According to research by the Sustainable Web Manifesto, the Internet is the seventh largest polluter on earth. Worldwide, around three percent of energy requirements are caused by data centers alone (cf. Sustainable Web Manifesto). This fact makes the Internet a driver of climate change that cannot be ignored. Climate change is on the agenda of the most important challenges of the 21st century. It is therefore high time to raise awareness of sustainability in the digital world as well.
In line with its awareness of sustainability and the desire to promote a sustainable economy in the digital world as well, Computop has been engaged in the development of Green Software Design (GSD). As a result, the company has made it its mission to establish environmentally friendly software design. Green Software Design has thus become an essential part of the company’s service portfolio.
Eight principles for sustainable development
But what exactly is Green Software Design? The term Green Software Design is generally understood to be the development of a resource-saving and climate-friendly software. Green software has little to no negative impact on the environment over its lifecycle and, in the best case, even has a positive effect on sustainable development. In the context of a GSD, particular attention should be paid to the implementation of eight essential principles:
Software is designed to add value to the user while emitting less CO2. The goal is to ensure that for every gram of carbon dioxide emitted, the benefits are as great as possible.
Green software operates in an energy-efficient manner by turning off software components that are not needed and only activating them when they are needed.
When developing green software, companies source the majority of their electricity from renewable energy sources that have a low carbon intensity.
Green software operates in a hardware-efficient manner. It runs the majority of its workload from a cloud server, which means that more powerful hardware does not need to be purchased on an ongoing basis for the software. Furthermore, green software is browser-based and can run on older devices.
The goal of this principle is to maximize the energy efficiency of the hardware. Here, several software systems run at the same time, delimited from each other, on one hardware. Nevertheless, idle times occur during which no workload prevails. Power can be optimally utilized if optimizations of the software and the databases are carried out during the little-used times.
Data sent and received is transmitted through multiple devices connected by a network. Network optimization can reduce the size of data and the distance it must travel through the network.
In terms of demand-side management, the goal is to shift the demand for computing power to a different time or region and shape it to match the available supply.
Measurement and Optimization
Implementing long-term, consistent optimization strategies can increase the overall efficiency of software in terms of carbon consumption.
There are numerous studies that show the influence of GSD on environmental sustainability in the sense of a visible contribution to climate protection and the initiative to save energy (cf. https://www.greensoftwaredesign.com/). However, GSD not only offers the company the opportunity to counteract climate change and contribute to ecological sustainability. Through GSD, Computop can also offer its customers a climate-friendly service (Carbon neutral Paygate). This allows the CO2 emissions for payment transactions to be calculated with zero tons of CO2 and thus paves the way for them to do business in a more environmentally friendly way.
Computop’s payment platform can fully meet the criteria defined by Syngenio for minimizing the CO2 footprint for software, which is why the company was able to be certified by Syngenio AG with the TÜV-approved GSD label.