HotCarbon 2022: 1st Workshop on Sustainable Computer Systems Design and Implementation

The 1st Workshop on Sustainable Computer Systems Design and Implementation hopes to bring together researchers and practitioners in computer and network systems to engage in a lively discussion focused on sustainability throughout the entire lifecycle of modern computing, focusing on both operational and embodied impact of computer systems.

Updates and news

Technical program

The accepted papers and talks are available on the Technical Program

Key Dates and locations

This workshop will be available in a hybrid format, with both in-person and remote participation allowed

Call for papers

The HotCarbon Workshop on Sustainable Computer Systems aims to engage researchers and practitioners in a lively discussion on new ideas to improve sustainability of computer systems. The research community has had a relentless focus on the implications of increased scale and raw performance of consumer devices, cloud systems and datacenters, as well as mobile and wireless networks. We believe we also need to address the side-effects of scale through innovative approaches to how we build, deploy, operate, and retire our creations. For example, software-upgrade driven hardware obsolescence is a topic that challenges computing’s endemic metrics, practices, and even mindset. We are specifically inclusive of papers on sustainability, energy use, and carbon from a systems software perspective.

The National Science Foundation has recently called for research on exactly this problem domain:

“Environmental impacts of computing technologies extend well beyond their energy consumption and require a holistic focus on broader sustainability. Negative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, depletion of rare earth elements, and e-waste are exacerbated by the proliferation of computing throughout society and treatment of computing systems as disposable commodities with planned obsolescence. Furthermore, environmental concerns range from the better-known carbon footprint from energy consumption (e.g., cloud) to equally important concerns of embodied carbon[1], generation of methane, carcinogens, volatile organic compounds, and eutrophication, among others. Widespread use of compute intensive techniques (e.g., blockchain and artificial intelligence), handling and moving massive amounts of data, the rollout of next generation wireless/edge networks, and growth of smart devices amplifies the environmental concerns of this proliferation of computing. A new sustainable way of thinking about computing, across the full lifecycle – including manufacturing, operation, and disposal – is necessary to meet the needs of the present without compromising the wellbeing of future generations.”

We solicit position papers that address sustainability and/or the carbon footprint of computer and networked systems. An ideal submission has the potential to open a line of inquiry that results in multiple conference papers by different authors in related venues, rather than a single follow-on conference paper. Position papers that frame larger new challenges and opportunities are encouraged. The program committee will explicitly favor papers likely to stimulate reflection and discussion, addressing the root causes of unsustainability in current designs.

By its very nature, HotCarbon takes a broad view of systems research, relevant metrics, and intertwined infrastructures. This includes operating systems, storage, distributed systems, mobile and embedded systems, virtualization, programming languages, networking, security, dependability, and manageability, as well as new systems contributions influenced by other fields such as hardware design, machine learning, verification, economics, social organization, and biological or other nontraditional computing systems. Because of the nature of sustainability, research that connects to other complex infrastructures such as power grids, electronic supply chains, circular economies, right-to-repair/demanufacturing, is directly relevant.

Research and position paper submissions must be no longer than 5 pages including figures and tables, plus as many pages as needed for references. Submissions must be in two-column format, using 10-point type on 12-point (single-spaced) leading, in a text block 7" wide x 9" deep, with .33" inter-column space, formatted for 8.5" x 11" paper. Templates are available at

Submissions will be double blind. The title and an abstract should appear on the first page; author names should not. Authors must make a good faith effort to anonymize their submissions, and they should not identify themselves either explicitly or by implication (e.g., through the references or acknowledgments).

HotCarbon will also feature panels and events with the aim of inspiring discussion of future research directions independent of any specific work. Panels and events may have many formats, from conventional panel discussions to breakouts to games. If you are interested in hosting or proposing an event, please submit a 1-page proposal (using the same format above) describing topic, format, and length (up to 90 minutes), plus as many pages as necessary for references and supporting letters from planned participants. Proposals will be evaluated based on relevance of topic and potential to engage the audience. Panel submissions are single blind.

Research and position papers as well as panel proposals must be received by the deadline listed below, which is a hard deadline. Papers and proposals should be submitted as PDF files via the web submission form. Please select your submission type on the form (paper or proposal). Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud.

Revised versions of all accepted papers will be available online to registered attendees before the workshop. After the workshop, accepted papers will be made available on the workshop site, along with slides of the presentation and in some cases a summary of the discussion.

This workshop will adhere to the USENIX code of conduct and diversity and inclusion guidelines.

Program Chairs

Program Committee


The registration website is now available!

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