Sustainability is a wicked problem!” they say, and sustainable software is no exception. Sustainable software is a term that has been buzzing in the corridors of academia and among tech practitioners, yet its definition remains elusive. The discourse among software engineers and HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) communities often finds itself at a crossroads, grappling with the nuances of what it truly means to develop software that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

At its core, sustainable software echoes the foundational pillars of sustainable development laid out by the United Nations: environmental, social, and economic considerations. However, within these broad categories lie myriad complexities and diverging viewpoints. Some researchers narrow their focus to these three core dimensions, while others advocate for the inclusion of individual and technical dimensions, recognising the intricate interplay of technology with sustainability and its impact on the individual.

The absence of a standardized assessment method further complicates matters. This absence weighs heavily as we seek to unravel the impact of sustainable software on end-users and stakeholders alike. In a world where the digital footprint of the ICT sector looms large, the drumbeat for integrating sustainability principles into software design grows louder by the minute.

To rise to this challenge, we must challenge the status quo, question our assumptions, and forge a new path forward—one that balances technological advancement with environmental impact, social responsibility, and economic viability. Only through such concerted efforts can we hope to realise the true potential of sustainable software and its transformative impact on the world we inhabit.