We get lots of requests about how to get a green website result through our Green Web Check, or to see better information listed in our Green Web Directory. As a non-profit organisation we work hard to make sure the data supplied by hosting providers is correct, kept up to up date and made available as open data.
But we can’t it do it without you – a little people power makes all the difference.
The vast majority of correspondence we get from hosting providers about getting listed or improving their data is prompted by people like you. People who have taken the time to tell their hosting provider that they care about green hosting, and the open data in our tools.
Reaching out to your hosting provider can make more of a positive impact than you might think, and is five minutes well spent.
Thank you for helping to green the internet.
Quick links to our sample emails and explanations
We’ve divided our emails into two types. Those relating to common issues with Green Web Checks and Green Web Directory.
Emails relating to Green Web Checks
- Your website is not showing up as green when you run a Green Web Check
- You have a website, and when you run a Green Web Check it is shown as hosted by Cloudflare or another organisation instead of your green provider
Emails relating to the Green Web Directory
Your website is not showing up as green when you run a Green Web Check
You are probably using a provider who needs to go through verification with us to become listed in our Dataset. Or they might have been listed with us for a while and need to refresh their verification evidence. You need to ask them to provide data to us.
We can only show green results for websites where we have some up to date evidence from providers to show they are in fact running on green energy. This data is usually of two main types:
- supporting evidence to show they are using green energy
- a list of network addresses, usually IP addresses, that let us link their services to your website.
Dear <hosting provider>,
I’m a customer of your services, and when I chose your company, I did so in part because of your approach to sustainability and green credentials. This is important to me.
But when I check using the Green Web Check provided by the non-profit organisation Green Web Foundation, I am unable to get the expected “Hosted green” check result. You can see the result I am talking about at the link below:
<insert the link for your check here>
I have contacted the team there and they have explained that for my site to show as green (and any other of your customers, too), they need information from you directly. They need to see evidence that your hosting services are running on green energy, or that you are taking steps to avoid, reduce or offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by using electricity to provide your services.
The information they request, and how to go about submitting it, is listed on their get verified page.
Please can you talk to the Green Web Foundation about this so I can have my green badge and show the world my website is hosted green?
You have a website and when you run a Green Web Check it is shown 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.
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 non-profit, and are rarely customers of these providers ourselves, 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.
Dear <hosting provider>
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 Check, 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, please can you talk to the non-profit organisation Green Web Foundation about this? They say they need you to liaise with them directly to share supporting evidence showing this, so my site shows as green. The information they request, and how to go about submitting it, is listed on their get verified page.
If you are not using green power, can you please tell me why not 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 [email protected] 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.
We are working on a new convention we call carbon.txt to work around this issue which is currently in pilot phase. You can follow progress on carbontxt.org.
You think there isn’t enough public data listed in the Green Web Directory about a provider
Every hosting provider listed in our Directory was independently verified by us when they were added. The data they supplied at that time, along with their supporting evidence, was stored in our Green Web Database. When we started in 2006, much of the data held was private by default and we simply showed a straight forward yes or no as to whether a hosting provider was running on renewables or not.
In recent years, we’ve been working to open up the data to allow for more transparency about each hosting provider.
However, as a small non-profit with limited resources this means we have a lot of work to do! There is a lot of legacy data to work through. Plus we don’t think it’s ok for us to assume that hosting providers want to make the data they submitted to us originally public. So we have to check with each provider. And we use some of the resources we have to do that.
However, not all the hosting providers reply to us.
That’s where you come in! Your message to a hosting provider, especially if you are an existing customer, can make all the difference. It can help them realise that people do care about this information and want to see it in available publically.
Dear <hosting provider>,
I’m a customer of your services, and when I chose your company, I did so in part because of your approach to sustainability and green credentials. This is important to me, and I believe important to a lot of other people too.
But when I look at your listing on the Green Web Directory provided by the non-profit organisation Green Web Foundation, there isn’t much information. You can see the result I am talking about at the link below:
<insert the link for your check here>
I have contacted the team there and they have explained they need you to review the data you previously submitted and update it. They’ve said you can do this directly through logging into their Green Web Provider Portal, or you can contact their support desk for more help.
I think it would be good to see more publically listed information about your green credentials listed here, as the Directory is only serivce I am aware of that allows people to choose between different verified green hosting providers.