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Corporate Social Responsibility

Cisco has won the prestigious 2013 Uptime Institute 2013 Green Enterprise IT AwardTM (GEIT) in the Green Digital Infrastructure Strategy category. Uptime Institute grants GEIT Awards each year to companies that significantly improve energy productivity and resource use in IT.

A cross-functional team at Cisco that included lab management, engineering, IT, and workplace resources won for our LabEnergy Management program—an internal, worldwide, energy-conservation program that is reducing electricity consumption in our labs. Although representing only 10 percent of our real estate footprint, our labs consume more than 60 percent of our electricity and are critical to the success of our engineering, service, and sales organizations.


Cisco’s LabEnergy Management program addresses three improvement opportunities:

  1. Infrastructure: Improving air flow management, ventilation, cooling, and similar building infrastructure systems
  2. Lab Technology: Installing smart power distribution units (PDUs) to monitor power and control the use of our lab equipment
  3. Change Management: Deploying multiple employee engagement strategies to educate our employees and provide incentives for labs to actively monitor and conserve energy

I had the privilege to be an integral part of the program management team and was personally involved in many aspects of the program. All three of the objectives were important to the success of the program, but the change management track was crucial. Our lab employees manage the equipment in our labs on a daily basis, and without their buy-in and commitment, the program would not have been a success.


Because of that, we deployed a number of innovative employee engagement strategies, such as:

The LabEnergy Management initiative started in late 2011 and, when completed later this year, will avoid approximately US$9 million in electricity costs and 30,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. This program is also key for Cisco to achieve its latest corporate energy and GHG reduction goals.

We presented our LabEnergy Management program to attendees at the Uptime Institute Symposium in Santa Clara, California, on May 16, 2013.  Our presentation and detailed case study on the program is available at the Uptime Institute’s Green Enterprise IT Awards website.

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