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Cisco Awarded Top International Honor for Energy Management

On September 30, 2015, Cisco received the International Corporate Energy Management Award from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) for our global energy management program and our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.  We are very honored to receive this award and very proud of the work that we have done in setting aggressive targets and pursing high value projects to achieve the targets.

Cisco has set and achieved a series of environmental sustainability goals.  In 2009, Cisco met a goal we had set in 2006 to reduce business-air-travel emissions worldwide by 10 percent against a 2006 baseline. In 2012, we met a commitment to reduce all Scope 1, 2, and business-air-travel Scope 3 GHG emissions worldwide by 25 percent against a 2007 baseline. In February 2013, we announced a set of five new goals related to our operational energy use and GHG emissions. To achieve these goals, we approved $57.5 million in funding for 2014 through 2017 for the creation of a program called EnergyOps. The EnergyOps team is comprised of energy and sustainability professionals who identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout our global real estate portfolio working with local facilities teams, engineers and project managers.  Many of the EnergyOps team members are Certified Energy Managers through AEE.


Solar PV array on top of Cisco's data center in Allen, TX

Solar PV array on top of Cisco’s data center in Allen, TX


Since we launched the EnergyOps program, we have completed or initiated 344 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This has reduced Cisco’s energy annual use by 105 GWh and GHG emissions cumulatively by over 1 million metric tonne of CO2e. Examples of some of these projects include solar installations in the United States and India, numerous indoor and outdoor lighting improvements, and various types of upgrades to HVAC systems at many of our campuses, like our Shanghai location.

The multi-year EnergyOps program is not only helping us achieve our energy saving goals, but also manage operational expense,  reduce exposure to fluctuating energy prices, and reinforce our commitment to being environmentally responsible. We estimate that the projects we have completed or initiated to date will save approximately US$15M annually.

The AEE Awards are presented annually at the World Energy Engineering Congress to energy companies and professionals who have achieved international, national, regional, or local prominence in their fields.

Please read more about Cisco’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions at


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Why Cisco, Why Solar, Why Now

In the past year, Cisco has significantly ramped up its use of renewable energy with a focus on solar.  We’ve been sharing these activities in press releases, blog posts, videos and our annual CSR report, but we haven’t talked about why – and these reasons are deeper than just a commitment to the environment.

Here’s a short summary of some of our recent activities with renewable energy:

  • Signed an agreement with NRG Renew LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG), to purchase the output of a 20 MW solar energy facility located in Blythe, California for our San Jose headquarters and surrounding Bay Area locations
  • Completed 4 on-site solar projects at our sites in Texas, Massachusetts, and Bangalore, India taking our total solar production capacity over 2 MW (see photos below)
  • Launched a solar discount program for employees and contractors, along with their friends and family, to simplify and reduce the cost of installing solar panels on their homes leading to over 50 installations totaling over 250 kW in less than 1 year
  • Joined the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles supporting the increase in accessibility to renewable energy along with many of our peers in the technology industry
Free standing solar PV array in the parking area of Cisco's campus in Boxborough, MA

Free standing solar PV array in the parking area of Cisco’s campus in Boxborough, Massachusetts

Solar PV array on top of Cisco’s data center in Allen, Texas

Why have we undertaken these activities?  Certainly, each of these actions are helping bring more renewable power on line, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving us toward a better environment.  But any company, in any industry, can make the same claim.  To be authentic, it has to hold a special significance related to why Cisco exists.

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Summary: Renewable Energy Agency Deploys Scalable, Power-Resilient Network

With its fast-growing economy, India faces significant challenges in meeting the energy needs of its population and industry. And given the growth of the renewable energy sector, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) was established in 1987  to promote, develop, and extend financial assistance for projects involving renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and conservation. IREDA recognized the need to optimize use of its resources and leverage technology advances to better serve its constituents.

To improve the efficiency of its increasingly complex operations, IREDA sought to replace its aging heterogeneous campus network infrastructure with a scalable, unified solution. Key requirements included superior reliability and security as well as energy efficiency to foster the agency’s values while providing cost savings. There was an immediate benefit in lowering network energy consumption and the network would be the tool to both help ensure the security of confidential information and provide high performance for applications such as video.

How did this renewable energy agency approach deploying a network that would be scalable and power resilient while optimizing network efficiency? Click to read the full blog


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Midsize Renewable Energy agency in India optimizes network for efficiency

Renewable energy

The World energy demand will be 41% higher in 2035 with India and China accounting for half the growth.

The development of renewable energy sources ranks as a key responsibility for the top economies in the world. India, as one of the top 5 emitters of greenhouse gasses, has prioritized the development of renewable energy resources.

Read More on how this Indian agency deployed a network that promotes energy conservation below.

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The Impact of Distributed Generation

Distributed generation is getting increasing attention for impact on the electric utility industry.  DG has been the subject of a number of high profile articles in Business Week, the Wall St. Journal and several online business and industry news sites.  The Business Week article was particularly provocative, leading with the title, “Why the U.S. Power Grid’s Days Are Numbered“.

Residential DG, primarily solar, remains relatively sparse in the U.S. compared to Europe, especially Germany.  Commercial/Industrial DG is getting greater penetration with large initiatives such as Walmart installing solar on the top of every store, and low-priced natural gas leading industrial customers to generate their own power.  Although circumstances differ, the September 17, 2013, WSJ article, “In Post-Tsunami Japan, Homeowners Pull Away From Grid”, describes how Japanese homeowners could foreshadow even more disruption.  While residential fuel cells are not presently economical, higher volume production and deployment in Japan could certainly change that.  Low cost fuel cells could enable every customer with natural gas service to make the economic analysis about when or whether it’s worth turning to self generation. Read More »

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