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FinOpsPod Voicemail: GreenOps
Episode 828th June 2022 • FinOpsPod • FinOps Foundation
00:00:00 00:09:49

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Episode 8 FinOpsPod Voicemail: GreenOps

FinOpsPod checks their voicemail and receives a question on GreenOps from Prabha Palanivelu. Mark Butcher swoops in and provides a quick answer and pitches you to join the FinOps Foundation Sustainability Working Group. To join the working group, join the Foundation to get Slack access and join the channel #wg-finops-for-sustainability.

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Transcripts

Joe:

Believe it or not.

Joe:

FinOpsPod isn't at home.

Joe:

So leave a message at the beep.

Joe:

We must be out or else we'd pick up the phone.

Joe:

Where could we be.

Joe:

Believe it or not, we're not home.

Prabha:

Hello Joe this is Prabha I work with Nestle Australia as a FinOps

Prabha:

specialist, supporting my end users and customers in the Asia Pacific region,

Prabha:

providing them visibility about their cloud expenses and advising them in

Prabha:

avoiding and optimizing their cloud spend.

Prabha:

I'm a big fan of FinOpsPod And I make it a practice to listen to all of your

Prabha:

podcasts, to gain some fresh new insights.

Prabha:

I haven't missed any of your podcasts so far.

Prabha:

My question to you, or rather to the FinOps community here is about

Prabha:

a topic which is tightly integrated with FinOps any guesses there.

Prabha:

You may be right.

Prabha:

I wanted to ask a question about greenops We know that the top three

Prabha:

cloud vendors provide carbon emissions data in some form or the other, but

Prabha:

what is driving organizations who are running workloads on the cloud to act

Prabha:

on this data and how are they getting started to reduce their carbon footprint?

Joe:

Hey there FinOptinauts!

Joe:

This is Joe, and welcome to a special edition of answering

Joe:

the FinOpsPod Voicemail.

Joe:

Thank you to Prabha for this fantastic question on GreenOps.

Joe:

There is a whole lot of talk about GreenOps and sustainability and the Venn

Joe:

diagram between GreenOps and FinOps is almost completely overlapping each other.

Joe:

It's just so much similarities between the two.

Joe:

If you're doing FinOps you're likely doing the same work you would be doing

Joe:

if you thought you were doing GreenOps.

Joe:

It's something that's coming for everyone.

Joe:

There are some people who've been working on sustainability and

Joe:

GreenOps for a year or two now.

Joe:

And there are a whole lot of folks just like me who are just starting to learn a

Joe:

little bit more and get more engaged in the sustainability side of cloud spend.

Joe:

To help answer province question.

Joe:

I brought in mark butcher, who leads up the FinOps Foundation

Joe:

Sustainability Working Group.

Joe:

That group is filled with so many fantastic people.

Joe:

They meet weekly and they've helped educate me on a lot

Joe:

of what GreenOps is about.

Joe:

So here's Mark to help answer why and how companies are getting

Joe:

started with sustainability

Mark:

Hi, Joe, Mark Butcher here from Positiv in the UK.

Mark:

Thanks for passing across this great question from Prabha

Mark:

at Nestle about GreenOps.

Mark:

For those who don't know at Positiv, a lot of our work these

Mark:

days is on digital sustainability.

Mark:

And I'm also, from a Foundation perspective, one of the lucky people

Mark:

helping to lead the sustainability working group inside the Foundation,

Mark:

Prabha's question about GreenOps and what's driving organizations to act

Mark:

on cloud carbon data, and how are they're getting started, kind of sums

Mark:

up the reasons why we decided to set up the working group in the first place.

Mark:

So there's no single reason why organizations are finally deciding to act

Mark:

on the carbon emissions data that's being shared by the cloud vendors, but there

Mark:

are some common things that influence the behavior of consumers, large and small.

Mark:

Four of them in total.

Mark:

So firstly, there's a rising level of pressure being applied externally

Mark:

by investors and shareholders with CEOs and board level people finally

Mark:

being held accountable for their organizations overall emissions.

Mark:

One of the real reasons for this is that green or environmentally

Mark:

friendly companies demonstrate really generating significantly higher

Mark:

stock returns compared to their less environmentally focused peers.

Mark:

And this has been measured by some of the biggest VCs over recent years where

Mark:

they're getting a much higher return.

Mark:

Secondly, governments and regulatory bodies are showing teeth and they

Mark:

finally creating or tightening environmental legislation, and

Mark:

reporting requirements, meaning that companies are finding it much harder

Mark:

to avoid addressing the impact their organizations have on the environment.

Mark:

So there's kind of hopefully going to be a lot less greenwashing in the

Mark:

future, and a lot more focused on action.

Mark:

And thirdly, and this is a big one, customers, particularly the younger

Mark:

generation, are making their buying decisions on ethical grounds so that

Mark:

they're preferring to buy from brands that they perceive to care about the

Mark:

environment and other related issues.

Mark:

And finally, and very importantly, there is the impact of employee

Mark:

pressure from inside the organization.

Mark:

In a world gripped by what's known as a great resignation.

Mark:

There's a real shortage of skilled, resources.

Mark:

There's more jobs than there are people to fill them.

Mark:

And employees are placing a huge importance on how their prospective

Mark:

employers are addressing sustainability when selecting their next roles.

Mark:

So as an organization, if you want to be finding the right level of people to fill

Mark:

the gaps that you've got, you don't want to be fishing in a very small pool do you?

Mark:

Combine all these points together, sustainability is suddenly really

Mark:

high on the agenda in most.

Mark:

And without being too flippant, nothing motivates the C-suite more than something

Mark:

that potentially impacts their bonuses.

Mark:

And it's great as an impact of this, to see pressure finally being applied

Mark:

downwards, right from the top with aggressive net, zero targets being set

Mark:

and action finally being taken, because what this means is that there's one

Mark:

critical thing being made available and that's budget and possibly also time.

Mark:

But, and there is a big but, the problem inside the day, Is that carbon

Mark:

emissions in our world is a bit of a murky place with accurate calculations

Mark:

being really hard to pull together.

Mark:

And there's a sad lack of availability of detailed analytics and a lot of the

Mark:

tooling vendors haven't really yet stepped up to understand this, but despite it

Mark:

being difficult, it's not impossible.

Mark:

And there's some simple points you can start with, particularly

Mark:

if you accept the current limitations and work around them.

Mark:

From a cloud perspective, it's key to understand that the data

Mark:

coming from the cloud providers isn't massively consistent.

Mark:

And for the two out of the three top providers, it only addresses a small

Mark:

proportion of their overall emissions.

Mark:

Covering a little bit of their scope one and two, and totally ignoring

Mark:

their scope three and most don't cover all of their cloud services.

Mark:

They only cover a subset to them.

Mark:

So despite emissions calculations from the vendors being a little

Mark:

flaky, there are still some practical, easy steps that you can take.

Mark:

And the FinOps practitioners are massively ideally positioned to

Mark:

help drive the reduction in cloud carbon footprint in their companies.

Mark:

So Prabha asks where people are getting started.

Mark:

Now, this is a really complicated question and probably needs a complete

Mark:

podcast of his own to do it justice.

Mark:

But at high level getting started with reducing cloud carbon footprint,

Mark:

follows the principles of FinOps.

Mark:

GreenOps is very, very well aligned with the world of FinOps and it gives the

Mark:

opportunity to engage across your business talking about more than dollars, because

Mark:

what you'll find is that actually people outside of the world of cloud, they do

Mark:

care quite a lot about sustainability and they want to make a positive impact.

Mark:

So this includes working with your line of business teams to help them

Mark:

understand the impact their decisions have on the carbon footprint.

Mark:

But before you do anything, I would recommend building

Mark:

a benchmark of your current.

Mark:

footprint and documenting any assumptions you're making and making sure that,

Mark:

you know and can articulate back inside your business, any major gaps or kind

Mark:

of calculation assumptions you've used.

Mark:

And it's also important to involve your wider IT organization in the form of

Mark:

possibly a steering group outside of just the FinOps function, helping to create

Mark:

a culture of sustainability, where you actually have accountability, where people

Mark:

are responsible for their actions and they understand the impact of what they're

Mark:

doing on their overall carbon footprint.

Mark:

Once you've got the baseline and you've got this wider group of

Mark:

stakeholders, then you can start finding areas where you can make savings.

Mark:

So assessing any carbon hotspots that you've got and building a program of

Mark:

remediation work and a roadmap to make and critical document any improvements.

Mark:

There's obviously a lot more to this.

Mark:

And if you want to find out more, it's a bit of a sales pitch here, but join our

Mark:

working group because we're always looking for people to contribute and help out.

Mark:

So thanks for that question, Joe.

Mark:

Hopefully I answered it and bye for now.

Joe:

There you have it.

Joe:

A short and sweet introduction to sustainability and GreenOps.

Joe:

Obviously there's much more to GreenOps than just this short podcast.

Joe:

So why don't you join the FinOps Foundation Sustainability Working Group

Joe:

and help drive the content and education of this incredibly important area further.

Joe:

We're an open source community folks.

Joe:

You help develop the content and we help spread it across the world.

Joe:

Thank you so much to Mark Butcher and Prabha Palanivelu for a fantastic

Joe:

question that got us all started.

Joe:

If you want to leave FinOpsPod a voicemail, click

Joe:

the link in the show notes.

Joe:

Who knows?

Joe:

Maybe next time I'm running late on a deadline, I'll grab your voicemail

Joe:

and make a whole podcast out of it.

Joe:

That's all for now see you next time on FinOpsPod.