Projects in Green Software Engineering

REFOPLAN - Ressourceneffiziente Software

„40 Jahre Blauer Engel - Weiterentwicklung seines Produktportfolios" (40 Years of Blue Angel - Further Development of its Product Portfolio)

Project duration: 10/1/2018 until 3/31/2020

In this project, a basis for awarding the Blue Angel eco-label for "resource-efficient software" was developed. This includes researching suitable software types, developing standard usage scenarios, and defining minimum requirements that describe resource-efficient software products.

The project builds on the "UFOPLAN-SSD 2015" project, in which we developed a methodology for assessing the resource efficiency of software products. The detailed project results can be found in the final report (German only) published by the Federal Environment Agency.

Project goals

Within this project, (i) the scope of applicable software products was be narrowed down and suitable groups for the label's award criteria and procedures are identified, (ii) manufacturers and developers, interested in applying for label were identified and their software tested, (iii) procurers were surveyed with regards to software products that are usually commissioned or procured.

As a basis for awarding the label, a handout was developed that provides information on which software products are suitable for a Blue Angel label. Additionally, the proposed award criteria were scrutinized for the areas of application.

Through field tests, developers were invited to evaluate the proposed criteria for resource-efficient software. With the support of these partners, the standard usage scenarios, required for recording the award criteria, were developed further. The results of the field test were compiled into a workshop.

By involving procurers, developers and further practice partners at an early stage, the aim was to develop a basis for the awar criteria that represent both the current state of science and applicability in practice.

Project activities

Blue Angel published

The Blue Angel for Software is available

Since January 2020, the Blue Angel has been published on the RAL website and can be applied for there. All further information can be found here:


Jury session "Blauer Engel"

Decision for the publication of the award criteria

Following the expert hearing in Berlin in October, the award criteria for a Blue Angel for energy- and resource-efficient software were revised in line with the feedback from the experts. The revised version was submitted to the Environmental Label Jury.

On December 11, the Environmental Label Jury met and decided to approve the publication of the new Blue Angel for software with the submitted criteria. The eco-label can now be applied for:

Expert hearing in Berlin

Towards a Blue Angel for energy- and resource-efficient software

The Resource Efficient Software eco-label is intended to recognize desktop application 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 Federal Environment Agency in Berlin on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.

Software companies wanted for field tests

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

In the REFOPLAN project, a basis for awarding the Blue Angel "Resource-efficient software" is being developed.

You want to test your software product?
Contact us: greensoft(at)

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.

Planned procedure of the field test

  • Evaluation of the software product according to the criteria by the practice partners
    • Verification criteria: are usually verified by corresponding specifications (e.g. minimum required processor architecture) 
    • Measurement criteria: are verified by software measurements (e.g. energy consumption)
  • If required, the practice partners are supported by students in the software measurements.
  • All results from the field test are documented in the collection tool by the practice partners and delivered back to us.
  • There is the possibility to discuss the results with other practice partners in a workshop in Berlin on 25.06.19 and in particular to give feedback on the collection method.

Software procurement survey

Support us now by participating in our survey!

As part of the research project, the Blue Angel eco-label for "Resource Efficient Software" is to be developed. The criteria are to be tested for its feasibility and meaningfulness through application in practice. 

Therefore we are interested in practical experiences of software procurers. 
In the project we would like to find out which software products are typically procured or which are ordered and which selection criteria play a role.

Support our project now by participating in our survey!

Please contact e.kern(at) Thank you very much!

Workshop on 25.06.19 at the Öko-Institut in Berlin

Discuss the "Blue Angel for Software" with us

The workshop will take place on June 25, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. at the Öko-Institut e.V. in Berlin.

In the workshop, we want to further develop the concept of the future Blue Angel for software with you and discuss our initial proposals for assessing the environmental impact of software. In addition, we will present a measurement method for determining the energy and resource consumption of software and results from field tests.

Preliminary program

  • 10:00: Welcome & presentation of the project "REFOPLAN - Resource Efficient Software".
  • 10:30: Presentation of selected criteria from the criteria catalog "Sustainable Software" followed by a discussion round
  • 11:30: Insights into the field test for the application of the criteria on concrete software products
  • 12:30: Lunch break with small snack
  • 13:30: Presentation of the measurement method & possibilities for energy-saving programming
  • 14:30: Exchange & discussion
  • 15:00: Outlook
  • 15:30: End of the event

Registration possible by mail to before June 14, 2019.

We are looking forward to the exchange with you.

Background information

Questions of resource efficiency have rarely been asked in relation to software in the past, and if they have been, this has not been done with a uniform system. Therefore, only very limited use can be made of market data or benchmarks from practice for the development of such an award basis. The development of these award criteria therefore still involves a high proportion of research and development work: Due to the large number of different types of software products and also manufacturers and developers, the development of meaningful and applicable award criteria for a Blue Angel for resource-efficient software requires in-depth investigations and practical tests.




Project contact person:
Dr. Eva Kern | Prof. Dr. Stefan Naumann
Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld
e.kern | 
Contact person measurements:
Achim Guldner, M.Sc.
Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld

Projekt lead:
Dipl.-Ing. Jens Gröger
Öko-Institut Berlin 
Contact person at UBA:
Marina Köhn
Beratungsstelle nachhaltige Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik

Award Criteria

The final version of the basic award criteria is available on the RAL website:


Background report

The background report documenting the development of the Blue Angel award criteria for resource and energy efficient software products DE-UZ 215 can be found at (German only).

Projekt partners

Öko-Institut, Berlin


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