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Green coding - more efficient use of software

After zero-emission vehicles, efficient appliances, green packaging from biodegradable plastic, and lab-grown meat, scientists are now turning their focus to sustainable software and green coding

Green coding -  more efficient use of software

Why is the ICT under the spotlight? Advances in technology, from big data to data mining, have increased energy consumption. Google alone consumed 15.4 terawatt hours in 2020 (twice more than entire Latvia consumes). The ICT sector is responsible for between 1.8% and 3.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists believe that apps and software can be optimised and consume less electricity whilst delivering the same informational output.

To give one example, the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC) published a scientific paper focused on coding optimisation. It states: “replacing the most energy-greedy keyboard with the greenest one reduces energy consumption by 18%. Removing advanced features (such as word prediction or animations) further drops energy consumption by 9.3%”.

ICT giants are coming out with innovative "green coding", an environmentally sustainable computing practice to minimise the energy used in processing lines to help reduce energy consumption. For instance, “lean coding” is an approach that uses the minimal amount of processing needed to deliver the final application output, where the website developers can prioritise reducing file size (e.g., switching from high-quality media to smaller files). This accelerates website load times, whilst improving the user experience. It’s also good coding practice.

By adopting "lean coding", developers design code that uses the minimal amount of processing delivering desired results. An aspect to consider in your digitalisation strategy.

Sources and an opportunity to find out more:
- IBM:,day%20operations%20of%20business%20teams.
- Innovation News Network:

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