How it Works

Thanks for using Ecograder.

The internet has a significant environmental impact. Your website is part of a digital ecosystem that uses energy with every interaction. Most of this energy is powered by fossil fuels. Some estimates put the global carbon emissions of the internet’s 5 billion worldwide users on par with that of the airline industry.

On Earth Day 2013, Mightybytes released the first version of Ecograder. On Earth Day 2023, another update was released. To date, Ecograder has crawled tens of millions of URLs. Tools like Ecograder help people better understand, track, manage and reduce their digital footprint.

How Ecograder Scores Webpages

Ecograder utilizes CO2.js from The Green Web Foundation, as well as Google Lighthouse's open source page metrics, to identify tasks that will improve your website.

The Green Web Foundation (TGWF) is a nonprofit organization working toward a fossil-free internet by 2030. CO2.js from The Green Web Foundation is a JavaScript module designed to estimate website carbon emissions.

The specific methodology CO2.js uses is outlined in Calculating Digital Emissions on the Sustainable Web Design site we created with our friends at Wholegrain Digital. Ecograder’s carbon accounting includes percentage estimates for an internet ecosystem that includes the following segments:

  • Consumer device use
  • Network use
  • Data center use, including regional grid data
  • Hardware production

CO2.js also incorporates regional carbon intensity and green hosting data for more accurate emissions estimates.

More importantly, by incorporating CO2.js, the reports Ecograder generates should also produce emissions estimates similar to those from EcoPing.Earth, Website Carbon, and other tools that use this open source module.

CO2.js emissions data also impacts your overall Ecograder score. Pages with higher emissions or carbon intensity may see your score drop by a few points.

Google Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. Ecograder uses the metrics identified by Google Lighthouse, but with a modified scoring algorithm.

Using Ecograder to Reduce Digital Emissions

When you submit a website address to Ecograder, you receive a report providing suggestions to improve your website’s performance and user experience. Ecograder also provides advice for procuring a green web host and reducing website-related emissions. By following the recommendations in each report, your should be able to reduce emissions and improve your score.

Adjusting Emissions Estimates for Traffic

More page views correlates to more emissions. You can adjust Ecograder’s emissions estimates based on the amount of monthly traffic your page gets. Ecograder defaults to 1,000 pageviews, but if you know the average monthly page views of the URL you are testing, you can adjust for that.

Implementing Ecograder’s Recommendations

The 2023 Ecograder report is designed to prioritize specific actions you can take to reduce website carbon emissions. Each report allows you to drill down into primary page components for more information on how to reduce emissions by minifying scripts, optimizing or resizing images, and so on. Where relevant, Ecograder also links out to additional resources for a deeper understanding of specific sustainable web design topics.

The report represents one URL of your entire site or digital product. After you make improvements to your website, you can run the report again or consider using Ecograder to test other important pages. Test another page now.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our mailing list