"To help realize the possibility of carbon-free applications, Microsoft, the consultancies Accenture and ThoughtWorks, the Linux Foundation, and Microsoft-owned code-sharing site, GitHub, have launched The Green Software Foundation," reports ZDNet:
Announced at Microsoft's Build 2021 developer conference, the foundation is trying to promote the idea of green software engineering - a new field that looks to make code more efficient and reduce carbon emitted from the hardware it's running on... The foundation wants to set standards, best practices and patterns for building green software; nurture the creation of trusted open-source and open-data projects and support academic research; and grow an international community of green software ambassadors. The goal is to help the Information and Communication Technology sector to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% before 2030.
That includes mobile network operators, ISPs, data centers, and all the laptops being snapped up during the pandemic. "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," Erica Brescia, COO of GitHub said in a statement. Microsoft president Brad Smith said "the world confronts an urgent carbon problem."
"It will take all of us working together to create innovative solutions to drastically reduce emissions. 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."
VentureBeat also points out that Microsoft "recently launched a $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies."
But Bloomberg explores the rationale behind the new foundation:
Data centers now account for about 1% of global electricity demand, and that's forecast to rise to 3% to 8% in the next decade, the companies said in a statement Tuesday, timed to Microsoft's Build developers conference... While it's tough to determine exactly how much carbon is emitted by individual software programs, groups like the Green Software Foundation examine metrics such as how much electricity is needed, whether microprocessors are being used efficiently, and the carbon emitted in networking. The foundation plans to look at curricula and developing certifications that would give engineers expertise in this space. As with areas like data science and cybersecurity, there will be an opportunity for engineers to specialize in green software development, but everyone who builds software will need at least some background in it, said Jeff Sandquist, a Microsoft vice president for developer relations.
"This will be the responsibility of everybody on the development team, much like when we look at security, or performance or reliability," he said. "Building the application in a sustainable way is going to matter."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.