Digital technology is a major contributor to environmental harm, from the 'tsunami' of e-waste filling landfills to CO2 emissions on a par with with aviation industry. Oft overlooked is that software itself plays a crucial role. Software and hardware are inextricably linked. A Free Software license means the linear digital economy of consume, use, and discard can be interrupted, shifting instead to a circular economy of reuse and repair -- both for software AND for hardware.
In early 2023 KDE published the handbook "Applying The Blue Angel Criteria To Free Software", the culmination of a 21-month project funded by the German government. The handbook presents the whys, whats, and hows for certifying software as sustainable with the Blue Angel ecolabel. In this talk I will provide an overview of the environmental harm driven by software and how Free Software is well-positioned to address the issues. I will link the inherent values that come with a Free & Open Source Software license to sustainable software design, and I will present the various ways that Free Software aligns with the Blue Angel ecolabel. Finally, I will provide an overview of the current sustainability goal of KDE and the work of the KDE Eco initiative through the FOSS Energy Efficiency Project. This includes publishing the KDE Eco handbook, setting up a measurement lab for FOSS developers (KEcoLab), squashing hundreds of efficiency bugs, among others.
Session author's bio
Joseph P. De Veaugh-Geiss (he/him) is the community manager of the KDE Eco project. The goal of KDE Eco is to strengthen sustainability as part of the development and adoption of Free Software.
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