Microsoft, the Linux Foundation, Accenture, GitHub and ThoughtWorks have launched The Green Software Foundation to promote sustainable software development.
Software development may not be the leading contributor to climate change, or even come up in most conversations about it, but estimates place data center electricity usage at 1%. Over the next decade, data center electricity usage is expected to increase to 3-8% of global usage.
Microsoft and its fellow organizations founded The Green Software Foundation nonprofit with the intention of building “a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and leading practices for building green software.” The foundation will work to help the information and communications technology sector meet its Paris Climate Agreement goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.
“The scientific consensus is clear: the world confronts an urgent carbon problem,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said. “It will take all of us working together to create innovative solutions to drastically reduce emissions. Today, Microsoft is joining with organizations who are serious about an environmentally sustainable future to drive adoption of green software development to help our customers and partners around the world reduce their carbon footprint.”
The foundation outlined its three primary goals:
Establish green software industry standards: The foundation will create and publish green software standards, green patterns and practices across various computing disciplines and technology domains. The group will encourage voluntary adoption and help guide government policy toward those standards for a consistent approach for measuring and reporting green software emissions.
Accelerate innovation: To grow the green software field, we need to nurture the creation of trusted open-source and open-data projects that support the creation of green software applications. The foundation will work alongside our nonprofit partners and academia to support research into green software.
Drive awareness and grow advocacy: If we want companies to build greener applications, they need people who know how to build them. As such, one of our key missions is to drive widespread adoption of green software across the industry through ambassador programs, training and education which leads to certification and events to facilitate the growth of green software.