Proposal: establishment of a formal WordPress Sustainability Team

The 20th anniversary of WordPress and its role as a dominant CMS mark the moment to act on sustainability now. We (the undersigned) are convinced that WordPress needs an official Sustainability team with the aim of making WordPress and its community lead on sustainability. 

Making WordPress leading on sustainability asks for:

  • Awareness about the impact of carbon emissions by the web and understanding how to build and work in a more eco-friendly way.
  • Guidance for WordPress event organizers to organize events in a more sustainable way.
  • Creation and promotion of eco-friendly themes and plugins.

This post contains our vision on sustainability with WordPress, actions of our initiative so far, its focus points, and an explanation of how we see the Sustainability Team functioning in the WordPress community.

Why a Sustainability Team?

Since its inception, WordPress has been a project developed with a mission to build a better web for everyone. The community has enabled the WordPress project to meet the challenges that have arisen during the past 20 years in pursuit of its mission. Now a new challenge is coming up, and we can’t afford to miss it.

Runaway climate change is a fact, and scientifically proven (IPCC Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis). Every industry and sector of society has a role to play in mitigating the consequences. We can no longer look away from climate change, due to carbon emissions. At the same time, the importance of the web is undeniable. The WordPress community has an opportunity to show leadership and set an example on this topic.

We believe that the efforts of a Sustainability team will positively impact other WordPress teams, such as accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (, performance and community, and should work in partnership with them. Digital and event sustainability requires collaboration with the rest of the WordPress teams to achieve effective change.

Establishing and building an official team will significantly raise visibility of the efforts to make the WordPress project more sustainable. It will also show the importance of sustainability inside the project and the support of the leadership. As the team would approach sustainability in a holistic way, this could also appeal to contributors with a non-technical background.

Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. projects, such as Drupal or Wagtail, are starting to show a commitment to sustainability. A W3CW3C The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. working group is producing recommendations to encourage those making websites to follow sustainability guidelines. This would be similar to what has been done with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

By creating a Sustainability team, WordPress shows its leadership and willingness to proactively work on a solution for the sustainability challenge.

Team definition

The main objective is to embed sustainable practices into WordPress processes and its community. The WordPress Sustainability team would aim to promote awareness and actions that lead to carbon footprint reduction throughout the WordPress ecosystem.

What has the sustainability initiative done so far?

  • A first “Now we have a sustainability channel in Making WordPress Slack, what should we do?” blog post has been published on Make WordPress Project Updates. This has built on sustainability efforts and research with WordCamps and Meetups in previous years.
  • The Make WordPress #sustainability channel has grown towards almost 200 members in less than a year.
  • There are weekly #sustainability Slack meetings on Friday, 11:00 UTC. Meetings are announced at Notes are taken from every meeting.
  • Multiple contributors are working on a Google document about Making WordCamp more sustainable, bringing together the previous efforts by contributors in the community for raising awareness and sharing resources through the community and marketing teams. The document focuses on suggestions and tips for how events can be more environmentally sustainable and raise awareness. This is a great example of how a Sustainability team can support and work together with other teams. Once the document is finished, the latest version will be shared with the Community Team to add it to the WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. and meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. organizers handbook. Materials will also be shared with the Marketing, Community and Training teams, and explore opportunities for further awareness raising and case studies.
  • The WP Sustainable plugin, published by the WordPress Hosting team, has been discussed regularly during the weekly meetings in the Sustainability SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at channel. Contributors have provided suggestions for how the evolving pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party can improve. The group has had talks with the WordPress Hosting team, the WordPress Hosting team feels it makes more sense to let the plugin be a canonical plugin for the Sustainability team.
  • Some of the channel contributors had led a sustainability table at WordCamp Barcelona 2023 Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. You can check the summary published at the #sustainability Slack channel.
  • There will be a sustainability table during WordCamp Europe 2023 on Contributor Day
  • The group is presenting a sustainability workshop at WordCamp Europe 2023.

The WordPress Sustainability team’s goals

To make the WordPress ecosystem lead on sustainability, we have formulated three goals to work on: 

  1. Creating and spreading awareness about digital sustainability.
    As the most used CMS in the world, WordPress has a significant influence on the impact websites can have on the environment. Often we don’t know how this impact is generated, and what we can do as individuals to reduce the impact. Creating awareness about the impact on the environment is essential to make WordPress a more sustainable ecosystem.
  2. Increasing sustainability during WordPress events.
    WordPress events are increasingly thinking about sustainability and need encouragement, support and further development. By producing and maintaining a section on sustainability for the Community handbook, the team will help organizers with a growing reference guide on how they can be as sustainable as possible.
  3. Building an ecosystem that leads on sustainability.
    WordPress is a leader in terms of its user base, in influencing website trends, and the size of its community. It’s also a project that stands out in its values. We believe WordPress, as an ecosystem, can lead on sustainability by acknowledging the necessity to act.

If you are interested, you can read more about the vision shared in the first post in 2022 on the Make WordPress Project blog.

The WordPress Sustainability team would acknowledge that a more sustainable world cannot be achieved individually. The team would need to partner with WordPress users, WordPress teams and the WordPress Community and wider in order to move WordPress towards a more sustainable environmental model.

We invite you!

Together, we can achieve more. We invite you to leave your thoughts and feedback as a comment on the proposal below. Please leave a message of support to identify your support for our proposal and to join #sustainability Slack channel and the weekly Slack meetings on Fridays, 11:00 UTC.

Proposal from: @littlebigthing, @nahuai, @noradriana, @yellowlime.

Reviewed and supported by (in no particular order): @javiercasares, @estelaris, @hanopcan, @webcommsat


Now we have a sustainability channel in Making WordPress Slack, what should we do?

At WCEU 2022, Nora Ferreirós from the Spanish WordPress community, asked Matt and Josepha about their thoughts on supporting sustainability concerns within the community. Matt suggested setting up a new sustainability channel in the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at group, and there are now over 100 people in that channel! Josepha is open to discuss suggestions of specific issues that can be addressed.

This is fantastic progress! It demonstrates a growing interest in the WordPress community to come together and discuss sustainability concerns, both at leadership and community level. 

There are many questions worth addressing around this, especially as sustainability and maintaining the WordPress project are complex topics.

But before we dive into the specifics, perhaps it is best to take a moment to visualise what a sustainable WordPress community might actually be?

What are the tools, behaviours and systems we could co-create? What does being a member of a sustainable WordPress community feel like? What do other communities looking into ours observe? What are the things we want to move away from that hamper our progress to becoming more sustainable?

We wish to ignite a conversation about the art of the possible.

In the words of William Arthur Ward “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”

We invite contributors from the whole WordPress community to share their visions for what we could do together: what does a truly sustainable WordPress community look like to you?

Let’s allow ourselves to dream big!

What can I do?

Start by being part of a WordPress community who openly discusses and actively works on sustainability issues. 

Leave a comment on this post to share or link to your thoughts on what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU,

If you want to do more, join the sustainability Slack channel to take the conversation within the community further:

  • build on and discuss the visions shared by others;
  • contribute ideas on what we should do next;
  • share other sustainability work in the WordPress space that you find interesting.

 Here’s how to sign up to WordPress Slack.

You could also contribute to the on-going work of the performance team.

A few prompts to help you think about your vision

If you’re new to considering what a sustainable future might be like for WordPress, that’s ok. You’re not alone. We’re all exploring new possibilities here, and that’s the point. As a person new to this realm you are the perfect person to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table! Everyone is welcome to share their vision for what the future could be.

Here are a few prompts to get you going.

How can we help people understand what sustainability truly is?

  • Decarbonisation is often described interchangeably with sustainability. But decarbonisation is only one aspect of what needs to happen to create a truly sustainable future. This confusion leads many people to believe the only way you can make digital technologies more sustainable is by focusing on performance gains that reduce electricity consumption. The reality is this is just one aspect of what is possible. What else is possible?
  • There are many approaches to improving sustainability, some of which can be done in a way that respects the rights of people to thrive, and some of which abuse those. How can we communicate these ideas?
  • Many people still do not see sustainability as a positive move and may feel it would compromise their ability to grow a business effectively or innovate and push WordPress forward. How can we change perceptions of how a greener future for WordPress will benefit all of us?

How can we embrace the diversity of the WordPress community?

A sustainable future is one that embraces everyone’s differences and similarities.

  • The people that make up the WordPress community are multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary. Sustainability will mean different things in different contexts. For example sustainability in the Global South might feel very different for someone in the Global North. How can we embrace a diversity of viewpoints and celebrate that?
  • The WordPress community manifests both physically, through WordCamps and meetups, as well as digitally through the software and documentation we produce. What are the tools we might build, the resources we could create and the conversations we could start that would benefit all our different manifestations?


The WordPress community isn’t new to working on sustainability issues. In fact Josepha mentioned that back in 2019 a group of people came to talk to her about the topic. 

We’d like to acknowledge the work done by Abha Thakor, for leading an informal sustainability group, and the recently created performance team for working hard at optimizing the software. These are great pillars to build on.

We look forward to seeing what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU. Share your thoughts below.


Post written collaboratively by @hanopcan, @littlebigthing, @noradriana, @nahuai and @Thijs Buijs