Making Software More Sustainable with Tom Kennes

I talk to Tom Kennes, sustainable cloud consultant and ambassador for the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA). We discuss how IT and software delivery can be more sustainable and what happens when Ronaldo uses Instagram. We also talked about the impact of programming language choice on carbon footprint, the amount of energy used when watching Netflix and how to right-size your cloud infrastructure. Lots to dive into for the techies with tools that are available to measure the impact of the software you build and deliver. The emphasis is very much on making small changes that add up to a big difference, so there are some really practical tips here for individuals and organisations.

SHOW NOTES

How to join the SDIA:

https://SDIA.io/join

More on the the SDIA: https://sdialliance.org/ 

The Cloud Carbon Footprint Calculator: https://www.cloudcarbonfootprint.org/.  

The most efficient programming languages:

https://cryptomode.com/c-is-the-most-energy-efficient-and-fastest-programming-language-study-finds/

AWS and Software Power Measurement

 https://medium.com/teads-engineering/estimating-aws-ec2-instances-power-consumption-c9745e347959 

Scaphandre: https://github.com/hubblo-org/scaphandre

RAPL: https://blog.chih.me/read-cpu-power-with-RAPL.html

Solar-powered website: https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/

Instagram footprint for Ronaldo – actually a lot larger than Tom stated: https://www.gosports.com.my/news/high-energy-one-ronaldo-instagram-post-consumes-as-much-power-as-ten-households/ 

1 hour of Netflix – newer research suggests lower numbers than Tom stated: https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-what-is-the-carbon-footprint-of-streaming-video-on-netflix/

– Carbon Innumeracy. People tend to underestimate the amount of CO2 from a gallon of gasoline a lot: Amir, G. Carbon innumeracy. PLOS ONE 2018, 13, e0196282. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324932129_Carbon_innumeracy/link/5aebc7ea0f7e9b01d3e0652f/download

QUOTES

2:05: “I think sustainability is, overall the best thing you can do. Anything that’s more sustainable will, in the end benefit society.” [TK]

4:05 “First you think cloud is a good thing, (and) cloud is a good thing. Then you notice that there are some, oddities in there. They notice that why aren’t we tackling those things?” [TK]

4:33 “he real question here is how can we incentivize companies to start reporting on their digital footprint?” [TK]

4:49 “cloud is the least welcome environment where you can measure these things” [TK]

5:11 “sustainable IT attempts to enable companies and developers to start reporting on their GHG emissions, their carbon footprint, their energy consumption” [TK]

5:25 “if you can enable developers to incorporate their footprint in their decision making, you are enabling such a large workforce to do more green, to do better in that context” [TK]

7:30 “the easiest thing you can do, which also saves you money in the end, is just right-sizing your cloud basically.” [TK]

8:27 “There’s quite a famous kind of league table of programming languages and showing how green they are in comparison or how much energy they use.” [RB]

9:11 “python has a energy consumption as 80 times that of C#” [TK]

12:41 “[The SDIA is] one of the biggest nonprofits in the European Union that focus on sustainable IT” [TK]

13:09 “in the end it’s about showing that you care for the environment, which it’s something that investors are looking more and more for” [TK]

15:36 “there is this one tool which focuses on performance monitoring counters . Which basically directly come from a CPU and say how much energy a CPU is using. ” [TK]

16:33 “You can deploy it on your Kubernetes cluster that exposes metrics to Prometheus that you can use from there. They also have some other tools as well that they use to even calculate embodied carbon” [TK]

18:03 “It really brings this quite abstract idea of the sustainable IT into an everyday life of engineer developer.” [TK]

18:39 “if you look at the total energy consumed by IT we are somewhere at six, seven, 8% of the total energy consumption” [TK]

19:17 “if we were to change our ways, we can actually solve quite a big part of this puzzle next to, of course, supplying the tools to make other sectors as, as well more sustainable” [TK]

19:57 “there have been predictions that put an hour of Netflix equal to 30 kilometers of driving on an electric vehicle” [TK]

20:34 “Ronaldo, when he posts a picture it’s often seen by about 300 million people. The overhead in terms of energy consumption that is implied there is about equal to the yearly consumption of one Amsterdam household.” [TK]

21:30 “So it’s incredible how little we actually know about our daily life carbon footprint, or emissions” [TK]

Transcript
Tom Kennes:

The most popular person on Instagram is the soccer player called

Tom Kennes:

Ronaldo, maybe you've heard of him, when you post a picture it's often

Tom Kennes:

seen by about 300 million people.

Tom Kennes:

The overhead in terms of energy consumption that is implied there

Tom Kennes:

is about equal to the yearly consumption of one Amsterdam household.

Tom Kennes:

Welcome to the software delivery club.

Tom Kennes:

Where I talk to industry leaders, exploring aspects of the business of

Tom Kennes:

delivering and supporting software and production as well as how to lead

Tom Kennes:

the change in engineering and IT.

Tom Kennes:

Thank you for joining me.

Tom Kennes:

I'm your host, Richard Bown and this is episode 17.

Tom Kennes:

This time, I talked to Tom Kennis, sustainable cloud consultant and

Tom Kennes:

ambassador for the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance.

Tom Kennes:

We discuss how IT and software delivery can be more sustainable and what

Tom Kennes:

happens when Ronaldo uses Instagram.

Tom Kennes:

We also talked about the impact of programming language choice on carbon

Tom Kennes:

footprint, the amount of energy used when watching Netflix and how to

Tom Kennes:

right size your cloud infrastructure.

Tom Kennes:

Lots to dive into for the techies, with tools that are available to measure the

Tom Kennes:

impact of your software, the emphasis is very much on making small changes

Tom Kennes:

that add up to a big difference.

Tom Kennes:

So there are some really practical tips here for individuals

Tom Kennes:

and organizations alike.

Tom Kennes:

Hope you enjoy.

Richard Bown:

Hi, welcome to the Software Delivery Club.

Richard Bown:

This time I'm talking to Tom Kennes all about sustainable IT.

Richard Bown:

Tom works as a sustainable cloud consultant at Skyworkz and

Richard Bown:

advises companies in using the cloud in a sustainable manner.

Richard Bown:

Next to that, he's involved as an ambassador with the Sustainable Digital

Richard Bown:

Infrastructure Alliance, the S D I A.

Richard Bown:

A nonprofit organization.

Richard Bown:

Driven by a strong passion for sustainability and technology,

Richard Bown:

he is eager to drive society in a more eco-friendly direction.

Richard Bown:

Hi Tom.

Richard Bown:

Thanks for joining me today.

Tom Kennes:

Hi.

Tom Kennes:

Thanks for having me.

Richard Bown:

Now we did work together before So I do know you in a previous

Richard Bown:

life, I'm really interested to find out about your new direction.

Richard Bown:

I know it's, in parallel to your existing work as well.

Richard Bown:

So maybe you could tell us a little bit more about how that works and

Richard Bown:

then we can go onto sustainable IT.

Tom Kennes:

So I've always been interested in sustainability and trying to figure

Tom Kennes:

out how I can incorporate society in my work and doing what's good for society.

Tom Kennes:

And I think sustainability is, overall the best thing you can do.

Tom Kennes:

Anything that's more sustainable will, in the end benefit society.

Tom Kennes:

And I noticed that in my work I was mostly working for big corporates, where it's

Tom Kennes:

always bit vague how they benefit society.

Tom Kennes:

And I just decided at some point, okay, I'm gonna pick up the phone, write emails,

Tom Kennes:

start calling around see which people are active in the scene of sustainable IT.

Tom Kennes:

then at some point that just started snowballing into my current

Tom Kennes:

role as ambassador for the SDIA.

Richard Bown:

And so how that of come about then?

Richard Bown:

So you say you picked up the phone.

Richard Bown:

So was it literally , you just connected with somebody or it,

Richard Bown:

was it a few of you created some momentum that, how did that work?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, so the SDIA has been going on for a longer time.

Tom Kennes:

I think they exist now for about four years at least.

Tom Kennes:

The founder Mark Schultze has been doing this for about four years.

Tom Kennes:

First in Germany, then I think quite quickly also in the Netherlands.

Richard Bown:

Yeah.

Tom Kennes:

So I just run into him, fired this other organization called leap,

Tom Kennes:

which is mostly a Dutch organization also tries to fund or direct funds towards

Tom Kennes:

sustainability in a broader perspective.

Richard Bown:

Okay.

Tom Kennes:

And I think Mark Schultz is the first guy that I met in this scene of

Tom Kennes:

sustainable IT that really went through the same thought process as I did.

Richard Bown:

Okay.

Tom Kennes:

So we quickly hit it off and we, yeah, just for me, it was quite

Tom Kennes:

clear from the beginning that I wanted to work with him because we think

Tom Kennes:

about these things in the same way.

Richard Bown:

And what is that way of you thinking about things?

Richard Bown:

How does that differ?

Tom Kennes:

So I think most people that enter the realm of sustainable

Tom Kennes:

IT go through a similar fashion.

Tom Kennes:

First you think cloud is a good thing.

Tom Kennes:

Cloud is a good thing.

Tom Kennes:

Then you notice that there are some, oddities in there.

Tom Kennes:

They notice that why aren't we tackling those things?

Tom Kennes:

What's keeping us back?

Tom Kennes:

Why can't we measure it?

Tom Kennes:

Where can we measure it?

Tom Kennes:

There are all these questions that you can go through.

Tom Kennes:

You start researching and then at some point you kinda realize, okay,

Tom Kennes:

we the real question here is how can we incentivize companies to start

Tom Kennes:

reporting on their digital footprint?

Richard Bown:

Yeah and also how you can help them, I suppose as well.

Richard Bown:

Because as you say in cloud, it's not always obvious how

Richard Bown:

you can measure that exactly.

Tom Kennes:

Now in cloud, we in cloud is the least welcome environment

Tom Kennes:

where you can measure these things.

Tom Kennes:

Cause often there are layers abstraction that does not allow you to, or to read

Tom Kennes:

lower level counters if they even exist.

Richard Bown:

Yep.

Tom Kennes:

Which makes sense because you don't want to have this sort of

Tom Kennes:

root access in most other environments.

Richard Bown:

So what would you say is sustainable IT then in itself?

Tom Kennes:

So sustainable IT attempts to enable companies and developers to

Tom Kennes:

start reporting on their GHG emissions, their carbon footprint, their energy

Tom Kennes:

consumption, so it's all about starting from the bottom, I think, because I think

Tom Kennes:

if you if you can enable developers to incorporate their footprint in their

Tom Kennes:

decision making, you are enabling such a large workforce to do more

Tom Kennes:

green, to do better in that context.

Tom Kennes:

That's the end goal.

Richard Bown:

And presumably it's a win-win then, isn't it really?

Richard Bown:

Because a company can show their green credentials, but also if

Richard Bown:

it's a bottom up driven thing, that it really brings the organization

Richard Bown:

together in some ways as well.

Richard Bown:

Maybe it's good to touch on the couple of recent events that you've had.

Richard Bown:

I know that you have people coming along to understand sustainable IT, and how

Richard Bown:

does that work with them and how does that drive change in organisations?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, so I think I think a lot of people are working

Tom Kennes:

on similar things at the moment.

Tom Kennes:

And we are really trying to align those efforts in a sense.

Tom Kennes:

For example, measurement.

Tom Kennes:

There, there is not that many options that you can go and there are some tools

Tom Kennes:

that are already out there to help you.

Tom Kennes:

Some companies are using them as well, I know that ABN Amro says

Tom Kennes:

that they're using it, but I've never really seen a report from them.

Tom Kennes:

For the rest, I think I, I'm not really sure other companies are

Tom Kennes:

already picking this up at the moment.

Tom Kennes:

I haven't really seen a lot of companies eager to report on their

Tom Kennes:

carbon footprint, but I do know that the big four consultancy firms are

Tom Kennes:

busy setting up they're helping out and also product marketing to audit the

Tom Kennes:

sustainable footprint of their clients.

Tom Kennes:

So I know that there's quite some momentum going on.

Tom Kennes:

But the last two years also I think, steered the course a little bit to a

Tom Kennes:

different direction for many companies.

Tom Kennes:

That's a bit more on the back burner now, but with everything going on, I think

Tom Kennes:

it's a matter of time before these things are more you say it top of mind again.

Richard Bown:

Yeah, maybe.

Richard Bown:

But for developers, I suppose it's something that they can do

Richard Bown:

every day or people working in infrastructure or people making

Richard Bown:

choices around infrastructure as well.

Richard Bown:

So do you have some tools or best practices which you recommend

Richard Bown:

for those kind of approaches?

Richard Bown:

Day to day?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, so the easiest thing you can do, which also saves

Tom Kennes:

you money in the end, is just right sizing your deployment, your

Tom Kennes:

provisioning your cloud, basically.

Tom Kennes:

We see that lot of times we size things for big load, whereas if you would work

Tom Kennes:

with more of an auto scaling kind of way, you kind of course mitigate a little bit.

Tom Kennes:

I think that's the easiest way to really improve your footprint as

Tom Kennes:

well as your financial position.

Tom Kennes:

So that's really a win-win.

Richard Bown:

So that's like picking the right size vm, for example

Richard Bown:

. Tom Kennes: Yeah.

Richard Bown:

That's perfect.

Richard Bown:

Also thinking about developing a service in the first place is it really necessary

Richard Bown:

to have what would imply in terms of sustainability and carbon footprint.

Richard Bown:

That's something that we also recommend a lot, but that's of

Richard Bown:

course a bit more difficult, I would say because it's also very hard to

Richard Bown:

get numbers on these kinda things.

Richard Bown:

Because that's like the build versus buy approach.

Richard Bown:

So should we build it here or should we just buy it from somebody

Richard Bown:

else who's already doing it maybe and leverage their platform?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, exactly.

Richard Bown:

There's quite a famous kind of league table of programming

Richard Bown:

languages and showing how green they are in comparison or how much energy they use.

Richard Bown:

Are these things that we can also use as developers or system

Richard Bown:

designers to inform our decisions?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, so the SDIA doesn't really promote certain software

Tom Kennes:

types or programming languages.

Tom Kennes:

We take a bit more of a broader scope.

Tom Kennes:

We also look at UI, data center architecture even energy equip

Tom Kennes:

mix, those kind of things.

Tom Kennes:

I know some research from the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam which recommends

Tom Kennes:

certain tactics that you can apply as a programmer to build better software.

Tom Kennes:

But I also really like the research that that gave us that table because if you

Tom Kennes:

look at it then you see that python has a energy consumption as 80 times that of C#.

Tom Kennes:

This really gives you a lot more quite a good indication how bad Python

Tom Kennes:

actually can be and why you should not build your applications in python.

Tom Kennes:

Of course, your other side of the coin is programmers time, engineers time, so

Tom Kennes:

it's always a bit of a balance, I think.

Tom Kennes:

But I think this kind of sustainability metrics aspects.

Tom Kennes:

They're slowly finding their way into this decision making process, and this

Tom Kennes:

is a really nice example how you can how you can incorporate it, I think.

Richard Bown:

Yeah, sounds really interesting.

Richard Bown:

So do you have any examples of success stories implementations or changes of

Richard Bown:

view, which have been really successful?

Tom Kennes:

In my current project we have replaced some Python code with Go.

Tom Kennes:

And that made things much easier in many different aspects I It goes

Tom Kennes:

much smaller, builds much faster.

Tom Kennes:

It performs a bit better, the overhead's much smaller.

Tom Kennes:

So it's and the footprint is of course much lower, right?

Tom Kennes:

So you win on many different levels

Tom Kennes:

. Richard Bown: We've touched

Tom Kennes:

We've touched a bit on as well what organizations can do, but I understand

Tom Kennes:

as you say, that timing might be a, an issue in terms of coming out of the

Tom Kennes:

Covid 19 situation, business owners being under pressure a little bit, and also

Tom Kennes:

the ongoing potential global downturn.

Tom Kennes:

So how does the S D I A or how do yourself look at that and say is it a

Tom Kennes:

case of we can afford to wait, or should we make these changes now if possible?

Tom Kennes:

Yeah I think it's a difficult question because basically ask you

Tom Kennes:

should we wait fixing our long term issues to fix our short term issues?

Tom Kennes:

And I'm lucky not in politics.

Tom Kennes:

So I'm allowed to look more on long term.

Tom Kennes:

And I think these sort of issues they are too important to not fix as well.

Tom Kennes:

And I also think from a personal perspective, I've got much more, I

Tom Kennes:

can make much more of an impact on those problems, and I can make, on

Tom Kennes:

the short term problems, I can't do anything about Covid nor about

Tom Kennes:

the Russian Ukraine problems.

Tom Kennes:

I think that's something that I as well as many engineers and

Tom Kennes:

developers can actually contribute to.

Tom Kennes:

That's why, Yeah, that's why I think it's important to do.

Richard Bown:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense actually.

Richard Bown:

It is something that we can all do at a small level, isn't it really?

Richard Bown:

So how can listeners find out more about the S D I A.

Tom Kennes:

So we of course have a website.

Tom Kennes:

We are on LinkedIn.

Tom Kennes:

It's possible to become a member as well yourself, even a partner if you want.

Tom Kennes:

Then you can post the logo of the SDIA, your website.

Tom Kennes:

We also have MatterMost, which basically is some form of a slack

Tom Kennes:

forum where you can find all the people that are working in this

Tom Kennes:

field and maybe share your I ideas.

Richard Bown:

Okay.

Tom Kennes:

That's also where we post many of our internal updates.

Tom Kennes:

Cuz there are some things going on in parallel we also have a

Tom Kennes:

conference today in London actually.

Tom Kennes:

We're doing the same things as we did before in Berlin and

Tom Kennes:

Amsterdam the last two weeks.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, and overall I would say you could always reach out to me or to Max

Tom Kennes:

or just directly through the S D I A.

Richard Bown:

Cool.

Richard Bown:

Great.

Richard Bown:

Yeah.

Richard Bown:

And just to reiterate, what are the benefits then for companies to

Richard Bown:

be able to encourage themselves to join this scheme for individuals

Richard Bown:

I think it's quite clear now.

Richard Bown:

What about for companies themselves?

Richard Bown:

Is there a way that the S D I A works as a scoring mechanism or is

Richard Bown:

there some kind of league table?

Tom Kennes:

That's a really good question.

Tom Kennes:

I think for a company it's interesting to join the SDIA if you want to market

Tom Kennes:

or promote your the way you look at sustainability, I think we are one of

Tom Kennes:

the biggest nonprofits in the European Union that focus on sustainable IT and

Tom Kennes:

being affiliated with an organization really gives you really to sign that you

Tom Kennes:

care about our long term environment.

Tom Kennes:

There are also companies that actually contribute as well, that

Tom Kennes:

are active in our community forum.

Tom Kennes:

That help us to digest information or to conduct experiments

Tom Kennes:

or to just spread knowledge.

Tom Kennes:

So you can also do that but in the end, I think in the end it's about showing

Tom Kennes:

that you care for the environment, which it's something that investors

Tom Kennes:

are looking more and more for.

Tom Kennes:

And this will be an, a simple way to to show to the bigger audience.

Tom Kennes:

And in return you can also extract knowledge from this community, right?

Tom Kennes:

Cuz there are lot of people that work on tools or implementations that either

Tom Kennes:

give you data on your footprint or that are working on legislation or

Tom Kennes:

that focus more on sharing knowledge.

Tom Kennes:

So there are different topics in this community as well.

Tom Kennes:

You can benefit.

Richard Bown:

Awesome.

Richard Bown:

And is that all in the slack or is it in other forms?

Tom Kennes:

So yeah, this is mostly on "mattermost" which is basically our slack.

Tom Kennes:

But it's a open source version of Slack.

Richard Bown:

Okay.

Tom Kennes:

Which we host ourselves on a green server.

Tom Kennes:

Which is focused by renewables.

Tom Kennes:

And yeah, you can send a mail to the SDIA and then we can add you to to mattermost.

Richard Bown:

So tell me a little bit more about this green server and

Richard Bown:

then the way that this is hosted.

Richard Bown:

Cause that itself is, sounds like a really good case study.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah think I went a bit too far there.

Tom Kennes:

And the I think the server is not green by itself.

Tom Kennes:

The energy that it's using is green.

Tom Kennes:

I do know, a case, which is quite interesting, there is this

Tom Kennes:

website I need to look it up.

Tom Kennes:

Maybe I could share it with you later.

Tom Kennes:

Which is basically a block that directly is connected to a solar panel.

Tom Kennes:

And it only is available when there is solar light, right?

Tom Kennes:

So at night it's often offline.

Tom Kennes:

Of course, even when it's cloudy, it can be offline.

Tom Kennes:

There's no, no images.

Tom Kennes:

So I think the overall page size is somewhere around maybe one mb I

Tom Kennes:

don't know but generally quiet quite low compared to many pages of today.

Tom Kennes:

And it powers off when there's no energy available.

Tom Kennes:

Which is in my opinion, quite a good thing to do for the environment cuz you don't

Tom Kennes:

have to rely on fossil fuels, et cetera.

Richard Bown:

Definitely.

Richard Bown:

Yeah, it sounds really interesting.

Richard Bown:

Yeah, please do share that.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah.

Tom Kennes:

I think I also want to take a moment to maybe mention a couple of tools

Tom Kennes:

the developers already can use and how this more or less works cuz in the end

Tom Kennes:

so I think if you can measure these things, you can also report on them.

Tom Kennes:

And it's easier to convince management or to show investors that you are

Tom Kennes:

that this is important what you do.

Tom Kennes:

And you can also after the fact that what you have done is actually valuable.

Tom Kennes:

I think that's also the main challenge we have right now.

Tom Kennes:

How can we show that our improvements in software or orchestration also

Tom Kennes:

result in lower energy consumption?

Richard Bown:

Absolutely.

Tom Kennes:

So as I mentioned before, also there is this one tool which focuses on

Tom Kennes:

performance monitoring counters . Which basically directly come from a CPU and

Tom Kennes:

say how much energy a CPU is using.

Tom Kennes:

These counters are sometimes available, mostly in Intel chips, and Intel also

Tom Kennes:

provides an interface, which is called RPL to convert some of these counters

Tom Kennes:

into more more user friendly format.

Tom Kennes:

So this is basically the only approach that currently exists to from a software

Tom Kennes:

level, reach your power consumption.

Tom Kennes:

Otherwise you would need to attach a volt meter to your your server or your machine

Tom Kennes:

to from the outside get an estimation.

Tom Kennes:

If these things don't exist, we, you have to rely on estimation

Tom Kennes:

methods and those kind of things.

Tom Kennes:

So they're really two separate fields basically in this topic and for the

Tom Kennes:

RPL part where you can measure there a couple of tools coming from a French

Tom Kennes:

organization called Scaphandre, and it's a tool that you can even use in

Tom Kennes:

the cluster on just in a container.

Tom Kennes:

You can deploy it on your Kubernetes cluster that exposes metrics to

Tom Kennes:

Prometheus that you can use from there.

Tom Kennes:

They also have some other tools as well that they use to even

Tom Kennes:

calculate embodied carbon, right?

Tom Kennes:

So the carbon that has been used to the carbon emissions that

Tom Kennes:

that were emitted during the manufacturing part of the server.

Richard Bown:

Okay.

Richard Bown:

Wow.

Tom Kennes:

Quite cool which are all estimations and I think they're

Tom Kennes:

the best effort we currently have.

Tom Kennes:

So that's that's a part that exists.

Tom Kennes:

And if you can't if you can't use these RPL interface or if you're working in

Tom Kennes:

a non root environment or when you work on a higher level of abstraction such as

Tom Kennes:

lambdas or functions, then I think the cloud carbon footprint calculator and this

Tom Kennes:

tool basically it's developed by the most important people in this field that have

Tom Kennes:

been working on measuring for a couple of years and this tool actually looks at

Tom Kennes:

your cpu utilization in AWS and after the fact gives you a estimation of the power

Tom Kennes:

that has been consumed in the process and how much emissions yeah implies.

Richard Bown:

Excellent.

Richard Bown:

That sounds like quite a lot of stuff . So Yeah.

Richard Bown:

But if you can share those with me later, that would be perfect and

Richard Bown:

I'll put them in the show notes.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, definitely do share it.

Tom Kennes:

What I also like about these tools is that it really enables developers

Tom Kennes:

that are eager to do something with sustainability, to start measuring

Tom Kennes:

their footprint and to start actually doing something in their daily work.

Tom Kennes:

It really brings this quite abstract idea of the sustainable IT into an

Tom Kennes:

everyday life of engineer developer.

Tom Kennes:

I think that's if you can achieve that as a society, as a industry, we are one

Tom Kennes:

big step closer to finding a solution for climate change, for those kind

Tom Kennes:

of things, at least for our fields.

Tom Kennes:

Maybe good to add one last thing to that because we haven't really discussed that

Tom Kennes:

yet, but think it's important to also note people don't know often realize this.

Tom Kennes:

Because currently if you look at the total energy consumed by IT

Tom Kennes:

we are somewhere at six, seven, 8% of the total energy consumption.

Tom Kennes:

There's an estimate and academics are not really aligned here.

Tom Kennes:

Also depends on the scope that you use and I've read so many papers

Tom Kennes:

that employ different methods or have different assumptions.

Tom Kennes:

But it's somewhere in that area.

Tom Kennes:

And if you look at the pace that this has been growing over, the last years.

Tom Kennes:

If that would continue, we will end up 15, 20%, maybe even 30%.

Tom Kennes:

Also, estimations, don't take my word for it.

Tom Kennes:

These are all just based on speculation.

Tom Kennes:

But so all in all the IT sector has quite a big impact.

Tom Kennes:

So if we were to change our ways, we can actually solve quite a big part

Tom Kennes:

of this puzzle next to, of course, supplying the tools to make other

Tom Kennes:

sectors as, as well more sustainable.

Richard Bown:

A really good point.

Richard Bown:

IT underpins so much of what we do today of course.

Richard Bown:

And it consumes so much power.

Richard Bown:

You don't need to tell me, I have three kids who are eating the it

Richard Bown:

up, the power the whole time anyway.

Richard Bown:

But yeah, if you can make one change, just one app a popular app which will

Richard Bown:

save a fraction of a percent, then globally rolling that out could make

Richard Bown:

a fundamentally large difference.

Tom Kennes:

Yeah, look at Netflix or Instagram.

Tom Kennes:

And we don't even have numbers on no accurate numbers that are really

Tom Kennes:

reliable on how much energy is consumed by these applications.

Tom Kennes:

But there have been predictions that put an hour of Netflix equal to 30 kilometers

Tom Kennes:

of driving on an electric vehicle.

Tom Kennes:

Personally, I, this seems a bit high to me and Netflix also has

Tom Kennes:

been strong in refuting it as well.

Tom Kennes:

But I wouldn't be surprised if it's still quite high.

Tom Kennes:

And these kind of numbers would also be really valuable to have, right?

Tom Kennes:

You can even start thinking about, okay, what if I don't use Netflix

Tom Kennes:

today and start doing something now that consumes less energy.

Tom Kennes:

And the same for Instagram.

Tom Kennes:

For Instagram there have been more accurate numbers around there, and I

Tom Kennes:

think that so what I read is that the most popular person on Instagram is the

Tom Kennes:

soccer player called Ronaldo, maybe you've heard of him, when you post a picture it's

Tom Kennes:

often seen by about 300 million people.

Tom Kennes:

The overhead in terms of energy consumption that is implied there

Tom Kennes:

is about equal to the yearly consumption of one Amsterdam household.

Tom Kennes:

Which is which is this one picture from one person.

Tom Kennes:

So this of course this quickly adds.

Tom Kennes:

And in these uh, pen scale application services 1% can

Tom Kennes:

make so much of a difference.

Tom Kennes:

That's why measuring is so important.

Tom Kennes:

Cause it, it allows us to start to connect these things in our decision making.

Tom Kennes:

And that's really what we're lacking now.

Tom Kennes:

Even if you look at our sense of emissions, it's, that's often so much

Tom Kennes:

lower than we actually are emitting.

Tom Kennes:

There have been studies that ask people how much CO2 is emitted when you use one

Tom Kennes:

gallon of gasoline and people have been underestimating their footprint by 70%.

Tom Kennes:

So it's incredible how little we actually know about our daily life

Tom Kennes:

carbon footprint, or emissions.

Tom Kennes:

. So there's also much work to

Tom Kennes:

dedicate ourselves and each other.

Richard Bown:

Fascinating.

Richard Bown:

Brilliant.

Richard Bown:

Tom, thank you so much.

Richard Bown:

We've got lots of things to share with our listeners.

Richard Bown:

Lots and lots of links for you to dig out I think as well.

Richard Bown:

But I'd just like to say thank you so much for joining me.

Richard Bown:

And I'll wrap up for today and I'll say thank you for joining us and see you

Richard Bown:

again on the Software Delivery Club.

Richard Bown:

Oh, one last thing before you go.

Richard Bown:

Just a short reminder that I have daily newsletter where I share lots

Richard Bown:

of great content about how to lead the change in software delivery.

Richard Bown:

You can check it out and sign up at softwaredelivery.club.

Richard Bown:

Thanks.