Green Software is a priority for software practitioners, but still lacks leadership support
Employee-led initiatives within corporate environments are contributing to the industry’s transition into green tech, making grassroots initiatives an important mechanism to achieve wide-scale industry adoption of green software. Employees have formed substantial communities around sustainability that have helped spark innovation and foster employee retention.
Groups like The Microsoft Sustainability Community, which was co-founded by two Microsoft employees in 2018, have played a vital role in making sustainability part of everyone’s job. The Microsoft Sustainability Community now has over 5,000 members worldwide.
According to the SOGS survey, approximately 30% of software practitioners are interested in and involved in workplace sustainability efforts. Another 60.5% are interested but yet to be involved, signaling that employers could do more to advocate for these kinds of initiatives and create more opportunities for involvement. One SOGS survey respondent said, “There is no real organizational investment into green software. All major wins have been accomplished by passionate volunteers.” Another respondent noted that it “would be nice to see materials for ways employees can advocate for and transition to focusing on sustainability in the workplace/industry. Awareness of the importance of sustainability isn’t on many people’s radars.”
Software developers are eager to innovate and promote eco-friendly software but require further support to minimize their software’s environmental impact. This support could come in the form of tools, training, resources, or incentives to help developers make their software more energy-efficient, carbon-aware, and sustainable.