Today, Cisco was recognized as one of only four organizations nationwide as a “Green Power Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for furthering the voluntary green power market. EPA presented Cisco with the award at an event held at the 2013 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Austin, Texas.
Cisco’s use of renewable energy reflects our commitment to sustainability and is a key part of managing our impact on the environment. This is the right thing to do as a corporate citizen; it also helps us optimize the value of our operations and attract and retain best-in-class talent.
We are very proud to win this award in recognition of both our historical support of renewable energy and to continue to include renewable energy as a significant part of our global energy strategy. Today Cisco buys the majority of its renewable energy through wind-generated sources certified by Green-e. In addition, Cisco generates some of its own energy using on-site solar panels, such as 100-kW systems installed at two of our data center locations, and also participates in utility green power programs across Europe and in India.
“Receiving the Green Power Partner of the Year award is a great honor and EPA applauds Cisco’s leadership and impact on the green power market,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Cisco’s commitment to using green power and reducing its climate impacts provides a clear example of an organization thriving on innovation and sustainability.”
Renewable energy is most well-known as wind and solar generation, but also includes energy sources such as land fill gas or hydroelectric. Using renewable energy either directly or through purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) supports public and private investment in future renewable energy development and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy production sector.
To support our new corporate environmental goals, Cisco is committing more than $50M over the next four years to implement numerous energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at campuses across the world. The new program is slated to run through 2017 and will reduce our energy consumption and GHG emissions, while saving money, across five areas of Cisco operations: HVAC, lighting, labs, data centers, and onsite power generation. Some examples include implementing aggressive lab airflow management, expanding our onsite solar generating capacity, and networking air conditioning units for optimal efficiency.
In Fiscal Year 2012, Cisco used about 459 megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy, which is enough to meet more than 44 percent of the company’s US-based electricity use, and 25 percent of our global electricity use. Cisco has been purchasing renewable energy since 2006, which has helped prevent over 3.5 billion pounds of GHG emissions. That is equal to avoiding carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from more than 340,000 cars.
More information about our historical green energy consumption can be found in our CSR Report.