Without doubt, software is the backbone of virtually all the intelligent solutions designed to support the environment. It’s critical, for example, in efforts to tackle deforestation and reduce emissions. In many instances, however, software is also part and parcel of a rapidly growing carbon footprint. In fact, recent and proliferating digital technologies have begun to worsen many of the environmental problems they are aimed at solving. But companies can make software an integral part of their sustainability efforts by taking its carbon footprint into account in the way it is designed, developed, and deployed and by rethinking some aspects of how the data centers that provide cloud-based services operate.
Let’s be clear: On its own, software doesn’t consume energy or emit any harmful discharge. The problem lies in the way software is developed for use — and then in the way it is used. Software runs