen the supporting evidence for claims made by them yet.
Also, because we are a tiny NGO, and are rarely customers of these providers, we don’t always get prompt responses our requests for information.
When this happens, you can help by asking them to share some supporting more supporting evidence so we can update the records we do have, and we have a template email you an use here, linking to the criteria we use.
A sample letter
Dear <provider representative>
I’m a customer of your services, and I use your content delivery network product, <insert name here> to speed up and protect my site.
I have a problem though and I need your help. In addition to using your content delivery network service, I run my site on <insert green provider here, or green region of an existing provider> – I do this at least partly because understand that they are running on green energy.
However, when I check my site with the Green Web Foundation checker, I am not receiving a ‘hosted green’ result. This is because they say they that when they look up the part of my site hosted with your network, they can not find supporting evidence of running these servers on green energy.
If you are using green energy to run the servers my site is using, can you please add supporting evidence showing this, so my site shows as green again? They list the evidence they require on their what you need to register page on their site.
If you are not using green power, can you please tell if this is the case, and when you intend to make this change?
This is an issue important to me, and I am using it as one of the criteria when choosing suppliers of my services.
You’re welcome to include firstname.lastname@example.org in any emails if you’d like some help for your specific context – networking and energy reporting can get complicated quite quickly, and it’s often the fastest way to get an issue resolved.
You’re seeing a green result, but you want your site to be listed as being hosted by the original provider, not the content delivery network like Cloudflare
If you are seeing your site as being hosted by a provider different to who you expect (i.e. like Cloudflare, or a result not associated with your your green hosting provider), this is why.
We are working on a new convention we call carbon.txt to work around this issue. You can follow progress on carbon.txt on the green web foundation github account.