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Calculating the Net Carbon Impact of Cisco TelePresence

- December 8, 2009 - 0 Comments

A question we get a lot is:  how much can Cisco TelePresence really help my company reduce its carbon footprint?

Happily, now we can help.  Today, we’re unveiling the Cisco TelePresence Calculator, a handy mobile web application that helps you figure out how much carbon and currency you save with a deployment that you can model.  It’s really easy to use:  try it.

Better yet, the methodology underlying the calculator, which was developed by the Cisco Internet Solutions Business Group, was certified through an exhaustive analysis by DOMANI,  one of the most prominent sustainability consulting firms in the industry.  For the carbon calculation, they’ve used travel reduction as the primary driver for reducing carbon output.  Set against this is the energy cost of operating Cisco TelePresence equipment and necessary HVAC requirements, which are calibrated to the different costs of energy in different regions of the world.  At the end, the calculator outputs two items of interest:  the amount of carbon a given Cisco TelePresence deployment helps to avoid over a five year time horizon, plus the number of months it takes for the system to pay for itself in economic terms.

So, what parameters would be realistic to enter?

Cisco’s own deployment of telepresence now spans 45 countries and includes more than 662 rooms.  CTS 500 units, our “personal telepresence” units lead the unit count with 256 around the world.  We’ve got 59% utilization based on an 8-hour day.  We’ve avoided over 91,000 meetings in the past three years, resulting in $365 million in travel savings.  And we’ve also saved 197,273 metric tons of greenhouse gases as a result of those avoided trips.  That’s equivalent to the emissions generated by electricity consumption for 23,242 houses per year, according to the EPA equivalency calculator.

We’re introducing new features to help our customer collect this same kind of data.  Today, it would be an instructive public relations exercise.  Tomorrow, corporations can trade carbon credits with it.

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