Re: [cncf-wg-env-sustainability] recap of WG meeting

Erin Boyd

HI Leonard,
Thank you for your input and replying to the mailing list so we can address this issue constructively through an open forum.

I want to restate again that the TOC in error should not have greenlit the formalization of the WG. That was on us and we take full responsibility. The model is not supported as we have since updated our charter and process to ensure WG have a home under a TAG. 

So, after discussion around this we was asked if the WG could belong in a current, already established TAG. Consensus was that Sustainability is a rapidly growing industry and affects multiple parts of the stack, much like security. Therefore, it's a broad enough topic that we foresee multiple projects being proposed and brought to the TAG and eventually the TOC. Could there be separate working groups under the TAG once established, absolutely!

To date, the TOC has not approved any leaders or even the TAG charter. Therefore both the scope and leadership has yet to come before a formal vote to the TOC. The TOC liaisons, Richi and myself, are here to help you in the formation of the group and make sure it's done in an open and fair manner. We have no more of a vote than any other TOC member and the process goes through a majority vote. 

To address your concerns about culture and personal motivations of members, I want to ensure that this is precisely why the TOC has recommended the TAG is to provide the guidance and consistency as well as ensuring any project that comes before the TAG has equal representation regardless of size/company/etc.

I hope this helps alleviate your concerns and we can work as a community to get this new TAG up and running!

On Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 12:59 PM Leonard Pahlke via <> wrote:

I am not at all happy with the state of the WG or now TAG that we are in at this moment. I don't feel like we created an environment that is good to work in. I am really concerned and a bit sad that we are at this point now.

A few months ago, Max and I were thinking about how to push the issue of sustainability in our industry, given climate change the most prominent example, which I see as the biggest existential problem of our time. Current software is not green software, a transformation has to happen in our industry too. And we need to understand that we not just build software, the requirements, the supply chain and an entire industry is needed which is built on hardware and other infrastructure things to allow us to create software and execute it.

It makes sense to start with open-source software because it is used everywhere and powers big systems, and like Kubernetes, which can manage huge systems and thus offers huge potential both horizontally (how many use Kubernetes) and in depth (huge systems that are powered by K8s). Max came up with the great idea of CNCF TAG Sustainability, which then became WG Environmental Sustainability a bit later. Max did all the organization and communication up to building the repo. I went back to UNI to get my Master's degree with a focus on green software development and have been delving into the topic bit by bit ever since. 

Starting the WG as part of CNCF was something I could never have dreamed of (without sounding cheesy). 

With the experience from the Kubernetes community, we were both sure that with great people we would progress quickly as a team and as a community.

Some people are signed up and joined the WG, and I am truly grateful for that and exactly what we wanted, but sadly, we are not a team. The agenda of companies (Red Hat & IBM, Intel) for this WG / TAG is to push key positions (chairs and TL) and projects (Kepler), while cleverly booting out community heroes like Max. This is not an environment where people can trust each other and work collaboratively as a community.


1. The biggest problem is the communication in the group, which mainly takes place behind closed doors. 
2. Active blocking of bootstrapping PRs and discussions.
3. It seems to me that filling chairs and TL is the most important thing – it's not about anything else. It is about strategically filling certain key positions in the community.
4. the goal of environmental sustainability of the CNCF landscape and community is not pursued with everything. We are actively pushing our projects and not acting for the community. Own projects are great, and I am working on one too, but that needs to be separated, the day is not about making a project big. 

Suggestions (ToC)

1. Max has worked hard on the formation of the WG / TAG, stealing his work is unbelievable. We should rename the repo and work with what we have. We even used the TAG Security repo as a template for our repo. There is no reason to create another proposal when the original (a TAG proposal) is only a few months old… (let's work smarter)
2. a couple of people have been proposed as chairs – some of them have never said a word in a WG env-sustainability meeting or worked on an open-source project, which is perfectly fine and great, but not ideal to be the as chair responsible for the TAG team / community. I would recommend including only one of the three people currently recommended, and thus only one from Intel / Red Hat / IBM, as chair – this would prevent from pushing the internal corporate agenda to promote their collaborative project Kepler.
3. questioning every line of the Code of Conduct or similar documents when forming a TAG / WG makes no sense at all, it just blocks the process. We should have a basis to agree on and then make proposals directly to the CoCC committee or others. A better starting point for TAGs/WGs needs to be defined – so I would recommend creating a template repository to facilitate the WG/TAG bootstrap process. If no one has time for this, I can take on this task, as I don't want a new WG to have to go through what we are currently experiencing.
4. Do it right or don't do it at all, consider postponing the formation of the TAG or the appointment of the chairs.

I will bring the above points to the next working group/TAG meeting to discuss with everyone. We all need to be honest with ourselves about why we are here and what we want to accomplish.

I'm sad to have to write this message, but the WG / TAG is currently going in a dysfunctional, slightly passive-aggressive direction, and we have to consider how to alleviate that and move in a collaborative direction again. Community is not easy, and I am curious what I have to learn, better influence and build a good environment in half a year or so. I hope that we can still get the group in a position to make a positive contribution to the development of sustainable software in the future at CNCF.


On Jul 27 2022, at 3:42 pm, Marlow Weston <catblade@...> wrote:
Hello Max,

I can appreciate your concerns.

The TAG proposal is in markdown, so it's best to start in the format it needs to be submitted in.  Everyone should have access to the GitHub repo.  Many have been actively contributing already, probably due to seeing the original mail here: .
Admin has been given, on both repos, to multiple individuals (just in case).  If people have issues with the hackmd, then they are welcome to use the GitHub repo.

Thank you for the links to the other documents.  We have tried to include a combo of material from these and used other TAG proposals as guidelines on what to include and will add a credit section at the end.

TAG has a different process than a WG.  In order to have a slot at KubeCon, I was told it was best if we submitted by early/mid August.  Because there has been prior work, we should be able to leverage that to accelerate a mature proposal quickly.  I have reached out to many of the individuals showing up at discussions.  It would be very helpful if you would also reach out to any others you (or any others) may see as interested.

Huamin already started a TAG Chair nomination here (  If others would like to nominate (or be nominated), they should either add to that thread or be ready on August 3rd.

Looking forward to your contributions,

Sent from Mailspring
On Wed, Jul 27, 2022, 1:13 AM Max Koerbaecher <max@...> wrote:
Hey there,

thank you.
I would like to request to put this new proposal  in a shared Google Doc. This feels right now not very open and inviting to contribute. Also, you could be busy or your account gets locked and than no one can grant access to the doc. Furthermore, the discussions are hidden as long as the people are not be invited or don't have the right link, strong -1 therefore.

If the people for the TAG nomination needs to be part of this proposal, please add anyone from the original proposal TAG proposal as well as from the WG charter It would be a pity to lose all the input and especially the people who have provided this already.  

I think there is no need to rush and the proposal should be well crafted. The WG got also announced even so it landed only a week before KubeCon (thanks Dave & Katie!).

Thank you for your efforts putting this document together, looking forward to have an open and vibrant discussion!


On Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 00:20:22, Marlow Weston <catblade@...> wrote:
Many thanks for this, Erin!

Other notes for folks:

We've gone and started a tag proposal here:

Requests for feedback, and please join the hackmd if you can for more dynamic discussion as not all changes get pushed to that branch quickly.  If you need to know how, please contact me and I'll get you set up quickly with permissions.  I will need your hackmd account name.

Huamin Chen had chair recommendations that he sent to this mailing list.  My understand is that chairs do need to be part of this TAG proposal, is that correct Erin?  

If anyone would like others recommended for this, please do send to the group so we can discuss August 3.  We would like to submit the proposal shortly after that meeting as to not lose momentum and to be able to make kubecon with the announcement, if we can get approved in time.

Many thanks,

On Tue, Jul 26, 2022, 5:10 PM Erin Boyd <eboyd@...> wrote:
Hi Folks,
Just wanted to touch base and reiterate our position in the TOC and see if there are any questions moving forward.

The current Environmental Sustainability WG will be disbanded and formalized into a TAG. 
Many of you may be asking 'why?' Let me attempt to address those concerns here:
1) Currently we don't have a governance or process structure that supports work groups unattached/affiliated with a TAG.  We have formalized our documentation to reflect this and recognize our negligence in the formation of the group months ago.
2) Ensure governance, processes, etc... are consistent with the CNCF way & provide an avenue for the TAG to engage with the TOC for support/media/talks/etc...

What is next?
The TOC is looking to work with the current community to submit a proposal for the TAG along with accepting nominations for 3 leadership co-chair positions. These will be voted on by the TOC. These positions have a 2-year term limit consistent with the other TAG co-chairs.

@Richard Hartmann and I are here to help and will be serving as your TOC sponsors!
We look forward to working with you. Please let us know how we can help.


Erin A. Boyd
Director of Emerging Technologies OCTO
Distinguished Engineer


Erin A. Boyd

Director of Emerging Technologies OCTO

Distinguished Engineer

Red Hat


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