It’s World Environment Day: Here’s Our Reading List on Green Software

Posted on June 5th, 2024

All we need is 3%. These books can help get us there!

It’s World Environment Day: Here’s Our Reading List on Green Software

Software practitioners have an outsized impact on global carbon emissions compared to most. Our day-to-day work influences an industry estimated to emit 14% of total emissions by 2040. All we need is 3% of software practitioners to embrace green software practices to make a significant impact on reducing tech's carbon footprint.  

We’re sharing six essential publications to build your knowledge of green software to help you develop climate-conscious code. Recommended by GSF champions, these books are a must-read if you are looking to improve your knowledge of green software theory, principles, patterns, and best practices. 

Building Green Software

If you want to understand what it means to be green in IT, this book is a good place to start. Written by green software advocates and practitioners Anne Currie, Sarah Hsu, and Sara Bergman, Building Green Software offers a comprehensive view of sustainable software practices to expand your perspective. The authors also share how to code in a way that reduces software's environmental impacts and benefits organizations.  

The authors tackle the impact of the energy transition on business operations and software and hardware efficiency. They explore architectural principles of sustainable software development and provide guidance on how to apply them. 

This book is for anyone interested in green software, from new developers to CIOs. It teaches core principles of green computing, focusing on energy efficiency, hardware efficiency, and carbon awareness.

Sustainable IT Playbook for Technology Leaders: Design and Implement Sustainable IT Practices and Unlock Sustainable Business Opportunities

Niklas Sundberg, an SVO, CIO, and IT leader at ASSA ABLOY Global Solutions, provides a practical and actionable guide for executive IT leaders to learn, get inspired, and take action to reduce the carbon footprint of organizations through sustainable practices. The book, divided into three parts, explores the "why," "what," and "how" of the climate crisis and examines IT's role in both contributing to and addressing the emergency.

Transition poses a challenge for any organization. A leader's role is to push for innovation while considering the needs of individuals. Sundberg shows how to be that leader. 

Starting with an in-depth analysis of sustainability and its historical background, he gives the reader a strong foundation for building a sustainable IT strategy. By providing tangible examples, case studies, and activities needed to secure a sustainable digital transition, the author explains how to turn your ideas into action. 

Green Software Essentials: A Q&A Guide for Practitioners

Have you ever wondered if efficiency and sustainability can exist side-by-side in the digital space? 

GSF founding members Sanjay Podder and Navveen Balani draw on this concept and the environmental implications of digital products and services to create a robust framework for understanding and applying green software practices. Starting from a call to action to join the green software movement, each chapter of the publication focuses on an individual topic, exploring foundational concepts, practical guidance, and out-of-the-box approaches that lay the basis for responsible innovation. 

A critical tool for architects, developers, and industry leaders who aim to advance technology and sustainability, the book offers actionable advice and insights presented in the accessible form of a Q&A, reflecting the curiosity and progressive learning approach fundamental to software development.

Sustainable Web Design

The median size of a website increased by 30% between 2017 and 2020, essentially making the web less energy efficient. Multiple factors played a role, but one was that faster Internet and more efficient devices allowed for less efficient coding practices. 

Each element of the web design, from an image to a server provider, increases the load on the environment, and so do our choices.  

Tom Greenwood, a co-founder of Wholegrain Digital and the author of Sustainable Web Design, looks at the physical weight associated with the Internet and introduces practical steps for building user-centered and carbon-efficient websites. 

From measuring the impact of designing a web page to the less-obvious benefits of sustainable web design, such as improved accessibility, Greenwood shows a path to the Internet for users and the planet. 

Designing for Sustainability: A Guide to Building Greener Digital Products and Services

When this book was written, 90% of the world's data had been created in the previous year alone. Are you curious why? Tim Frick answers this question (and many others) while introducing a web design framework focused on four impact areas: content strategy, performance optimization, design and user experience, and green hosting. These spheres are where applying green software practices makes the biggest difference. 

This practical handbook, designed for the entire web design team, provides resources on how to implement sustainability principles in real life to build user-friendly and carbon-aware products and services. 

You will learn how to create a better product without compromising on efficiency and why sometimes putting the right things in front of users just when they need them is all you need to do. 

101 Green Software: A Practical Guide for Developers & Architects 

Green software practices often require minimal effort from the developer’s perspective. But only if you know how to implement them. 

Ioannis Kolaxis, a green software advocate and software architect, starts from the assumption that any practitioner can play a role in building greener software and make a real impact on climate change. 

Upgrading your current JAVA applications, reducing data transfers over networks, and adopting energy-efficient high availability models— these are just some of the actions explored in the book, which highlights best practices and actionable solutions for re-architecting existing applications and designing new ones while considering energy consumption and carbon footprint. 

This article is licenced under Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0)