Making IT greener – 6 tips for software developers

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When it comes to sustainability and a greener future software development companies also have a share of the responsibility. As Intel’s policies prove it, policies that aim towards sustainability not only reduce the company’s carbon footprint but also increase their revenue.

The key is aligning sustainability with the core business. And as companies’ need for enterprise software increases so do their responsibility of integrating green policies into their software development strategy.

Nevertheless, even if companies create initiatives for this strategy, this responsibility must be taken on a personal level. So, find above 6 small things that every software developer can do for a better future.

Intel – a software sustainability model?

Intel started its green vision way back in the `90s, setting goals for 2012. And this resulted in a strategy that brought not only a 60% reduction of all emissions in 2011 compared to 2007, but at the same time, the company increased its annual revenue by 41%.

All new key strategies focused on aligning sustainability with the core business, then reinforcing sustainability-oriented actions in everyday life, encouraging a culture of sustainability, and forming such policies that will support goals in this area in the future.

They started with measuring their actual emission. Then they identified key areas where energy could be saved, and waste reduced. By rethinking these areas, they have managed to save $5.8 million in cost in 2010 and 60 000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emission.

All based on principles like

  • Conscious management of capabilities
  • Collaboration with sustainable suppliers
  • Setting goals in order to meet global sustainability compliance 
  • The measurement, monitoring, and optimization of consumption 
  • Enabling sustainable facilities 
  • Enabling sustainability behavior within the company
  • Travel avoidance 

What can we as software developers do for a conscious and sustainable activity?

Start with your computer. According to TechAdvisory in only one year a typical computer that is always on will produce CO2 equivalent to the emission of approx 1300 km by an average car. 

1. So, be conscious about using your computer’s energy. Adjust its energy settings, shut it down when not in use, disconnect external devices, etc.

2. When coding, focus on writing clean code. Cleaner code is not just better and more aesthetic but is also greener.

3. Focus on the product and the core capabilities of it. Try to reduce collateral activities that consume a high level of resources.

4. As much as your capabilities allow it, try to create code that is highly flexible and reusable.

5. If you are in a position of choosing suppliers, check their actions for sustainability and make that a criterion.

6. If you are in a leading position, encourage energy and waste-aware behavior with small but consistent initiatives.

The environment is our responsibility. Even if protecting it seems like such a huge task that people and individual companies won’t have a significant impact, start small. While some companies, like Intel, have already developed strategies that not only reduced their greenhouse footprint but increased revenue, still there is a need for greater awareness on the level of business ecosystems. 

As software companies have an increased market share their responsibility is just as significant. Hence, as a software developer, there are small but important actions that you can initiate. Start with your code.

AROBS

Optimization is a very important goal of AROBS. From economics to energy and waste-reduction a conscious living is always supported in the company. As AROBS is reaching 1000 employees, scaling this goal is just as challenging as it is important.

In practice, in any programmable device, although the ultimate responsibility of energy consumption is always with the hardware, the way the energy is consumed is dictated by the software.