Proposal Raised For GNOME Software Labeling Its Carbon Cost / Environmental Impact

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 23 July 2020 at 06:08 PM EDT. 82 Comments
While GNOME software may be free as in beer, at today's GUADEC 2020 annual GNOME developers conference there was a call that GNOME software should label their "embodied carbon cost" as part of collecting more data on the environmental impact of creating said software and working to reduce said impact.

Philip Withnall of Endless presented at the virtual GNOME developer conference today on the environment impact of GNOME and that more responsibility should be taken as to the environmental impact and in turn reducing that impact.

The proposal is about measuring the environment impact of developing the software, continuous integration (CI) pipelines, server impact, and even understanding the environmental impact of the GNOME Foundation and GNOME conferences/hackfests.

The GNOME developer proposes that GNOME could provide carbon labelling for the software produced as well as reporting the overall carbon cost for all GNOME activities each release cycle. Among the steps for then reducing the environmental cost would be through performance optimizations / fixes, speeding up CI testing, using carbon-neutral power sources, and using servers powered by renewable energy.

For those wanting to learn more about this proposal to drive greater emphasis on the environmental impact of GNOME can be found via this PDF slide deck and these notes.

Would you like to see the embodied carbon cost when downloading GNOME software packages or open-source software at large? Let us know in the forums and/or via Twitter.

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