Episode 8

FinOpsPod Voicemail: GreenOps

Published on: 28th June, 2022

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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Transcript
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

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

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It's just so much similarities between the two.

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

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if you thought you were doing GreenOps.

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It's something that's coming for everyone.

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

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GreenOps for a year or two now.

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

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

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To help answer province question.

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

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Sustainability Working Group.

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That group is filled with so many fantastic people.

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

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of what GreenOps is about.

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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

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days is on digital sustainability.

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

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helping to lead the sustainability working group inside the Foundation,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Four of them in total.

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

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by investors and shareholders with CEOs and board level people finally

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being held accountable for their organizations overall emissions.

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

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friendly companies demonstrate really generating significantly higher

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stock returns compared to their less environmentally focused peers.

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

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they're getting a much higher return.

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Secondly, governments and regulatory bodies are showing teeth and they

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finally creating or tightening environmental legislation, and

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reporting requirements, meaning that companies are finding it much harder

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

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

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future, and a lot more focused on action.

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

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

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

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environment and other related issues.

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

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pressure from inside the organization.

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

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There's a real shortage of skilled, resources.

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

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And employees are placing a huge importance on how their prospective

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employers are addressing sustainability when selecting their next roles.

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

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

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Combine all these points together, sustainability is suddenly really

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high on the agenda in most.

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

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that potentially impacts their bonuses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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being really hard to pull together.

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

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

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being difficult, it's not impossible.

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

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if you accept the current limitations and work around them.

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

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coming from the cloud providers isn't massively consistent.

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

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proportion of their overall emissions.

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

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

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They only cover a subset to them.

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So despite emissions calculations from the vendors being a little

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

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And the FinOps practitioners are massively ideally positioned to

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

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So Prabha asks where people are getting started.

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

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podcast of his own to do it justice.

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

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follows the principles of FinOps.

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

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

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

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

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

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understand the impact their decisions have on the carbon footprint.

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But before you do anything, I would recommend building

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a benchmark of your current.

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

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

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of calculation assumptions you've used.

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

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

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

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

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doing on their overall carbon footprint.

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

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

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

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

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There's obviously a lot more to this.

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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.

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A short and sweet introduction to sustainability and GreenOps.

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

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

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

Joe:

We're an open source community folks.

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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

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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.

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FinOpsPod
Advancing FinOps Practitioners in Podcast Form
FinOpsPod connects practitioners with the rest of the FinOps Foundation community. Real world practitioners will share their experiences and the Foundation team will share the latest news about the community. Learn more about the FinOps Foundation at www.finops.org.