Green Software Foundation - Book of News 2023

Posted on November 16th, 2023

Our Book of News 2023 aims to ensure every individual within our ecosystem feels supported in their green software journey and has reasons to confidently advocate for using green software principles and patterns. 

Green Software Foundation - Book of News 2023

The projects and initiatives we’re announcing reflect three big lessons we learned in the last 12 months:

  1. Even with tools like the Carbon Aware SDK and the SCI Specification, reducing software's carbon emissions remains monumentally challenging for many organizations because many practitioners have yet to learn the skills to measure their baseline.

  2. Nurturing micro-communities within organizations is an absolute imperative, and the foundation needs to play a larger role here as green software advocates need more support to build momentum internally.

  3. Tools like the SCI Specification, though a big step forward in measuring the carbon emissions of software, have been difficult for many to adopt due to the complex nature of their systems.

As a result, the updates, releases, and new announcements we're sharing are set to:  

Meet Organizations Where They Are: We have taken a proactive approach, recognizing the diversity of organizations, building levels of engagement and spaces for knowledge sharing to meet them at their respective stages of progress, whether in measurement, learning, or adoption.

Seek Continuous Improvement: Build on the use cases of applying tools like the Software Carbon Intensity (SCI) Specification and Carbon Aware SDK. 

Develop New Measurement Tools: Enhance and refine green software standards to serve enterprises large and small, while extending the use of green software tools to measure carbon emissions but also various environmental impacts associated with different types of software.

Big Announcements:

  • Impact Framework 

  • Real-Time Energy and Carbon Standard for Cloud Providers

  • Carbon Aware SDK 1.1

  • SCER

  • Green Software Champions Program

  • In the works: Green Maturity Matrix 

If you have any questions or feedback, please email [email protected]. If you want to speak with someone from the GSF about news announcements or the foundation's broader strategy and projects, please get in touch with [email protected].

Impact Engine Framework

Software has diverse environmental effects, including carbon, water, and energy usage, which need optimization. However, measuring these metrics is a challenging task. Modern applications consist of various software components operating on different platforms, some out of an organization's control. 

The Impact Engine Framework is an Open Source Working Group project. The objective is to Model, Measure, siMulate and Monitor the environmental impacts of software. Modern applications are composed of many smaller pieces of software (components) running on many different environments, for example, private cloud, public cloud, bare-metal, virtualized, containerized, mobile, laptops, and desktops. Every environment requires a different measurement model, and no single solution calculates the environmental impacts for all components on all environments.

With SCI use cases beginning to take shape, software measurement is becoming a mainstream practice with industry professionals dedicated to decarbonizing software. Formalizing software measurement into a discipline with standards and tooling is crucial. While the SCI Specification serves as the standard, the Impact Engine Framework provides the necessary tooling for this endeavor.

Where does the project stand today? 

We have:

  • developed a specification

  • developed a proof-of-concept

  • demonstrated the proof of concept at several events and shared with stakeholders

  • developed documentation and comprehensive tests

We expect an Alpha version to be ready within a few short weeks.

Read more and get involved.

Real-Time Energy and Carbon Standard for Cloud Providers

Cloud providers hold a crucial position in sustainability, but we've been missing real-time carbon metrics up until now. As integral components of the information technology supply chain, cloud providers must now provide real-time carbon metrics that they can consolidate based on workloads, allocate, and distribute throughout the supply chain. This action is essential to comply with the regulations currently enforced in Europe and California and those emerging in other regions.

Our latest project, part of the Standards Working Group, has a clear mission: establishing a benchmark for measuring carbon emissions. This initiative marks a significant shift from the traditional practice of monthly reporting to the adoption of minute-by-minute metrics for all cloud providers. It's a pioneering step towards greater transparency and sustainability in the cloud computing industry.

Find out how to contribute.

Carbon Aware SDK 1.1

The Carbon Aware SDK empowers developers to create environmentally-conscious software solutions that intelligently utilize the cleanest energy sources. The goal is to run software at the best time and in the best location, in terms of carbon emissions, or even both simultaneously! The key advantages of the Carbon Aware SDK encompass collecting consistent data, tracking emissions reduction, and facilitating well-informed decision-making.

Version 1.1 launched earlier this year to support ElectricityMaps as a fresh data source, offering paid and free APIs. This update also enhances the overall usability and stability of the Carbon Aware SDK. It provides a library for DLL import usage for seamless integration into your projects without deploying an API.

The project will be undergoing review to achieve a Graduated status under GSF. 

Explore the latest version of the Carbon Aware SDK here

Software Carbon Efficiency Rating (SCER)

The SCER aims to provide consumers and organizations with a clear and consumer-friendly benchmark for assessing the environmental impact of software to make pro-planet choices when selecting digital products. 

The goal is to provide comparable ratings for software with similar functionalities. This involves defining standard workloads for different types of software, categorizing them, and setting standards based on the functional unit of the Software Carbon Intensity (SCI) Specification. Hardware standards for testing these workloads and the boundaries of the software under test are also part of the process.

For consumers, SCER is a vital tool to gauge the carbon intensity of applications. For businesses, SCER is a powerful procurement tool, enabling teams to make sustainable choices when contracting services or purchasing software, having a positive return on operational efficiency and emissions reduction. 

The project is advancing with creating a test platform that assesses energy consumption levels for various software configurations. The next phase involves establishing parameters for software categories, such as databases, to make them comparable. The ultimate challenge is to provide clear guidelines for informed decision-making, all while considering the complexities of modern software architectures. 

Get more details on SCER.

Green Software Champions Program

The newly launched recognition program will acknowledge the passion and commitments of individuals making a meaningful impact in building momentum toward green software. 

This project aligns perfectly with our Theory of Change's Community pillar. It aims to create a network of Green Software leaders who can efficiently inspire, educate, and mobilize micro-communities to share knowledge and contribute to enhancing tools and resources for measuring and reducing the environmental impact of software.

The program is open to recognizing developers, architects, designers, testers, researchers, educators, and advocates. The GSF will promote the program through multiple online channels, including website, blog, newsletter, social media, and podcast, as well as in working groups, projects, events, webinars, and Meetups. Member organizations part of the Community Working Group will help qualify contributors and their status in the program using clear and transparent criteria and nomination and approval process. 

Find out more.

Green Software Maturity Matrix

In today's rapidly evolving world, where the urgency of environmental sustainability grows more pressing by the day, the question that often plagues individuals and organizations alike is, "How can we contribute to a greener future, and how do we measure our progress in doing so?" This quandary of where to begin, where we currently stand, and how to gauge our journey toward greener software practices has been a persistent challenge.

The Green Software Maturity Matrix is a new project in incubation that aims to mature into a self-evaluation tool for organizations to gauge how much they have incorporated green principles, practices, and processes in developing and operating their software systems. Geared toward enterprise CTOs and consultants, the Matrix will display carbon efficiency and awareness in a poster-style diagram and a short guide. 

This project is open source and welcomes public contributions via issues, discussions, and pull requests. Instructions for how to contribute to this project can be found in the file.

Visit the project.

The Green Software Practitioner Course

The Green Software Practitioner Course has become a beacon of change in the ICT industry. We achieved a significant milestone in October, with 50,000 individuals completing the course. It has garnered substantial acclaim and earned an impressive Net Promoter Score of over 50 from its enthusiastic learners. 

Numerous member organizations are taking action, incorporating the course as a mandatory component of their employees' learning journeys. A few forward-thinking organizations are migrating the course material into their internal green software training programs. Course participants reflect the sentiment:

"I'm not particularly passionate about certifications, but when it comes to Green Software for Practitioners, I'm willing to make an exception. It may not be a magical solution, but this course is incredibly valuable and enjoyable, covering important aspects that we should all consider when developing, designing, and implementing software and infrastructure solutions. This certification is just the first step on a journey towards sustainable software practices." - Software Architect and Developer

"Anyone involved in the process of building, deploying, or managing software can learn something from this. By knowing about some simple principles, any software developer can make decisions that have a meaningful impact on the carbon pollution of their applications." - Head of Security & Infrastructure

"The course gives a high-level insight into the choices we have, and more importantly, allows us to think differently with regards to how we should deliver a digital product that takes into account not only the feasible, desirable, and desirable but also the ethical and sustainable. The course is really well put together and easily digestible." - Head of Creative Technology 

In the coming months, the foundation will continue to work with member organizations to support their efforts in disseminating the training to their technical and non-technical workforce.

Visit the Learning Center. 

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