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Microsoft and the Linux Foundation launch green software initiative

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The organisation will focus on devising standards, innovating, and fostering a community of engineers

Several major players in the tech industry have banded together to form a non-profit organisation directed at creating a trusted ecosystem of engineers, standards, tools and best practices for building green software

The Green Software Foundation sees Microsoft collaborating with the Linux Foundation, Joint Development Foundation Projects, Accenture, ThoughtWorks and GitHub to devise ways for making software development more sustainable.

The foundation aims to help the wider software industry contribute to the tech sector's ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% in 2030, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

"As we think about the future of the software industry, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organisations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe," said corporate vice president for developer relations, Jeff Sandquist.

"With data centres around the world accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, it's imperative we address this as an industry."

The Green Software Foundation will focus on three key pillars of standards, innovation and community. More specifically, the organisation will agree standards and best practices for building green software, nurturing the creation of trusted open source and open data protects, and allowing the growth of a diverse international community of developers.

The members will also endeavour to drive awareness about ways to build greener applications, and encourage the adoption of green software across the industry through ambassador programmes. 

The foundation will also encourage voluntary adoption and help guide government policy towards those standards for a consistent approach for measuring and reporting green software emissions.

Alongside the founding members, Goldman Sachs, Leaders for Climate Action, the Green Web Foundation and WattTime will join the organisation as general members. The Linux Foundation will manage these collaborative efforts, and other organisations are invited to apply to join as a general member.