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British retail and commercial bank

Pioneering cloud sustainability in financial services

Investing in the future of Britain


With millions of customers and a leading digital presence, one of the UK’s largest retail and commercial financial services providers has been on an ongoing mission of uplifting and empowering Britain for centuries. The firm’s latest endeavor is to help create a more sustainable and inclusive future for both people and businesses, prioritizing the preservation of the planet, the safety of its people and building an environment where businesses and communities can thrive. 


The firm has invested heavily in developing capabilities that will help accelerate progress on achieving their ambitious sustainability goals, especially within their technology and infrastructure. They rely on multiple technologies and operate in a hybrid IT environment, consisting of public cloud vendors like Google Cloud, private cloud and on-premise facilities. 


Exploring the carbon footprint of their cloud inspired the bank to host a Sustainability Day to share knowledge and drive towards carbon reduction in their engineering organization. They partnered with Thoughtworks to bridge the knowledge gap for sustainability across their engineering workforce and to identify actionable next steps in their “greening of IT.” In collaboration with Google Cloud, Thoughtworks’ Sustainability solutions team designed and delivered a two-hour workshop focused on Green Cloud Optimization.


Workshops that drive sustainability


The first part of the workshop, an educational and interactive presentation, explored the core concepts of sustainable technology. Participants learned the fundamentals of Green Software Engineering principles, carbon-awareness vs. carbon-efficiency in digital products, data center efficiency and carbon-accountability across different team topologies. Participants also received  an actionable guide containing strategies for optimizing cloud infrastructure with sustainability as a cross-functional requirement.


During the second half of the workshop, the audience split into breakout sessions accounting for different business units. Each group worked with the given set of strategies provided by Thoughtworks to identify and prioritize the most promising solutions in the context of their teams. These sessions drove insightful discussions where teams identified trade-offs between the strategies they would take with them to be further evaluated for implementation. Teams prioritized strategies such as rightsizing resources and identifying “zombie” (idle) workloads, utilizing serverless frameworks when feasible, and doubling down on having granular cost data to improve accountability at a team level to green their cloud carbon footprint.


A greener way forward


The concrete set of actions the firm chose to implement in their teams and across departments will enable them to reduce cost and carbon in their IT infrastructure, both in the cloud and on-premise, bringing them closer to their sustainable transformation.

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