Software Engineering for Sustainability

Project Dates: 
January 2011
Project Description: 

Sustainability has become a pressing concern, especially given the looming effects of climate change. Sustainable development aims to meet current needs while ensuring sustainability of natural systems and the environment so as to not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Current software engineering methods, however, do not explicitly support sustainability or sustainable development. Yet because software systems have such an enormous influence on our daily lives—in many spheres and in varying contexts—comprehensively supporting sustainability in software engineering has considerable potential for making our planet greener in the long run as well as improving our communities and our environment.

The ultimate goal of Software Engineering for Sustainability (SE4S) is to support all dimensions of sustainability—human, social, economic, environmental, and technical—throughout the software lifecycle. Our primary efforts emphasize environmental sustainability with a focus on requirements engineering (RE) and quality assurance (QA).  We believe these touchpoints have the greatest potential—RE will form the foundation for sustainable development and QA will provide the ability to assess progress.

The SE4S project was featured in the Hot Research section of the Spring/Summer 2013 ISR Connector newsletter.