The future is climate-friendly software

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Shutterstock Sergey Mironov Close Authorship Last week, Microsoft announced it is teaming up with Github, Accenture and Thoughtworks, a software consultancy, to inspire emissions reductions using a little-considered tool: software. The new nonprofit organization, Green Software Foundation , aims to change the culture of software development to prioritize sustainability. I admit, I hadn’t considered software design as a major contributor to greenhouse gas. But the folks at the foundation make a compelling case that as everything becomes more connected, the way we build the software can have profound impacts. "We often look at sustainability in tech through the lens of hardware, focusing on how to make hardware more carbon-efficient," said Asim Hussain, green cloud advocacy lead at Microsoft and executive director of the Green Software Foundation, in an email. "Relatively little has been done to look at sustainability through the lens of software. From where we are sitting, there seem to be some ripe easy pickings for sustainability improvements by looking at how we run software on hardware." What is ‘green software’? Green software takes into account sustainability considerations and climate science to design software that is "carbon-efficient" — meaning it minimizes the quantity of carbon emissions per unit […]

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