Code doesn't just have to be fast and efficient. It should also be energy efficient, say the advocates of green coding. Here an expert explains how you can implement this.

Green code: Our expert reveals what it is
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Geerd-Dietger Hoffmann is Chief Technology Officer at Green Coding Solutions, a green tech company for digital sustainability transformation based in Berlin.

With green coding, the IT community wants to offer an approach to developing software with a minimal ecological footprint. This creates an opportunity for startups to be at the forefront of this movement and combine sustainability with technological innovation.

Green coding goes beyond pure code optimization and includes a holistic view of software development with the aim of minimizing environmental and climate impacts. It includes consideration of energy efficiency and CO2 efficiency in every phase of the software life cycle – from conception through development and deployment to maintenance and decommissioning. The core idea is that software should not only be functional and user-friendly, but also have the lowest possible ecological footprint.

Read too

Do you want money from these top climate investors? This is what you need to know about them before your pitch

This also implies a commitment to transparency and communication about consumption and emissions. Given the problem of climate change, this has a moral component that is now also required in customer communication.

This is how the practical implementation of green coding works:

1. Think sustainably from the start

The first step to effective green coding is integrating sustainability considerations into the earliest phase of software design. This means taking energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact into account as central criteria when designing software architectures and designs. Such an approach requires a deep understanding of how different design decisions can affect the energy consumption of the finished software.

This includes a startup's decision to make energy consumption and emissions a KPI that is understood and used across all teams. This is how a sustainable strategy is created.

2. The relevance of measurements

A fundamental principle in the effective implementation of green coding is measurement. Before pursuing improvements, it is essential to understand where and how resources are being consumed. It is important to know the CO2 and energy profile of your own application. By accurately analyzing energy and resource consumption, developers and companies can identify which aspects of their software have the greatest climate impact.

Measurements make it possible to quantify the energy consumption of software applications in different phases of development and use. This includes determining the energy intensity of code executions, evaluating the efficiency of database queries, and analyzing the energy consumption of servers and other infrastructure components. Many services are also integrated into development today, such as CI/CD pipelines, which require considerable computing power.

Read too

Collecting trash on the beach led this founder to her million-dollar startup

In addition, measuring consumption enables continuous monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of optimization measures. This is particularly important at a time when companies are increasingly being asked to demonstrate their environmental responsibility and report transparently on their efforts.

A possible communication for startups with their own product could, for example, be a statement like: “10 g CO2 per API call” or “8 g CO2 per customer journey / sale”.

Although the implementation of measurement tools and procedures requires an initial investment in time and resources, it is an essential investment for the future.

3. The role of energy efficiency in code development

After a measurement, the next logical step is optimization to reduce software emissions. This involves writing clean, efficient code that uses less processor power and memory. Added to this is the selection of programming languages ​​and frameworks that are known for their efficiency. But also to avoid idle times as much as possible and to use hardware for as long as possible. In the everyday life of developers, it is also about providing tools and knowledge so that they can make conscious decisions. Not every optimization is helpful for every product and company size. However, a structured process with optimization potential is essential.

In the world of green coding, promoting sustainability through the use of specialized tools and advanced technologies plays a central role. These tools not only enable optimization in the silos of developers and engineers, but also carry the KPIs to other teams.

These developments open up new opportunities to optimize energy consumption across the entire life cycle of software: from the first line of code to operation on global servers. The concept of a carbon database is becoming more and more important here. By using these tools, developers and companies can not only assume their ecological responsibility, but also create more efficient and cost-effective software solutions that meet the requirements of the modern digital economy.

5. Establish a culture of sustainability

Introducing green coding in a startup requires more than just technical solutions: it requires establishing a culture where sustainability is a fundamental value. This means implementing education and training programs for developers that raise awareness of the importance of green coding and provide practical skills to develop sustainable software. It also means sharing best practices within the organization and with the wider developer community to encourage a movement towards more sustainable software development.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *