What Does Greenware Mean?

Greenware is a software license that provides users access to a program or its source code in exchange for an environmentally friendly effort, such as recycling, replacing standard lightbulbs with energy saving ones or switching to recycled computer paper.


The greenware term also refers to computer hardware, software and services designed to operate with less environmental impact. Greenware® is the branded name of Fabri-Kal’s line of plant-based packaging geared toward consumers.

Techopedia Explains Greenware

As governmental and international groups continue to promote sustainability and ecology, many businesses are attempting to promote green behaviors through greenware strategies. This may include a contract that requires a user to commit to various activities, like using low-energy products or otherwise promoting good ecology.

In greenware sold without these obligations, there is often an assumption that the software will help the user improve the environment while saving money. This combined incentive is a big part of current and future green business philosophies, whereas previous green programs may have operated according to the idea that environmental best practices involved financial sacrifice.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.