Although Earth Day is a day for celebrating and honoring our environment, we also have to pause to recognize the threats our planet is facing. Here in California, climate change is a vital concern. The Pacific Institute recently forecast that by 2100 we would see a rise in the sea level in California of 1 to 1.4 meters. This rise will create significant land loss on the California coast, displacing millions of people and causing billions of dollars in property loss near the San Francisco Bay Area.I’ve been driving a Toyota Prius since 2005, installed fluorescent bulbs in my house, and started composting to do my part. Cisco, as an enterprise, is also working hard to be a good Green citizen.However I’m sure many of you would like to know what Cisco is doing about environmental sustainability for our Service Provider customers. In 2006, John Chambers formed the executive-led Cisco EcoBoard and we have been working on a number of fronts since then:
- Invested heavily in working with and leading standards bodies to develop metrics that reliably measure the energy efficiency of packet-based infrastructure products.
- Developed a cross-functional Green Engineering Task Force (GETF) across our business units to drive innovation to achieve new levels of efficiency, longevity, and reusability in our Service Provider solutions and products.
- Continued to focus on enabling our Service Provider customers to offer “Green Services”, such as TelePresence, to their customers.
I’ll focus on No. 1 above and save the others for another day. Cisco has fully committed to taking a standards-based approach to measuring product and solution energy efficiency. Existing standards bodies, such as the International Telecommunications Union, are well positioned to implement globally relevant energy efficiency networking standards. While standards bodies often move slowly, when it comes to green standards we are seeing rapid and significant movement, bringing together customers, vendors, governments, and non-governmental organizations.Cisco worked closely with the Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions on a proposal called Telecommunications Energy Efficiency Ratio (TEER). This approach was recently adopted by the ATIS Network Interface, Power and Protection (NIPP) Committee.Last month in Hiroshima, the ITU-T Focus Group on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Climate Change agreed on the ATIS methodology, creating good alignment between these two organizations.In the ITU’s recent newslog Laura Ipsen, Senior Vice President of Cisco Global Policy and Government Affairs, and co-chair of the Cisco EcoBoard said the following: “Accurate, standardized measurement is the first step toward effective reduction of the ICT carbon footprint.”"The ITU-T Focus Group deliverables provide a valuable foundation for further ICT industry global collaboration in helping to address the world’s environmental challenges. Cisco is committed to continuing its efforts in ITU and with customers globally for energy efficiency in an inclusive and sustainable information society,” Ipsen said.Whether working to accelerate the work being done by standards bodies or leading efforts with NGO’s or regulatory bodies, expect to see Cisco at the leading edge of environmental sustainability. Having common metrics will greatly reduce customer confusion about energy efficiency and guide the networking industry to deliver the most energy and environmentally efficient products and architectures into the future.Stay tuned for more about Cisco and our push to enable the Green Service Provider.