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How Functionize Tests 'Green' on Earth Day and Every Day

Functionize believes every day should be Earth Day. Protect our planet with environmentally friendly testing practices. Learn about how Functionize tests green.

April 15, 2022
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Functionize believes every day should be Earth Day. Protect our planet with environmentally friendly testing practices. Learn about how Functionize tests green.
How Functionize Tests 'Green' on Earth Day and Every Day
Invest in Our Planet" is the theme for Earth Day 2022, which is celebrated on April 22.
This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet," according to EarthDay.org. 

Earth Day may only happen just once a year, but Functionize believes we should operate as if Earth Day was every day. This is exactly how we run our company.

We're Fully Remote

Because we're a fully remote company, our developers (and other staff members) aren't out on the road contributing to Co2 emissions. 

In 2020, global greenhouse gas emissions fell by roughly 2.4 billion tons, a 7% decrease from 2019 and the largest decline on record, as a result of worldwide Covid-19 restrictions. 

And that statistic begs the question: How much greener can organizations become if they have fewer workers commuting into the office every day?

As a result of the pandemic, Salesforce has implemented a hybrid workforce model, a strategy to reduce emissions by 29% per employee, according to the “Decarbonizing a Work From Anywhere World” report from Salesforce. In the report, Salesforce discusses its climate action plan to achieve Net Zero, a plan that includes measuring how much energy employees use at home.

"While home emissions will increase due to the additional energy required to support remote work, reductions in office energy emissions and commute emissions outweigh anticipated home increases," according to the report.

We Run Tests in the Cloud

Traditional test automation relies on small server farms, which means software testing has a huge carbon footprint. However, we run our tests in the cloud and optimize it for maximum efficiency. 

Consider this: it's rare that organizations invest in brand new servers for their testing teams. Rather, testers are generally relegated to using hardware that's on its last leg — hardware that's not at all efficient and needs to be maintained constantly. 

While you might think reusing old hardware is a good thing — think again. The truth is that old servers have a massive environmental impact. For one thing, they're inefficient as they rely on outdated power supplies. Then there's the issue of the power that's needed for each processing operation, which is known as performance per watt and measures the overall efficiency of a server. Older processors are not as powerful as modern processors and they draw much more power — and more power means more carbon emissions. The bottom line is that your testing infrastructure is not very green.

While it's true that in the past cloud data centers were not very efficient, modern data centers are totally different as most use renewable energy for some or all of their power. Additionally, these modern data centers have invested heavily in passive cooling systems that don't need much power to run. All this means that a cloud data center will always be more efficient than any server you own.

We at Functionize believe that testing must always be cloud-first and as such, our AI-powered smart tests run in the Functionize Test Cloud. Not only do our tests run quickly, but we also built our tests to minimize the time spent using cloud virtual machines (VMs). Compared to organizations that maintain their own test infrastructures (whether on servers or VMs), our containerized provisioning automatically spins up machines when tests need to run, then immediately de-provision them as soon as tests are done executing.

Google Cloud Platform: Greenest Cloud Provider

The Functionize Test Cloud runs on the Google Cloud Platform. Google Cloud is the “greenest cloud provider" when compared to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. 

Google has achieved 100% renewable energy across all its cloud regions, and all the data Google Cloud processes has "zero net carbon emissions."

Although none of these three major cloud providers have completely moved away from fossil fuels in their data centers, they offset their carbon footprints by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs). Buying RECs is the same as buying renewable energy, so organizations that purchase RECs can claim that the energy they use is from renewable sources.

Today, our cloud provider Google Cloud is carbon neutral. But by 2020, Google is aiming to run on carbon-free energy, 24/7, at all its data centers. In addition, Google is working to help other organizations around the world move to more carbon-free and sustainable systems.

Conclusion

The first Earth Day was held in major cities across the U.S. on April 22, 1970, and over the past 52 years it has grown into the world's largest environmental event. The global nature of Earth Day demonstrates that all governments, individuals, and businesses must continue their commitments to achieving a more sustainable future.

Today, understanding that cloud providers are always looking to enhance their uses of clean energy, Functionize will continue to advance its green initiatives by running automated tests in the cloud.