Projects in Green Software Engineering

ReFoPlan 2020 - Resource Efficient Software

"Further development of the Blue Angel eco-label for software"
Project duration: 09/2021 to 11/2023


With the Blue Angel for software products, the first eco-label for sustainable software is available since 2020. Currently, the Blue Angel can only be awarded to desktop software, whose development focuses on resource and energy efficiency. In this project, the existing Basic Award Criteria for the eco-label will be developed further, so that client-server systems and mobile applications (apps) can also be certified in the future.

Blauer Engel - Source:

Information technology is comprised of the interaction between hard- and software. While the hardware constitutes the physical prerequisite of an IT system, the software determines the behavior of the system. In this context, the software triggers the usage of the hardware and thus also controls its power consumption. In addition, the hardware requirements of a software product frequently cause the need to renew a piece of hardware and thus, the associated environmental impact of its manufacture. Data-intensive multimedia formats take up a large part of the storage and transmission capacities and require data centers to expand their capacities and data transmission networks.

The project builds on the results of two previous projects ("UFOPLAN-SSD 2015" and "REFOPLAN-2018"). The first project consisted of the development of criteria and a method for the assessment of the resource efficiency of software products. In the second project, we development of the Basic Award Criteria for the eco-label from the criteria catalog.

Project goals

In this project, we (i) examine the existing criteria, to determine whether they can be used to extend the scope to include client-server systems and apps and whether they need to be adapted or extended, (ii) identify manufacturers and developers interested in receiving the eco-label and test proposed extended criteria in case studies, and (iii) discuss the results with both the specialist public and developers and distributors who are potenital holders of the eco-label. If the results show that an extension of the scope is possible, the guidelines will be extended and adapted.

Project activities

Expert hearing in Berlin

Extension of the scope for the Blue Angel for energy and resource-efficient software.

The extended scope of the Blue Angel for Resource Efficient Software is intended to recognize desktop, client-server, and mobile software that is characterized by the following environmental attributes:

  • High energy and resource efficiency during use.
  • Long hardware service life
  • High user autonomy and transparency

To this end, an expert hearing on the Blue Angel for resource-efficient software | DE-UZ NEU will be held at the Oeko-Institut in Berlin on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.

Practical workshop: June 22. 2023 in Berlin

Discuss the extension of the Blue Angel for Software with us.

The workshop will take place on June 22. 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to about 5:00 p.m., online and at the Öko-Institut e.V. in Berlin.

In the workshop, we want to further develop the concept of the extended Blue Angel for software with you and discuss our proposals for assessing the environmental impact of client-server software and apps.

We are looking forward to the exchange with you.

Software companies wanted for field tests

Evaluate your software product with the "Blue Angel for Software" criteria.

In the REFOPLAN project, the basic award criteria for the the Blue Angel resource and energy-efficient software is being updated and extended to include client-server systems and apps.

Aim of the field test

The practice partners apply the criteria to their product in order to intensively test the planned award criteria. The developed criteria and the methodology for evaluating resource efficiency are to be tested for applicability and meaningfulness through practical application.

Interested? Contact f.behrens(at) before April 28. 2023.

Support the project as practice partner

If you are interested in evaluating the proposed criteria for resource-efficient software in the context of field tests or in discussing the results of the field tests together with us in a workshop, please contact us at the following address: f.behrens(at)


Project lead:
Dipl.-Ing. Jens Gröger
Öko-Institut Berlin

Contact person Umwelt-Campus:
Prof. Dr. Stefan Naumann
Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld

Contact person Federal Environemt Agency:
Marina Köhn
Beratungsstelle nachhaltige Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik

Projekt partners

Öko-Institut, Berlin




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