Information & Communications Technology currently accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions. If nothing changes, it will rise to over 30% by 2050. Often overlooked is the crucial role that software design plays: software determines the energy consumption of hardware, and for how long devices remain in use. Nevertheless, environmental harm driven by software design is largely unknown to most people … let alone that users can already do something about it with Free Software.
Energy efficiency AND energy conservation are critical, and both can be achieved now by adopting software meeting the Blue Angel criteria. Developed by the German Environment Agency, the ecolabel recognizes user autonomy and transparency, two pillars of Free Software, as critical for sustainability goals. In fact, Free Software is already fulfilling most, if not all, of the award criteria's user autonomy requirements. In this talk I will provide an overview of the environmental harm driven by software. I will link the inherent values that come with a Free & Open Source Software license to sustainable software design. Finally, I will provide an overview of the work of the KDE Eco project and the sustainability goals of KDE.
Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss (he/him) is the project and community manager of KDE e.V.’s "Blauer Engel 4 FOSS" project as part of KDE Eco. He supports the project by collecting and spreading information about Blauer Engel eco-certification and resource efficiency as it relates to Free Software. The overarching goal of KDE Eco is to strengthen sustainability as part of the development and adoption of Free Software.
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