Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft launch non-profit for sustainable IT practices

Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft launch non-profit for sustainable IT practices
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26 May, 2021

Global information technology (IT) consulting major Accenture, open-source platform GitHub, Microsoft and software consultancy firm ThoughtWorks have teamed up to promote environment friendly practices through a new non-profit entity called the Green Software Foundation. 

The non-profit has been established under the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation Projects, an entity that aims to build an ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and practices.  

“We look forward to collaborating with other organizations to evolve the culture of software engineering, so sustainability is embedded by design, contributing to a meaningful reduction in the carbon emissions of computing,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive — technology and chief technology officer at Accenture.  

Other member participants in the group will be Goldman Sachs and non-profits such as Leaders for Climate Action, Watt Time and The Green Web Foundation.  

The foundation aims to aid the software industry’s targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, which was a key criterion in the Paris Climate Agreement of April 2016. 

According to a Science Journal Nature.com, data centers around the world currently account for 1% of the world’s electricity demand, and are projected to consume 3-8% in the coming decade, which highlights the necessity for green software. 

“We envision a future where carbon-free software is standard—where software development, deployment, and use contribute to the global climate solution without every developer having to be an expert,” said Erica Brescia, COO at GitHub. 

The foundation will focus on three key areas. The first is to establish green software industry standards, which it plans to create and publish across various computing disciplines. The group plans to encourage volunteering and help guide government policies in this regard. Additionally, the foundation will work towards creating open-source and open-data projects that support creating green software applications. Third, it will work towards driving awareness and advocacy through ambassador programmes, training and education. Another layer is certification and events to facilitate growth.  

“The software industry and open source software community have both the opportunity and ability to build digital infrastructure with the least possible impact to our environment,” said Mike Dolan, general manager and senior vice president, the Linux Foundation.