Sustainability as a key driver for the development of modern society and the future of the planet has never achieved as much consensus worldwide as today.

Just recently, in his new year speech, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres claimed that in 2020 “we are launching a Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals”, which he considered the world’s blueprint for a fair globalization process. Likewise the President of the new European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made a European Green Deal the top priority of her Agenda for Europe. She aspires no less than a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

At the same time experts estimate the energy consumption share of the ICT domain at 6-9% and expect this share to grow to 10-20% by 2030. It is anticipated that the energy consumed by the ubiquity of ICT services and devices in a globally connected world and our digital lifestyle in general will soon have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry. In other words ICT is part of the solution but also part of the problem in terms of sustainable global development including any political aspirations towards stopping climate change.

Ultimately, it is the hardware of ICT systems that consumes energy, but it is software that controls this hardware. Thus, controlling the software is crucial to reduce the ever-growing energy footprint of ICT systems. The Sustrainable project advocates the introduction of all facets of sustainability as a primary concern into software engineering practice.

In line with Antonio Guterres, we believe that it is of paramount importance to involve “young people” in the endeavour to revert the current trend and support sustainable (software) development. We actively promote such endeavour by educating the next generation of software engineers to consider sustainability in all aspects of the software engineering process: Sustrainable means Training for Sustainability. We aim to provide future software engineers with essential skills to develop software that is not only functionally correct, but also easy to maintain and evolve, that is durable, has a low impact and uses the hardware it is running on in the most energy-efficient way.

For this purpose we assemble a broad and diverse consortium of researchers and educators from 10 selected universities and 7 countries from across Europe.

Our flagship contribution lies in the organization of two summer schools. The schools will be attended by Master and PhD students from all partner institutions, but they will likewise be open to students and researchers from outside the consortium as well as to software engineers from industrial practice. These summer schools cover a wide range of aspects of sustainability in software engineering practice including the latest research findings from within the consortium and beyond. Each school features 10 tutorials that complement theoretical aspects of software sustainability with illustrative examples and hands-on sessions.

Our objective is to train the future avant-garde software engineers for the sustainable software and ICT that the knowledge-based, environmentally concerned societies of the 21st century demand. The majority of summer school participants are close to their transition from learning to doing and will soon join the European software engineering workforce. They will carry the ideas, concepts and methods they learned at the summer schools into industrial software engineering practice worldwideacross Europe. Furthermore, they will act as facilitators and multipliers alike for a sustainable future software-driven Europe. Conversely, we provide the ubiquitous enthusiasm of the younger generation for sustainable development a constructive, meaningful and high-impact route forward.

In addition to organizing the two summer schools, the members of the consortium will join forces in research, innovation and exchange of best practices in education. They work in closely related but highly complementary areas of software engineering around the joint driving motivation of sustainability. Cross-pollination of research ideas is facilitated by the organization of two training activities primarily within the consortium and two multiplier events to disseminate the results of the project, both in research and education, to the wider academic community. Ultimately, we expect to evolve the curricula of the involved institutions as a consequence of the innovation and training activities in the project.

Multiple institutions from the European ICT industry have endorsed their interest in the intellectual outcomes of the project. This confirms that the scientific merit of the project is at par with its practical impact.