Lessons Learned from Developing a Sustainability Awareness Framework for Software Engineering using Design Science

Stefanie Betz, Birgit Penzenstadler, Leticia Duboc, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Sedef Akinli Kocak, Ian Brooks, Shola Oyedeji, Jari Porras, Norbert Seyff, Colin C. Venters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[Context and Motivation] To foster a sustainable society within a sustainable environment, we must dramatically re-shape our work and consumption activities, most of which are facilitated through software. Yet, most IT professionals hardly consider the effects on the sustainability of the IT products and services they deliver. This issue is exacerbated by a lack of methods and tools for this purpose.

[Question/Problem] Despite the practical need for methods and tools that explicitly support consideration of the effects that IT products and services have on the sustainability of their intended environments, such methods and tools remain largely unavailable. Thus, urgent research is needed to understand how to design such tools for the IT community properly.

[Principal Ideas/Results] In this paper, we describe our experience using design science to create the Sustainability Awareness Framework (SusAF), which supports IT practitioners in anticipating and mitigating the potential sustainability effects during system development. More specifically, we identify and present the challenges faced during this process.

[Contribution] The challenges that we have faced and addressed in the development of the SusAF are likely to be relevant to others who aim to create methods and tools to integrate sustainability support into their IT products/projects. Thus, the lessons learned in SusAF development are shared for the benefit of researchers and other professionals who design tools for that end.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jan 2024


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