Global professional services firm Accenture and tech giant Microsoft, along with software companies GitHub and Thoughtworks announced the launch of The Green Software Foundation, aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of software and help the industry address climate change. The initiative was established with the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC, and has been joined by Goldman Sachs and nonprofits including Leaders for Climate Action, Watt Time and The Green Web Foundation.

According to the founding members, the foundation will help the software industry meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement, while contributing to the information and communications technology sector’s broader targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.

esg playbook

Paul Daugherty, group chief executive – Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture, said:

“Sustainability is our greatest responsibility, and this is the decade that organizations must deliver on their promises to improve our communities and our planet. Accenture is proud to be a founding member of the Green Software Foundation and 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 and making a positive impact on the environment.”

The initiative will develop green software development standards and support the green open source ecosystem, enabling the creation of green software applications. The group will encourage voluntary adoption of the green software standards, and help guide government policy toward those standards for a consistent approach for measuring and reporting green software emissions.

Additionally, one of the key missions of the foundation will be to drive widespread adoption of green software across the industry through ambassador programs, training and education which leads to certification and events to facilitate the growth of green software.

Brad Smith, president, Microsoft, said:

“The scientific consensus is clear: the world confronts an urgent carbon problem. It will take all of us working together to create innovative solutions to drastically reduce emissions. Today, Microsoft is joining with organizations who are serious about an environmentally sustainable future to drive adoption of green software development to help our customers and partners around the world reduce their carbon footprint.”

Mike Dolan, General Manager and Senior Vice President, the Linux Foundation, added:

“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.  We are happy to support the Green Software Foundation and its mission to build a neutral ecosystem for collaboration on standards, tooling and best practices for green software.”