Salesforce Announces Green Code Initiative to Lower Software Carbon Footprint
Green Code is a new program that Salesforce is starting to help cut down on the carbon pollution that comes from the software development process. Sustainability best practices that were just released can help UX designers, software developers, system architects, and IT operations managers speed up their company’s journey to net zero.
As a society, we are becoming more aware of climate change and making good changes in our personal and work lives to lower our carbon effect. Salesforce is very interested in net zero, which is why it has made sustainability its fifth core value. When we look back on Dreamforce ’22, we can see that a big part of the main address was about the environment, carbon sequestration, and how to manage data about sustainability. Most of the company’s carbon emissions come from its data center infrastructure, and one of the most important parts of its Climate Action Plan is to reduce these emissions.
But when technology is in the cloud, it’s a bit vague because we can’t see it every day. Even though cloud technology has made it so that most organizations don’t have to run their computers on-site, this doesn’t mean that the effect is completely gone. Instead, the effects are concentrated in huge data centers that handle a huge amount of data every minute.
Up to 3.9% of the world’s emissions come from the information and communication technology sector. That’s almost as much as the flight and shipping businesses. As organizations rely more and more on software to run their processes, these emissions are likely to go up.
It’s also our responsibility
Even though Salesforce is doing a lot to help get to net zero, there is still a problem. How organizations set up their settings is a big part of how much processing power the Salesforce platform needs.
Think back to the standard example of a building with multiple tenants: an apartment block. Salesforce built the block, but each flat is owned by one of its users. Salesforce can improve how the flat owners get services in general, but it can’t do much about how the flat owners plan, manage, and use their “environment.”
This is why the “Green Code” effort is important and appropriate because it makes us aware of our responsibilities as Salesforce workers.
“Sustainable engineering is good engineering and technologists can play a critical role in the reduction of global carbon emission. With Green Code, we’re hoping to inspire software teams and the entire IT sector to prioritize sustainability, just as they do performance, security, and accessibility.” Srinivas Tallapragada, President and Chief Engineering Officer at Salesforce.
Anyone who is in charge of planning and building Salesforce is in charge of designing in a sustainable way. This made us think of a talk SFBen had with Gemma Blezard, who is known for starting The Architects Club and Ladies Be Architects. It was very interesting.
“You might be having trouble with how well you’re doing. For example, you have a private share model with more than 20 million transaction records going into and out of Salesforce and on-premise systems. That’s a lot. Given the number of deals, that’s processing power between Salesforce and your own computers. So, both your carbon footprint and Salesforce’s carbon footprint are changed.
As a possible answer, we might be able to store 10 million of these records and put them in a data warehouse. This would cut down on the number of events, improve speed, and make the data centers less busy. Or you could look at another way to do this. Is it that we just need to be able to see these events on demand and don’t need to store them in Salesforce? You’re not moving the info and posting it, you’re just showing it to people.”
This gives you an idea of how design choices and looking for other ways to solve problems can make a difference.
Optimization of the system allowed MuleSoft to reduce infrastructure costs by 14%
MuleSoft is another example that Salesforce uses to show what it can do. The most important thing they learned from this is that even small changes can have a big effect on a company’s carbon footprint.
MuleSoft was able to cut its annual spending on public cloud infrastructure by 14% by optimizing strategies like finding and shutting down systems that weren’t being used and moving storage to options that used less energy.
L’Oréal’s Sustainability Success
“At L’Oréal, we’ve embedded sustainability throughout our business and products, and technology has always played a key role to help us achieve those goals. I’m thrilled that Salesforce is launching best practices for technologists to help reduce their environmental footprint associated with software development. Every company can benefit by implementing these changes and accelerate their sustainable achievements.” Ariane Thomas, Global Tech Director of Sustainability at L’Oréal Group.
How to Get Started with Salesforce Sustainable Design
A new study from Salesforce shows that 75% of technologists want to make software apps that are better for the environment, but almost half of them don’t know how.
The Sustainability Guide for Salesforce Technology has tips on how to create apps and write code that is better for the world. The guide is mostly about four main topics.
- Design and User Experience (UX): Designers can reduce energy use and improve the user experience by making sustainable design a requirement and making the data move faster with fewer steps.
- Architecture: Choosing the right design plan and distribution model for software development can make sure that processes are cost-effective and have a small effect on the environment. Software engineers have a big part to play in making this happen. They can do this by linking APIs that can be used more than once, which is made possible by MuleSoft, and by stopping code from running away with the help of governor limits built into the Lightning Platform.
- The key to development is writing code that can last. Creating software code that uses less energy can cut pollution by a lot, especially when it is used on a large scale. Salesforce Lightning apps are written to run directly in browsers, which can improve speed by up to 60% and use less energy.
- Operations: Companies can reduce their carbon emissions by putting their capacity in the right places and arranging their work during times when green energy is high. Salesforce is working to reduce carbon emissions by coming up with new ideas like Hyperforce, which is its public cloud infrastructure design built on 100% green energy. This will help its customers in terms of both sustainability and usefulness.
To keep track of how things are going, Salesforce made a number called “Carbon to Serve,” which measures the pollution of its data centers based on how much work its apps do. Since setting up the measure in 2020, Salesforce has cut pollution by 26% and plans to keep doing so in the future. Now, they want help from people who work for Salesforce to move things in the right way.
Up until now, sustainability efforts have mostly been about making gear more efficient and removing carbon from the power grid. Optimizing the code that makes up these apps is a strong pressure point that isn’t used much.
This is where the Sustainability Guide for Salesforce Technology comes in. It has tips for creating apps and writing code that is better for the world. The four areas to look into are design and user experience (reducing] the number of steps in user processes), architecture (choosing the right architectural style and making use of reusable APIs), development, and operations (setting jobs during times when there is a lot of green energy).
“We’re in a climate emergency, and we need everyone to get to net zero as fast as possible. By leveraging these ‘green code’ best practices, technologists and organizations can approach the challenge of sustainability in IT to drive meaningful efficiencies and cost savings across their IT enterprises while accelerating their sustainability journeys.” Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce.
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