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Green cloud optimization: Reduce your digital footprint, increase your bottom line

Podcast host Tania Salarvand | Podcast guest Dan Lewis-Toakley and Elise Zelechowski
April 21, 2021 | 38 min 31 sec

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Brief summary

Sustainability has become a business imperative. Emerging practices like green cloud optimization can produce real-world improvements to energy usage, efficiency and your balance sheet. We speak with Thoughtworkers – Dan Lewis-Toakley, Green Cloud Lead for North America and Elise Zelechowski, Global Head of DEI, Sustainability & Social Change about the wide-ranging business implications of reducing your cloud carbon footprint, tips to champion these efforts and tools to measure your impact.


  • Sustainability is no longer a 'nice-to-have', it's become a business imperative. Consumers are making purchase decisions with a focus on their environmental and social impact. Businesses need to innovate with sustainable practices in order to compete.
  • Benefits include: significantly reducing the energy consumption and carbon emissions, brand shine, risk mitigation and cost savings. Sustainability can also offer benefits for app performance, customer experience, delivery speed, software development lifecycle and signal to the marketplace that you are a modern digital business that understands sustainability is a key component of your long-term viability as a business.  
  • It has been reported that cloud could take up over 10% of the global electricity supply by the next decade. With the shift to the cloud, the energy source and efficiency of the data center is a responsibility of the cloud providers; but customers have control over the utilization of those services and ways to continue optimizing to avoid emissions being created in the first place.  
  • Green cloud optimization: 1) Optimizing to reduce energy and carbon emissions. 2) Optimizing to reduce cost. 3) Ongoing reporting and metrics for your organization, factoring in sustainability reporting metrics alongside other cross-functional requirements.
  • Businesses need measurement tools to help provide transparency to their employees, investors, customers and other stakeholders – to ensure organizations embracing sustainability are making it true to their DNA versus “greenwashing”. Thoughtworks' new open source tool, Cloud Carbon Footprint allows organizations to measure, monitor, and reduce the energy, carbon emissions, and spend associated with cloud and produce metrics that can be shared.
  • There's a benefit in being at the forefront of sustainability when it comes from a reporting perspective as well as around brand and recruitment and employee retention. The developers of today and of tomorrow have expectations for employers who care about sustainability and the impact of the digital carbon footprint.
  • Whether you are a hundred percent on-prem or co-located or at the other end of the spectrum, there's scope to consider green cloud optimization. Regardless of where you are on the journey, there's a path forward to optimize with green cloud.
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