Cisco Announces New Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

September 6, 2017 - 10 Comments

In FY17, which ended in July, we completed and met our latest greenhouse gas (GHG) Scope 1 and 2 reduction goal.

To recap, Cisco’s past Scope 1 and 2 reduction goals include:

  • June 2008: Five-year EPA Climate Leaders commitment to reduce all Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions worldwide by 25% absolute by CY12 (CY07 baseline). Status: goal met in FY12.
  • February 2013: Five-year goal to reduce total Cisco Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions worldwide by 40% absolute by FY17 (FY07 baseline). Status: more than $50 million invested; goal met in FY17.

We also committed in February 2013 to use electricity generated from renewable sources for at least 25% of our global electricity every year through FY17. We greatly exceeded this objective, reaching 71% in FY15 and 77% in FY16*.

To continue reducing our GHG emissions inline with recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have set our third Scope 1 and 2 GHG reduction goals:

  • Five-year goal to reduce total Cisco Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions worldwide by 60% absolute by FY22 (FY07 baseline)
  • Use electricity generated from renewable sources for at least 85% of our global electricity by FY22.

Cisco will invest more than US$45 million over the five-year period in two areas—energy efficiency and renewable energy—to achieve these goals.

As part of these efforts, Cisco’s Operations group will implement over 300 energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy projects across Cisco’s real-estate portfolio and increase renewable energy procurement through utility green power programs, power purchase agreements, and renewable energy certificates. These goals are important because energy/GHG is the most material environment-related issue for Cisco and also help Cisco control its energy costs.

We continue to support the renewable energy industry, both to meet our GHG reduction goals and to respond to input from employees, investors, analysts, and advocacy groups.

With respect to employee attitudes toward sustainability in general and renewables in particular, Povaddo, a U.S.-based consultancy, recently released April 2017 survey results that examined employee attitudes towards corporate activism and employee engagement at companies with annual revenues of at least $1 billion.

As found in the study, 65% of employees would like to see their employer use its influence to take a public stand and/or be more vocal on renewable energy. Our internal assessment of employee attitudes track with this result.

While there are countries in which Cisco does business where electricity from renewables is not an economic option (why our goal isn’t 100%), our current level of purchases of electricity from renewable sources—greater than 75% increasing to 85%—address employee interest in this topic.

For more information on our other efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions, including our Scope 3 supply chain carbon footprint, please see the Energy/GHG section of the environment chapter in our 2016 CSR Report.

*We will formally report our FY17 renewable energy purchases and GHG emissions metrics in our 2017 CSR Report to be published in November of this year.

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  1. Great to see goals being set and previous goals being exceeded!

  2. Wow! This is an aggressive GHG reduction goal. My moving from 40% reduction to 60% reduction (for the same FY07 baseline), Cisco is intending to reduce current GHG by 33% in 4 years.

    What’s even more impressive is that Cisco only sets goals like this if it thinks we can achieve it! I’m wondering “How?” The major gains from using renewable power sources, teleworking and reducing travel have been pretty well used, there’s not much more to be gained there.

    What’s next?

    • Hi Rich, thanks for your comment! Although we have done a lot over the past 10 years to meet our past sustainability goals, we still see very good opportunities both on the efficiency and renewable energy front that we will be implementing across our portfolio over the next 5 years in order to meet our new goals.

  3. So proud to work for a company that takes a leadership role in protecting our planet.

  4. Fantastic – love how we are so proactive in being a leader in protecting our planet!

  5. Awesome!! It is good to know that Cisco is taking a Leadership role in the reduction of environmental impact – improving energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions. Thank you for this beautiful blog.

  6. Awesome blog, I am excited that Cisco is taking this next step to reduce its environmental impact.

  7. We need solar panels on EVERY building in San Jose!

    • Hi there, thanks for the comment!

      Our renewables strategy is to identify and evaluate potential projects in the following order: onsite power opportunities, green power contracts with utilities, offsite power opportunities, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). We prefer to do onsite power projects where possible, but in many cases, offsite power is the better option due to factors such as location, budget, and space constraints.

      At this time, putting solar on our buildings in San Jose is not economically feasible – however, we did open a new 20 MW solar power facility in Southern California which you can read about here:

      FYI, this system is far larger than what we could install on every building in our SJC campus!

  8. It is great to see Cisco so far ahead in setting up and achieving our goals around Greenhouse gas reductions. Proud to work in a company that is trying to ensure we leave a habitable planet for our children.