As the world works to address the urgent carbon crisis, more companies than ever before are making environmental impact pledges to be carbon neutral or carbon negative. Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft and Thoughtworks are proud to be among the companies that have made commitments to help address the global climate crisis, but as an industry, we can come together to accomplish more.
Today, at Microsoft’s annual (virtual) Build Developers Conference, software development is front and center and at the heart of every keynote, every session and every panel. As we think about the future of the software industry, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organizations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe. With data centers around the world accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, it’s imperative we address this as an industry.
To help in that endeavor, we’re excited to announce the formation of The Green Software Foundation – a nonprofit founded by Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft and Thoughtworks established with the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and leading practices for building green software. The Green Software Foundation was born out of a mutual desire and need to collaborate across the software industry. Organizations with a shared commitment to sustainability and an interest in green software development principles are encouraged to join the foundation to help grow the field of green software engineering, contribute to standards for the industry, and work together to reduce the carbon emissions of software. The foundation aims to help the software industry contribute to the information and communications technology sector’s broader targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Paul Daugherty, group chief executive – Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture, said, “Sustainability is our greatest responsibility, and this is the decade that organizations must deliver on their promises to improve our communities and our planet. Accenture is proud to be a founding member of the Green Software Foundation and we look forward to collaborating with other organizations to evolve the culture of software engineering so sustainability is embedded by design, contributing to a meaningful reduction in the carbon emissions of computing and making a positive impact on the environment.”
Erica Brescia, chief operating officer, GitHub, said, “We envision a future where carbon-free software is standard—where software development, deployment, and use contribute to the global climate solution without every developer having to be an expert. GitHub is proud to be a founding member of the Green Software Foundation and we remain committed to building an environmentally sustainable home for all developers.”
Mike Dolan, general manager and senior vice president, the Linux Foundation, said, “The software industry and open source software community have both the opportunity and ability to build digital infrastructure with the least possible impact to our environment. We are happy to support the Green Software Foundation and its mission to build a neutral ecosystem for collaboration on standards, tooling and best practices for green software.”
Brad Smith, president, Microsoft, added, “The scientific consensus is clear: the world confronts an urgent carbon problem. 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.”
Guo Xiao, president and chief executive officer, Thoughtworks, said, “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges faced by humanity and the tech sector contributes a rapidly escalating amount of emissions. At Thoughtworks, we believe that issues like climate change can only be resolved through global solidarity. Thus, in addition to taking action on our own footprint with our commitment to the Science Based Target initiative, we are joining the Green Software Foundation as founding members to help our clients, partners and the broader industry drive toward a more sustainable future together.
Alongside founding members, Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft and Thoughtworks, Goldman Sachs and nonprofits including Leaders for Climate Action, Watt Time and The Green Web Foundation have also joined The Green Software Foundation.
The purpose of the Green Software Foundation:
• 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.
To learn more about The Green Software Foundation and becoming a member, visit greensoftware.foundation.