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Sean OK edited this page May 15, 2024 · 2 revisions

TOSS (fka Organisational usage of Software Emissions) - Scope Document

This project proposition is a continuation of @tmcclell's "answering the so-what query" discussion. Green-Software-Foundation/oc#18

(Answering the so-what question. · Green-Software-Foundation/oc · Discussion #18 (

Tagline: "The adoption and usage of software emission data”

Green-Software-Foundation/organisation-usage-of-software-emissions: Using software emission calculation data for organisational decision-making during the development and use of technology applications (


The creation of the SCI facilitates the calculation of software carbon emissions. In addition, there is an initiative that focuses on cloud calculations in real-time. Over time, additional calculation methodologies and tools will be developed, but the actual implementation necessitates significant organisational changes that must be addressed. This project will result in the creation of a framework for decision-making during the development, implementation, and operation of technology applications by incorporating all available methodologies and instruments.

The initiative will concentrate on the broader organisation's adoption of calculations and the measures organisations must take to ensure that measuring CO2 is an integral part of application development for new and existing applications. Using a sustainability framework such as TCFD or CSRD to facilitate the key areas of focus from an organisational perspective to determine the flow of CO2 data into strategic and executive-level decisions.

The outputs from working groups and sub-working groups creating methodologies and tools will be used to develop a framework for organisations to use and employ in order to make actual distinctions. This will include the principles of shared data, the formulation of OKRs and KPIs, the modification of behaviours, and their incorporation into organisational change processes and practices. Quote: "Change before you have to." - Jack Welch Audience

This solution's intended audience consists of technology architects, devops lead engineers, programmers and project managers, product managers, business managers, and business executives. This audience receives limited and, in some instances, no data at all (this view is based on my PhD research). This topic can be discussed at numerous conferences, including technology, programme management, ESG, and supply chain conferences.

Targeted Audience:

This solution's intended audience is targeted at the following roles (but not exclusively):

  • Technology Architects
  • Devops Lead Engineers
  • Portfolio Programme and Project Managers
  • Product Managers
  • Business Managers
  • Executives


The Green Software Foundation has been building the methods, tools, standards, and patterns to help both developers and operational engineers embed green software practices. To first use these tools and embed them in organisations, we require a framework that provides changemakers in organisations with an approach to adopting, using, and reducing carbon emissions from running software applications.

Implementing measures to reduce software emissions can result in an enhanced and robust technology platform. Reduced emissions can also result in immediate cost reductions for businesses, as they will need to acquire fewer offsets in order to attain carbon neutrality. A cost-benefit analysis can provide guidance on the necessity of adding an incremental feature if its implementation will generate X quantity of CO2e that requires offsetting. The framework will consider the implementation of green software approaches from both top down (organisation strategy) and bottom up (DevOps community).

The initiative also draws from a doctoral study that looks at how change management specialists might develop technology projects that include energy-saving and carbon-emission-reducing tactics. Details about the doctoral study's interaction with GSF and its governance structure are provided in the terms of reference.

There is also a project in progress that focuses on the maturity matrix model (Community WG) for organisations to assess where they are on their green software journey. The following opportunities will be explored across both projects:

  • Identify gaps in organisations - this project involves implementing various tools and practices within an organisation, and the maturity matrix model assesses the current state of the organisation.
  • The maturity matrix model provides the inputs into this framework. The assessment is to understand the organisation's current capabilities, determine intermediary steps and target states, and develop a roadmap towards improved sustainable IT practices and outcomes. In simple terms, the maturity matrix model provides the assessment, and this project provides the adoption of green software practices.


The project team will develop a framework that encapsulates an underlying methodology and decision tree for organisations to 1) embed 2) transform and 3) use software emissions data to help achieve their net zero targets. The framework and methodology will utilise the tools, standards, patterns, and principles developed by the Green Software Foundation as well as those that are available from external sources.

Problem Statement

The development of tools, calculation methodologies, and processes is underway to help the IT community become green. Organisations are on a journey, and their implementation of green IT and software varies. There are still gaps for organisations to embed the culture and behaviour to make decisions that foster green IT choices. The linking of key data across different functions that impact IT will help create visibility into the environmental impact of technology.

Key Question: How to embed green software calculations and tools for organisations to use software emissions data to reduce carbon?

As carbon emissions from software do not fall solely under the responsibility of technology departments or functions, the initiative aims to integrate the methodologies and tools across the entire organisation.


The solution is to present a framework incorporating a decision tree strategy. It would also reveal where voids exist, providing ideas for future initiatives.

Closure: For the project to be successful, GSF organisations must test the framework throughout its development and numerous iterations. The SCI is an excellent example of a project that was implemented within organisations and resulted in a continuous feedback cycle. For organisations to use the framework and create case studies to document their approach and processes. The gaps are to be identified and feedback collected and reviewed with the project team for continuous updates to the framework.

The solution would describe a framework incorporating a method that is focused on a decision tree approach. It would also reveal where voids exist, providing ideas for future initiatives.

ToC: By the end of 2024, this initiative will enhance the adoption of various GSF tools and methodologies.

Timelines and Milestones

The timelines are focused on the development of the framework:

  • January 2024 – Agree the project scope with GSF.
  • February 2024 – Define the key terms, e.g., how we classify technology based projects.
  • March to August 2024 – Development of the framework.
  • September to October – Solicit feedback and update changes.
  • October 2024 to January 2025 – Write PhD paper incorporating the methodology used and the development process of the framework.

Testing the framework will be planned separately.

Governance Structure

The governance structure for this project is outlined below:

  • The project team will meet bi monthly on Wednesday at 4pm.
  • Project updates will be provided at the Standards WG.
  • The maturity matrix mode project team are setting up a meeting schedule.
  • The maturity matrix model project updates will be provided at the Community WG
  • Cross project sync between this project and the maturity matrix model 2nd Friday every month