What is Karma Metrix?

Karma Metrix is ​​Karma Metrix is ​​the 1st digital sustainability journey, chosen by top brands, that measures, compares and improves the environmental impact of a website. Karma Metrix measurement returns two quantitative values: the KG of CO2 emitted in one year by the website pages and the comparison with the median CO2 production of all websites (calculated from a global representative sample). Since 2020, Karma Metrix is the first tool in Europe able to perform this measurement. The Karma Metrix measurement is valid for 6 months.

Improvements come after the identification of energy efficiency areas on website pages.

Why do I need to measure the environmental impact of my website?

For the Global Carbon Project, Internet was the 4th country in the world for CO2 emissions during 2020. This is due to fossil fuels used to produce energy for data centers, servers and any technological device for Internet functionality. Added to the above, the sometimes inefficient way in which websites are designed generate extra consumption of energy and relevant CO2 emissions . 

Assessing the environmental impact of your website and optimizing its energy efficiency help to reduce CO2 emissions due to Digital.

Furthermore, the trend of search engines – first of all Google – to give more and more visibility to eco-sustainable sites and activities is getting real. From Google flights (which first shows the most eco-friendly flights) to Google Maps (which returns the greenest routes to drivers), to algorithm updates, the future of the web is Green: the most eco-friendly sites will enjoy greater visibility, beating the competition.

How does Karma Metrix work?

The measurement uses an innovative, patent pending algorithm, that considers many «on-page» elements on web pages affecting energy efficiency.
The Karma Metrix Assessment calculates the amount of CO2 emitted in a year by the pages of websites and returns two different outputs:

  • Website Carbon Footprint – two precise quantitative values: carbon dioxide emitted in a year (considering a hypothesis of 10,000 page views for the demo version of Karma Metrix, and real session data for the full version) and comparison with the world median of CO2 emissions of websites.
  • Energy Efficiency Rating – For each page, the energy efficiency class obtained by comparing the energy efficiency of the page with a sample of global sites from our database is provided. 

How does the CO2 Karma Test DEMO work?

The DEMO version of the Karma Metrix is ​​free and available for anyone who would like to test the service. The DEMO version calculates the CO2 production of a single URL in its desktop version (thus ignoring the impact of the mobile version). For the calculation, an estimate of 120,000 page views in a year is taken into account.

What is the difference between the full measurement and the DEMO?

The DEMO version estimates the CO2 production of a single URL in its desktop version (thus ignoring the impact of the mobile version). For the calculation, 120,000 page views in a year are taken into account.

The full version of the Karma Metrix (called Assessment) considers the real number of pageviews and measures the environmental impact of all the pages of the web site both in its desktop and mobile version. Furthermore, the assessment is part of a digital sustainability process which aims not only to measure the environmental impact of a website, but also to accompany companies in the process of identifying and improving the elements of the web pages impacting the energy efficiency of the site.

Do I need to install any tool on the website to allow Karma Metrix measurement?

No, it is not necessary to install new software on your website. The algorithm works outside the website, analyzing dozens of energy efficiency factors, together with Web Analytics data.

What are the calculation factors of Karma Metrix?

Karma Metrix Assessment is based on several energy efficiency factors. The instrument is patented and the analysis algorithm is secret. By way of example, some of the energy efficiency factors that are considered are the following:

  1. Weight of the web page components;
  2. Used Caching techniques;
  3. Computing power required by code processing;
  4. Number of activated Http calls;
  5. Involved Hardware resources;
  6. many others.

How is the world median calculated?

The world median energy efficiency is calculated over a sample of millions of websites around the world, of any type and sector, queried from both desktop and mobile. Our team regularly updates the benchmarking database and energy efficiency calculation factors of a web page.

What is the Karma Metrix seal?

The seal is provided to websites that begin a journey of measuring and improving their sustainability. The minimum requirements for having the seal are to have carried out a Karma Metrix Assessment to start a process of reducing CO2 emissions. 

The seal can be inserted in a special page of the website where it is preferred: see how Valentino announced the initiative.

Error message when scanning a website with the Karma Metrix DEMO: which are the causes?

If you use our DEMO Karma Metrix and the tool does not return any results, it means that the site has a technical configuration that prevents some external tools from being analyzed and scanned. It will therefore not be possible for that site to carry out the DEMO measurement with the current settings.

Is Karma Metrix measurement valid even if my website uses renewable energy servers?

The Karma Metrix Assessment estimates the CO2 produced by websites considering the European energy mix. If your site uses servers powered only by renewable energy, the DEMO Karma Metrix measurement does not take this factor into account. You can contact us to carry out the complete Karma Metrix measurement, communicating the energy mix used to power the servers that host your site.

Do you also measure server emissions directly?

We have evidence that the statistical value of algorithmic measurements has a reliable result even in the absence of direct measurements. For this reason, we have decided not to proceed with an instrumental server-side energy consumption measurement service at the moment.

Adding this service would therefore not bring tangible added value for our customers, compared to the effort required; the strength of the Karma Metrix project is that it reduces the technical effort and the impact on the customer’s IT infrastructure, thus to further encourage companies to embark on a path of digital sustainability.

However, this activity may be managed in the future, but is currently not part of our short-term plans.

How much does the consumption of the server affect the CO2 emissions of a website?

Studies show that server consumption depends little on the type / size of page sent and more on the technology used (in particular Cloud is more efficient than on-premise).Conversely, the page served can have very different impacts on the device from an energy point of view (even with the same weight, just think of javascript or colors).It follows that the percentage impact of the server on the total consumption per pageview depends on the energy class of the page:

  • for inefficient pages the impact is around 1.5%
  • for very efficient pages it can even reach 15%
  • for the world median (desktop) it is around 6%

We could therefore conclude that for an average efficient site the impact of the server is around 6%.

Which companies completed the measurement?

Currently, the full Karma Metrix measurement has been chosen, together with our digital sustainability journey, by a diverse number of environmentally conscious companies. Among these: Iren Luce Gas e Servizi, Trenord, Allianz Trade, Valentino, Corriere della Sera, Pampers and many others.

What is the “Karma CO2 Audit” energy optimization service?

The Karma Metrix team of experts, on top of providing you with the environmental impact assessment of your website, offers you personalized advice on possible energy optimizations of the site. We will communicate directly with your IT department and the web agency to give them instructions for implementing the changes and you can then decide to perform, after a few months, an additional measurement to calculate the improved energy efficiency and relevant CO2 savings.

Does energy optimization change design and UX?

The energy optimization recommended by our experts has excellent benefits for the UX and Web Design of the site. 

In any case, important improvement in energy efficiency is obtained by acting on the technical characteristics of the page keeping the same look and feel of the Website.