By David Stefan, Mark Barrett, Emmanuel Letier (University College London) and Mark Stella-Sawicki (Logica)
Abstract– Large organizations play an important role in helping to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of climate change. As a result, they face increasing pressure from Governments and non-governmental organizations to report on the sustainability of their operations. Beyond simple reporting, however, it is difficult for them to identify the most effective actions to take to address the risks associated with climate change and rising energy costs. The problem is hard because it involves tradeoffs between multiple long- term and short-term objectives that must be made under strong budgetary constraints, uncertainties about the future evolution of many system variables, and sometimes simply a lack of shared understanding of what the real objectives are and the potential impacts of various decisions on such objectives. The overall aim of our research is to develop fundamental techniques to help organizations make deci- sions in this context. As a first step, we are currently applying quantitative goal-oriented requirements engineer- ing technique to model and reason about the sustainability goals of UCL, a large university in central London. The paper also discusses important software systems engineering research challenges in this domain. These are related to the elaboration and evolution of large-scale models, the ability to reason about the timing of system transformations and the delayed impacts of these transformations on goals, and the need to include in the system model funding mechanisms and system governance structures as explicit components that are themselves subject to changes.