What is Green Software Development?
“Green software” refers to software programs that are designed and developed with environmental sustainability in mind. These programs are intended to minimize their impact on the environment by reducing their energy consumption, carbon footprint, and waste generation.
Green software can be designed to achieve energy efficiency by optimizing code to reduce the amount of processing power required to run the program. This can be achieved by using algorithms that are less computationally expensive or by leveraging hardware accelerators such as graphics processing units (GPUs) that are more energy-efficient than traditional CPUs.
Green software can also be designed to reduce carbon emissions by optimizing data center operations, reducing server usage, and utilizing renewable energy sources to power servers. Additionally, green software can help reduce waste generation by optimizing memory usage and minimizing the amount of data that needs to be stored.
- Green Software Definition
- Does the Green Software really exist?
- And if so, what it does or how it does things?
- Where’s real green projects separated from rumors and hype?
In the definition for Green Software is introduced as “Computer software that can be developed and used efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact to the environment”.
Despite the fact that big software vendors are often scrutinized in respect to their environmental impact and we are not an exception having thousands of software developers and offices around the globe, we’re still sure that.
Green software – the definition for green software is introduced as “Computer software that can be developed and used efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact to the environment”.
Real impact comes when software company participates in actual commercial green projects.
Not trying to say that the way software development company “exists” doesn’t matter at all. Of course, it is better when a software developer buys his fast food in paper bags vs plastic or use more whiteboards than flip-charts… but sometimes the list goes too far from what really matters, emphasizing on potential over-use of computational capabilities of the hardware and so on. The development process must be not just lean but also comfortable for the software developer and they should not sacrifice running their unite-tests to questionable environmental impact of it. Instead making quality software that helps protecting the environment – this is where software development companies can make a positive impact.
Here’s few examples of green domains where we’re really busy as a custom software development company:
- Carbon Emissions Trading. This is very powerful model from the economic standpoint and it requires really efficient software development solutions. Here’s why. Carbon Emissions Trade (also known as cap-and-trade) simply means that those who pollute more pay to those who pollute less. This is huge incentive to companies and governments to invest in CO2 emissions reduction. Now, in order to reduce the emissions without negative impact to the production capabilities, companies need to re-engineer and tune their manufacturing processes. For this to happen they need someone (usually a consultancy firm) who’s gonna be able to measure where are they now and how much do different process components ‘contribute’ to overall volume of emissions; b) model how to improve the process. For different industries number vary but every manufacturing process usually consists of hundreds factors that impact level of emissions to certain extent.
We actually create the software which consultancy firms use to measure and monitor processes to determine the most important factors that needs to be modified. One of the industries we are busily working for is aviation, which has to adapt to ETS regulations on fuel efficiency for flights.
- Smart Energy. Electric energy is quite specific type of “fuel”. There’s no way of managing it in the ‘off-line’, you can’t preserve it in huge volumes (as you can for oil or natural gas). What needs to be done though is optimization of energy distribution in real time which is not a trivial task per se. Here comes embedded software development in rescue to this problem. That’s huge subject in itself and I think it deserves separate post. Meanwhile, here’s brief overview of what we do in this domain.
- Consumer Privacy. No mistake. Believe it or not, but consumer privacy has so much to do with environment. And one of the biggest issues is paper junk mail. The average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year. 44% goes to the landfill unopened. So, how can any of us get rid of all this? Not that easy. You actually need to go to each merchant web site, fill in the form and submit it or send them a paper mail (another type of waste) asking them stop sending unsolicited offerings to your mailbox. And we know that everything that takes that much effort doesn’t work for many and people just don’t go all way to get rid of it. But with right technology the process can be automated or at least semi-automated and the consumer can just log on to one system, enter her or his data and the system takes care of unsubscribing the person from all sources required. From the technology standpoint, yes, this is a challenge because system needs to sustain different interfaces and flows for each individual merchant and be flexible enough to adapt for more interfaces as well as catching up with those changing.
Green software really exists and participation in green projects is something software companies should really seriously consider. That is the best way to make an impact.
5 great examples of green software examples in IT
1) Walmart, the world’s biggest retail company, has been applying a variety of digital transformations that help manage wastage and energy usage and improve supply chain efficiency.
Wal-Mart is one of the most successful online retailers in the world. They provide mobile express returns and using their mobile app, you can scan QR codes to pay for items at local retail stores. This saves time for shoppers and helps diminish transport usage and CO2 emissions.
2) Patagonia is a company which can pride itself on being highly sustainable. They have used organic materials, resold outfits and have also been committed to providing organic food.
Moreover, the company offers crowdfunding services for charities and environmental projects. Blog posts can be found on The Cleanest Line about environmental crises and other related issues.
3) Getting closer to the implementation of Mega City of NEOM where every potential technology blends together with the intent to serve humanity.
Taking a sustainable approach to urban planning is becoming more popular and Saudi Arabia has recently announced that they’ll be investing $500 billion into the development of their megacities, while gearing them with renewable energy.
4) Microsoft continues to push the envelope in creating accountability for environmental protection while also providing solutions to companies who deal with green products.
Microsoft has already worked on projects in the past with energy efficiency, but Microsoft’s cloud computing is also making big waves when it comes to sustainability. The increased accessibility of software means that there are less cooling processes & ventilation needed in data centers.
5) Ørsted is a well-known wind technology and bioenergy provider from Denmark. Their decision to unite enables both sides to face environmental challenges more successfully.
Ørsted strives to build a clean energy world where coal and oil-based activities are replaced with clean natural sources. The company is at the forefront of this mission and hopes to be able to implement it by 2025.
Overall, green software is an important consideration for businesses and organizations that are committed to environmental sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. By designing and developing software programs with the environment in mind, they can minimize their impact on the planet and contribute to a more sustainable future.